I miss cable television almost as much as I miss Hee Haw. Which means not at all. The internet is quicker to the jump on breaking news. Family and friends plug me into the rest. So it was that my mother called me last night as sleep was nudging me into Vera Farmiga’s life- again.
“Did I wake you?”
“Nah . . . everything alright?” I replied.
“The President scheduled a press conference for 10:30. Don’t you think that’s odd?”
“Maybe he’s resigning.” I joked. But I was up now. Completely awake and getting more creeped out by the second. “Why in the hell would he be having a press conference on a Sunday night . . .” It was easy enough to figure that the news was going to be really good or really bad.
Mom doesn’t get how I can function without cable. I think she sees me as some modern day explorer- Nutty, delusional and perpetually off course. But the truth is she likes filling in the margins. And to her credit she reserves such phone calls for serious shit.
We speculated as to Obama’s late night show, going back and forth on possibilities both humorous and very much not. It ran the gamut from wanting to kick Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice ass to wondering if we had any really good stuff in our liquor cabinets for a final toast before nuclear winter. It helps to have a mother with an equally dark sense of humor who also loves her drink.
I cheated by hopping online, where I learned the news before the President made the scene. Didn’t matter. Mom and me weren’t going anywhere. We were too wired now, and we were feeling it all over again. That morning the world went dark.
We could have ditched our conversation but we had to hear the President tell us first. It wasn’t going to change anything, this one death. It would never retrieve the ones that mattered most of all. But we had to hear the President tell us. We had to hear him say the words.
And once he had done so, it occurred to us that the hour was late and there was another early morning. And life was moving on, away. Again.
“Well, he’s dead.” Mom said softly.
“Good”, I replied.
We hung up and I rested my head on the pillow and I prayed for a lot of the things I understand and for some of the things I never will.
It doesn’t feel like ten years.