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I don't know what my mother thought I was getting up to when I was a kid but she sure didn't think it was anything good.
Especially if I was out late at night or, even more suspect, ALL night.
"What can you do at 3 o'clock in the morning???" she would ask in her endearingly frantic way.
She didn't really expect an answer which was lucky because I never had one.
Whatever I could have offered would have not bolstered my side.
Certainly not the truth.

A scene:
It's 11am on a weekday and I'm still sleeping.
My mother comes up to the foot of my bed, grabs my feet, pulling them suddenly and violently to the side so that I wake up practically sitting on the edge of my bed.
She says "Only a bum is still in bed at 11 o'clock in the morning!"
I'm sitting there, still quite amazed I'm conscious, faced with having to come up with a response.
The fact was I had probably only gotten home and under the covers a few hours earlier but it never seemed like the right thing to say.
"Hey, lady! I just crawled in here at 6am!" would not have gone far to help my position.
I would just mumble and sulk and mumble and sulk some more until she gave up and walked away, usually mumbling a few choice words of her own.
Mouth like a longshoreman, that woman.
I still get the guilts if I sleep too late into the day no matter what time my head hit the pillow.

She used to tell me she had to take a 'fucking Valium' - or was it a fucking Librium? - before she got into bed in case she got a call in the middle of the night letting her know I was dead.
'Under a bus somewhere'.
That bus seemed always to be the expected instrument of my doom.
What did that image even come from?
Had she had an experience like that once before in her life?
Had she lost someone close to an out of control #99 Palisade or #32 Bergenline?
I never asked and she never told.
But, always with the bus.
If it was so friggin' likely that I was engaging in nocturnal activities that would eventually make me disappear under said 'bus' wouldn't she be better off staying alert for when that inevitability came good?
Or didn't she want to risk overreacting and sounding silly?
Calmly and sensibly: "Hello? What? Oh, you did? Under a bus? I'm not surprised. Well, listen, do you think you could stick him someplace out of the way and I'll come get him in the morning? OK! That would be great. Thanks for calling."
I believe I brought all of that up at the time.
It didn't help my case at all. ~


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