Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beauty in Twilight, Part Two

The following day, mom had a renewed sense of purpose. She wanted to take on -- not one -- but two outings.

In the morning, we met Josh and Abram for coffee. We were originally going to go to Cafe des Artistes, but it was closed. Strangely enough, it was closed the last time I was down and we tried to go there, too, so I'm starting to wonder if the place is ever really open.

We ended up at a local roaster in the Abacoa Town Center, Crux Coffee. They have nitro-infused cold coffee on draft which is pretty much the closest you can get to drinking a beer for breakfast (except for actually drinking beer at breakfast which I have yet to try). It has the texture of Guinness, but is really coffee.

We found a table inside. My mom had a hot black tea, English Breakfast. We chatted for awhile, the conversation between my brother and I naturally devolving into exchanging opinions on the latest superhero movies, before my mother asked us, "Is there anything you have been wanting to ask? Anything you have been wondering?"

Josh just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. "Like what?" I asked.

My mom told us about her father, our Gan, who served in Korea for 18 months when she was young. He had a mistress there. Her mother, my Nanny, found out, and my mom said Nanny's reaction to learning shaped her own actions later in life.

"I'll turn this back on you," I said. "Is there anything we should know?"

My mom said she couldn't think of anything.

Later, in the car, I would ask her, "Is there anything you were wondering about me? Anything you wanted to know about?"

"No. I think I have you pretty well figured out, Paul Hanna," she replied. "Like how you didn't spend all the tuition money on school."

"Huh? When?"

"In Colorado."

I didn't quite know what she was talking about. I'm no feigning ignorance; I still don't.

Back at coffee, I told my mom and Josh how Elise made Puttanesca clams the other night, a twist on one of her best dishes Puttanesca fish, and how Peter ate nearly two dozen clams, ringing the rim of his bowl with their empty shells the way a cannibal might make a necklace from the teeth or finger bones of his dinners.

"Remember the time Paul threw up all the clams?" Josh blurted out, suppressing a grin.

Neither my mom or I remembered. Moreover, I didn't know why this memory -- above all others -- would stand out. Why would my brother derive so much apparent glee from seeing my sick or in pain?

My mom can't stay out long and she had designs on an afternoon outing, as well. After about half an hour, we made our way back home, me driving her Mini Cooper.

On the drive home, my mom told me she hoped my brothers and I would stay close.

I backed into the garage and turned the car off. "I don't think they like me very much," I told her, wiping tears from my eyes. 

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