Our last morning is tense, rushed. Thirty minutes till your first day on the job and you head to the store to buy a duffel bag. You want to take all your clothes just in case you leave today and don't come home for a few weeks. It's the most absurd thing I've ever heard. You'll be back tonight. I'll cook supper and we'll laugh about how you thought the guy had said something about maybe possibly going to a state that begins with an M.
Missouri? Surely not.
That doesn't happen. You don't get a job one afternoon and leave the next day going to a whole'nother state possibly beginning with a particular letter in the alphabet which could be an M but not Mississippi or Maryland or Michigan or Minnesota. Maybe the guy on the phone said Missouri and you could get in a truck with strangers and go to a town I haven't scouted and be around people I don't know and
I'll just edit photos.
Don't worry about me. I'll be fine here with these photos and the internet and Billy Sue and really, you'll be okay. They pay for your meals? And your hotel, I mean motel, I mean it doesn't have internet access? okay.
Oh. you're rooming with someone? Is he a crackhead? Not that there's anything wrong with crackheads, I mean we shouldn't judge, I'm sure there are some wonderful crackheads in this world but he doesn't smoke crack, right? Yes, I do realize the fact that I just asked that makes me a crackhead.
Answer the question. No?
You know I can drive up there, right? Take you out to eat, bring you some more clothes.
No. It wouldn't be an intervention.
Are you not happy? You sound serious.
I'm fine so you are too and everything is okay and I'm just editing photos and deleting photos and Billy Sue did the funniest thing.
oh. you gotta go.
That was just a joke. I know you have to leave because you are twenty years old and you are brilliant and you are kind and you will be fine and I was always this crazy but before I just tried to hide it and I have the photos and Billy Sue and the writing and I'll take the garbage can to the road and I'll figure this out because this is part of raising a child and I'm strong and I can handle it and I don't want to make you cry because I love it when you laugh.
I love you. I miss you but not too bad. this is normal. it's just parenting.
It seems silly to say I am grateful for Slater since so much of the gratitude started with him.