“Your mother has been hurt at the World.” Apparently he didn’t know the name had been changed to the Tweeter Center nor did he know why Mom had decided to go there.
This morning while she poured half and half into her coffee, Mom cornered me between the refrigerator door and the kitchen sink. I think she absentmindedly held the door open and me hostage because something else was on her mind and she usually can’t do two things at one time. She says its because she’s 50 and menopausal. That scares me more than having the word Frigidaire branded on my forehead.
At the table she rubbed her forehead and propped it up on one hand, looking at me from the side of her head like a horse or rabbit. That scares me too when she morphs into something that lives outside.
“So, who is this Britney Spears person?” she mouthed from behind her cup.
“Some singer. I can’t stand her.”
The lines on her forehead deepened when she heard that. She began to tell me that her honors club at the community college was doing service work, she had volunteered to help at the concession stand for three nights. One of the performers was Britney. The thought of my mother selling soda and hot dogs to kids my age didn’t scare me. It humiliated me. And Britney Spears, what was she thinking? Mom felt duty-bound to keep her word and show up to help even though I tried my best to change her mind with stories about the rude punk guys and skanky girls she’d be serving
“And don’t think this will be one of those mind blowing psychedelic dances you used to go to.”
Dad swore and slammed his fist on the steering wheel after he’d circled the back 40 acres of parking lots. Finally he abandoned the car in a handicapped spot and hung his work badge from the rearview mirror. I did not want to be seen here but I didn’t want to wait in the car while the cops wrote out a ticket for illegal parking, thinking I was the driver. At the moment we entered the World I could see sweat rolling down the rows of stressed skin on my dad’s face. If he’d ever been here before he’d know there are four concession stands to search, not one. We were escorted past the hot dogs turning on the pronged rotisserie and narrowly escaped falling on beer splatters behind the counter. Downstairs in front of the refrigerators sat my old hippie mother using her bandana she’d tied around her ponytail as a mop for the blood coming from her hairline. Next to her sat Kashi. We call him Cereal-Head in my trig class.
After Britney’s lavender buses arrived and were safely parked under the World, the word spread that she was in fact, here. That’s when the middle aged man and his teenage son paid my mom for their hot dogs, one beer and a large Coke. As she put the change in the man’s palm, she noticed his two front teeth were missing. Feeling sorry for him and mad at herself for wanting to laugh, she asked if his son was a big Britney fan.
“Do you know he told me that he himself was an even bigger fan, that he takes his son to see her whenever she’s in the Midwest? Hell, they’d drive from Indiana to Michigan, maybe even to Minnesota if need be.”
She admitted to me and Dad, “I got queasy and angry to think of what those two were up to, going to concerts like they were Dead Heads! When I turned back to the bun warmer I slipped on a trail of beer. Then I remember sitting in front of the refrigerators with your friend from school.”
Kashi is not my friend, my mom didn’t need stitches after all, and the policeman marked the box for a $100 fine for parking in a handicapped spot without a sticker on the ticket he left under the wiper.
See other phenoms at Sunday Scribblings.