it was mother’s day. i was invited to brunch at my mother’s place with my oldest sibling, S., visiting from the west coast. i phoned from the highway to tell them that i was running 30 minutes late. it was S. who answered the phone. She said…. oh … well (pause) ok… (sigh). i knew instantly i was in deep deep very big trouble. Sorry, I said.
when i arrived, my mother was frantic. i asked, what’s wrong? is it because S. is angry at me for being a tiny bit late? my mother nodded. S. was so infuriated that she threw a tantrum, stormed out of the house and drove off to an undisclosed location. My mother said, tersely, you know S. has to leave at 2:30. Which was 3 hours from now. I guess they had planned a very long brunch.
and then i was infuriated and threw a tantrum. i said to my mother, i cannot believe this. nobody has ever gotten angry at me before. I said, not one person has ever gotten angry at me for anything, ever, except for S. And then I stormed out of the house, and drove away. drove 8 hours straight, heading up to the north woods of minnesota. bear country.
as i was unpacking my tent, waves of regret took ahold of me once i realized that i had completely decimated mother’s day 2013. why could i not rise above this sort of thing, S’s tantrum, my echo-y tantrum? did my flight to the woods serve any real purpose other than to destroy pleasant moments in other peoples lives, people who might need those moments the most?
I quickly repacked the tent, sprinted back to the car, and was about to call them to apologize for everything, everything, to assure them, to swear to them that i would be back before dusk, that i would even give my sister a ride to the airport. but i had forgotten that at some point on the drive up north, I had tossed my cellphone out the window, into the Mississippi River. they might never know how sorry i was.