Sunday, August 12, 2012

Goodbye Jane 3

It was with this sort of day encroaching that I went to the newly remodeled Key Center with David. Somehow we had aged into young men; capable of drinking, driving, and going to buy ice on our own. I later found some old pictures of David and I as kids. We were both scrawny bean poles. We were lanky trouble makers more than we were any seed of who we would become.

We rolled the windows down in the car but it did little to help. We turned up the A/C but it didn't feel good against our skin. We rolled down the windows again and felt the air blast against us. We sweated in our clothes; dressed to look nice. We didn't think much of it. Dressing nice for Mama was mandatory.

Mandatory not because anyone asked us to but because she appreciated the little things. She hated the big fuss but lit up when we looked nice. I could see her face break into a huge smile. I remember dressing up for her birthday the year before. She wore her perfect pink suit, drank a little too much wine and was so happy to have the family together. When I came downstairs dressed sharp for her she smiled.

And she gave herself away. Of course she was so polite and never wanted anyone to extend themselves on her account. “Why did you dress up?” She asked, knowing full well why.

“Because it's your birthday and I wanted to look nice for it.” I replied.

“Well you didn't have to do that.” But I did, and I wanted to. I wanted to show her how much her generosity meant if only it was to dress up for her. I was nearly broke, jobless, and completely unsure of my future. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had only months to live yet she took me in with a full heart and expected nothing in return.

I would have dressed up every day for her if I could.

And a little over a year later we were at her memorial getting it set up and wishing that she could see it.

We returned with the ice and the guests had started to arrive. I found my place as bartender and welcomed people to the house. I like being bartender at these events because it means I don't have to stand around. It means that I don't have to pretend to do something or extend myself and say hello. Instead, people come to me and ask for drinks and say hi and wander off. I can hide behind the limes.