set faze on stun **

The scene

8:30 pm on a Tuesday at home.  The house is quiet; Big is sleeping since he gets up at 4.

The Players

87 y.o Ma recovering from pneumonia

55 y.o. Kid recovering from sepsis

The phone rings.

55:  [Reeling into the other room to get the phone, but the vertigo is making me hit the walls.  Croaky voice] Hello?

87:  Laurie, I’m desperate.

55:  [oh no, there’s nothing I can do to help in my state!]  What’s up, Ma?

87:  Please put minutes on my phone.  The lady loaned me some so I could call you.

55:  [???!!  I don’t even ask.]  OK.  I’ll do that and call you back.  It should take only a few minutes.

55 spends 1/2 hour battling with the “easy” top-up on the computer, interjecting the same muffled, teeth-clenched Anglo-Saxonism as needed.

Big calls in to ask if it’s working and 55 whines that it’s not, panicking internally because I can’t understand all the words on the screen, and hoping he’ll do it for me even tho’ he really needs to be asleep.  Ah!  I hear him get up and come to the room–I apologize for the noise, and he closes the door!

9:00 p.m.  The phone rings.

55:  [tense voice, but trying to hide it]  Hello?!

87:  I thought I’d better check…

55:  [how is she calling me since she has no minutes on her phone, which I can plainly see on-screen?!!!]  Yes, I’m having trouble, so give me a few more minutes.

55 is starting to get a headache.  Called customer good-luck-finding-service and got it straightened away.

55 phones 87 and hellos are exchanged.

55:  Ma, you’re all set.  The phone people said you have to turn off your phone, wait a few seconds, then turn it back on.  Like rebooting your computer.  [Having vision of kicking any phone across the room.]

87:  Red phone.

55:  I’m sorry?

87:  Red phone.

55:  Red phone?  [The Armageddon Red Phone on the President’s desk?!  What?!]

87:  Yes, red phone.

55:  I don’t understand, Mom.  [Brain is pulsing with need to understand and desire to run away.]   Um, Ma what phone are you using right now?  [oh crap, of course she’s using the cell phone because I just called it.  This is hurting my head.]

87:  Little one.

55:  Oh, the cell phone!

87:  Yes!

55:  [Begin to repeat instructions from phone people and am interrupted.]

87:  I close the phone….

55:  No, you have to turn it off…  Oh!  The red phone on the phone!  To turn it off!

87:  Yes!!!

55:  [Trying hard to stay focused on instructions.]  Oh!  Hahaahahahhahhahaahha.  The red phone!  I couldn’t figure out why you were talking about the red phone on the President’s desk!   Hahhahahaaha!  [Completely unable to concentrate.]  Hahahahhaahahaha!

87:  Yes!  Hahahahahahahahah!

55:  Hahahahahahahahahahah!

87:  Hahahhahaaahaha!  Let me catch my breath!  [Pneumonia, remember?]

55:  Hahahhahahahhaa.  OK, all set now?  Haahhahahahhaha.  [Just can’t help it.  I have lost the ability to concentrate on a task.]

87:  Yes, all set.   Hahahhahaha!  Sleep well.

55:  Thank hahahhaaha you.  Haahhaha you hahahahahh too!

Moving the handset toward the cradle, still laughing and can hear Mom laughing still.  Oh how grand to laugh like that with her.  It has been months!

Definitely had a headache, but got through it.   Turns out I was right to conclude that I can barely manage my own life.  Took me 45 minutes to settle down after that.  Agggggghhh!


**  PS.  In case you’re from outta town, the title is a play on an oft-repeated line from the 1960s TV series, Star Trek.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:08:36

    OMG–this is hysterical. I know it’s sad. I know trying to function when your brain won’t and mother is dealing with technology-related crisis willl make even the most sane and balanced, a little less sane and lot more imbalanced. But it’s because I have so, so, so been here, I thought this was funniest thing I’ve read in a good long while.. Glad 55 lived to tell the tale!


  2. nadbugs
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 19:20:26

    CRAZY funny. Apple doesn’t fall far from tree dept.?


  3. Jude
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 02:50:52

    For various reasons I was feeling bloody miserable this morning – then I read your post and found my self laughing! Thank you. You write SO well! Hope the headache has gone – if not try watching wobbly fish!


    • lahgitana
      Apr 26, 2012 @ 07:08:27

      Why, I’m so glad I could help! The headaches borne of thinking too hard seem to last a short time. This is one bizarre time!

      I’ve been thinking about your wobbly fish!

      Hope your day improved a lot!


  4. IsobelandCat
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:29:53

    Sounds exhausting! But fun to read. And thanks for the explanation as I was never a Star Trek fan!


    • lahgitana
      Apr 26, 2012 @ 11:47:19

      Oh Isobel it was exhausting. I was hanging on by my fingernails! You’re welcome for the explanation. I feel so stunned most of the time and that line just popped into my head!


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