A little before 6:00 am I stop the car in front of the hospital and wait for Mom. I need to tell her that I am no longer speaking to Dr. Froggy. Normally I would wait, and find a better time than the crack of dawn. But really, when will that be? Her husband cannot walk, sit up, or move – and lays in a bed all day, she sleeps in a hospital every night, and lives in the coldest state known to mankind. So I guess, in the grand spectrum of things, my state of husband-less-ness is really not the worst that has happened in the past few weeks.
I see Mom come out of the hospital. Quickly I whip open my car door and a biting wind slaps my cheeks. Shit man this is bitterly cold, I think and open the passenger side door for Mom. She climbs into the SUV, sets her purse onto the floor and reaches for the seat belt. Once I know she is safely inside, I slam the door and race around the car. Mother of God, how did Laura Ingalls Wilder and her neighbors in Walnut Grove live on the prairie without centralized heat? I understand that they had a hearth and fireplace, but that is no match for an Alberta clipper and -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once inside the car the heat immediately warms the tips of my gloved, yet frozen fingers. “Good morning beta,” Mom says as I pull the car away from the curb. “How’s Dad?” I ask. She sighs, “The same. Not better, but not worse.” As I drive, Mom and I talk about the day and what time she wants to return to the hospital tonight.
I exit the freeway and head to Caribou Coffee. “I need coffee,” I say to Mom and pull into drive-through. There is no way I am getting out of the car and into the cold unless I absolutely must. I place my order, pay and begin to drive home. “Mom, I stopped talking to Dr. Froggy a few days ago. Massi and Bangalore Cousin know, and I don’t want you to hear it from them. And I am not hiding it from you, you just have plenty to deal with,” I say and wait a traffic light.
Out of the corner of my eye I see Mom nod her head. “I thought something had happened.” “Oh really? How?” I ask. “I had a feeling – Mother’s intuition,” she says. “Well, I think it's for the best. He is not right for me and I am not right for him,” I say. “I know, everything happens for a reason,” Mom says, pauses and speaks again. “Chicago Auntie called me yesterday to ask about Dad.”
Okay --- so we are switching conversations. Chicago Auntie is not my aunt. She is one of my parents’ friends, who lives in Chicago. “How are they?” I ask. “Fine. She has a friend’s son she wants to introduce you to,” Mom says. Well, I am going to need a few more details here. “Uhm, what? I thought she called about Dad?” I ask. “She did, then she mentioned the boy and gave me his contact details. I’ll give them to you when we get home,” Mom explains.
Evidently, when it comes to desi dating there is no resting, this is a contact sport.