There were certain words she used that make me miss her.
"hither and yon."
I was the prima donna, usually. Some punk kid would be the twerp. I can hear it: "Twerp." Hither and yon, I just loved when she'd say it, in any occasion.
I remember being glad she had mellowed, finally. No bracing myself for her acerbic temper, her strident voice, barking over minor infractions like when she’d scream out the car window at cyclists who failed to walk their bikes over the crosswalk, or bellowing up the stairs about messes left untended. But at the same time she lost that bite.
I’ve fallen into a depression of sorts - some days higher and some lower I can’t say it’s been consistent. Life hums along as I wait for my lady-insides to work and curse when they don’t. I leave the fertility clinic in tears and there is no one to call to talk about motherhood and who’ll tell me not to worry. No one I can get mad at when she tells me, "Well I got pregnant very quickly, so you will too." "No, MOM, you didn't have chemo and lupron and hormonal pills shut your shit down and mess everything up." It's not the same thing." And then I can hear her say...chin to the ceiling, fully confident:
"Well, that's asinine to think like that."
I work on my next book and I envision the outcome (failure or success or something in between...obscurity) but there is no one to impress or make proud. It’s odd having no parents to impress - even as an adult. There is no admonition, or hey, step in line, you’re veering off. No guarded praise. It’s all gone and I’m floating on my own and I’m so, so sad.
How would she like my hair? Is a thought that comes to mind sometimes. Too blonde?
“Why are you fiddling with it?” Or pursed lips, “It looks...fine.”
What would she say to the pompous fuck at school who went on a rant (to me, an English teacher) that English and grammar rules are bullshit and were designed for class warfare and a waste of time? I wanted to punch him with an Anne Leete comeback but I’m too timid and too easily embarrassed. I wanted to say oh really? some people would say his beloved LATIN is a waste of time to teach nowadays... but my mother would wholeheartedly disagree (she made me take Latin for four years).
In any case, I wanted to call her afterwards and come up with a belated retort but there was no one to call.
I'll go with those for now.
The Anne Leete power sneaker / turtleneck combo.