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Calling one's mother sounds easy, but it's a very overlooked task.

In my case, I always have a habit of walking around the Theatre District of New York City in the weekends. Sometimes I'll have dinner in some diner uptown instead of home. Sometimes I'm going out just to find some small but difficult to find thing as though I'm in some scavenger hunt. However, when I come back home, I would come back late (like in 11 PM or around midnight). After then, my mother would nag me to call her before I come home.

What can I do? I was busy last Saturday night looking for a good book on rifles. I'm the guy who comes home late not drunk from a trip to a bar, but more likely giddy after watching a show on Broadway. I don't like to be bound by things like pagers or wireless phones.

She would never understand that I will never do anything so "rebellious" that the more social people will do.

She misses you.

She is sure you are running around with your shirt untucked, jam on your face and your hair sticking up. It bothers her.

She wants you to be good, to keep that tongue in your mouth, to wipe that smile off your face, to pay attention in church. Be good today, for her.

She wants the world for you, to keep you safe, to hold you close and never let you go. It breaks her heart when you're away.

She still walks the path to your room hunting for clothes, stepping carefully to miss the toys, looking for fingerprints on the walls. She thinks the house is too big now, without you.

She remembers you, pink and squalling, helpless and hopeful, innocent and open. The day you left the house hurt with a special pain.

Call your mom. She misses you.

10 Oct, 2017

10 minutes: "I slumped back in my chair as my sister said"

I slumped back in my chair as my sister said, "Mom died."

I wasn't really sure what I was thinking at that point. Was it a dream? Was it a joke? Surely she was just playing some kind of cruel joke, but I couldn't bring myself to call her out on it. It was too disrespectful.

I didn't know what to do with the phone at that point. I guess I hung up on her without another word. Images flashed through my head - a funeral, people in black, crying, wailing - would people be wailing I wondered, not sure if that was too cold or expecting too much.

A coffin being lowered into the ground...

I wasn't sure what I was thinking. It was getting hard to breathe. I needed to get out of the house. Now. I tried to get up, but my legs weren't cooperating. I had to sit down again, trying to get my breathing under control.

I'm not sure if I succeeded. I left the house in a daze. I think my cell phone was ringing, but at that point I wasn't sure if it mattered.

"I really do need to call her back," I thought to myself, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I had no clue what I would say. I wasn't even sure where I was walking. Somewhere, anywhere. A place to think. Thoughts rushed through my head preventing coherent thought.

And so I wandered into the evening. One foot in front of the other. At least that was something I could believe.

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