Central Park South & 5th
Chapter One – Family Matters
I just got off the phone with my parents…
A funny thing happened to me just now. I was opening up my bottle of wine for the week, packed my bowl full and drank a big gulp. The air had just left my body as the taste was recognized, and then my phone rings.
Mom Cell – apprehension does not overcome me like it does at other times. I reach for my phone with a confidence in cohesion. I can talk to them right now. I’m not too far gone…
‘Hey, Alex!’ My mother’s distinctive greeting welcomes me again, and a sigh of comfort is exhumed.
“Hey Mom, how you doing?”
‘I’m good. I just got back home. I ended up going for a walk with Lynn when the weather got better today.’ She was thinking of coming into Boston with Lynn to window shop and walk around, but the weather turned foul and rained out the plan.
We talked on. My cognition and flow were still quite able, despite a definite shot to the brain. She wanted to talk about her recent walk with Lynn, and confided in me about the conversation they had about Nick, her son and close friend of mine.
Nick has been a fitness enthusiast for a long time. He has a high metabolism. He surfs, and yeah, and he plays a mean game of golf. All things considered, his family is closer to him than anyone, and for them to feel concerned about his health over this lifestyle brings immediate concern to my folks and I. It was only natural she’d want to tell me about the discussion. She thought Nick was a completely different person since she last saw him, two years earlier.
‘It seems extreme,’ my mother went on to say, ‘it is possible for a fitness routine to be unhealthy… it shows in his face.’ She would say something like that, and it would always be true. Our face is our mirror, for good and for worse. If something is wrong, we show it in our eyes, and our smiles. We smell when we’re stressed, and glow when we’re happy. Our body language is everything, but I digress…
By the end of that conversation, my mother handed the phone off to my dad. Talking with him is just as easy, as long as the conversations are mutually understood.
“Heya Dad, how you doing?”
‘I’m doing alright. You?’
“I’m good, I just got back from the gym.”
‘Good for you, Alex.’ Sincerity assured. ‘I won’t ask you all the same questions as mom, but how was your trip home?’ I took a trip back to Boston from New York after spending a weekend with them and my brother at the Plaza Hotel. It was their 30th wedding anniversary.
“It was alright, as much as you could expect on a busy travel day.” I told him more. I told him about the little British girl who couldn’t stop talking in the seats across from mine. All the way to Boston. It was quite and experience, and the group I sat with showed signs of understanding and relief when she walked off to sit with her dad in another car.
‘I just wanted to say thanks for coming out there with us, and for being a part of something this special.’ We both expressed our gratitude to one another for being there in New York on such an important milestone.
“Ah, Dad, I wouldn’t miss something like that. I mean, come on, The Plaza! Thank you for putting that all together, it was such a wonderful experience! You certainly know how to treat us well.”
‘This is true!’ I think he had been waiting for someone to say that for a long time. ‘And I like to treat you guys well, so hopefully there’s more to come as time goes on.’
“I’m looking forward to it.” A moment of comfortable silence hangs over the phone.
‘Well, I’ll let you go, you just got back.’
“Thanks, it was great talking to you.”
‘You too, my boy. Have a goodnight.’
*Goodnight!* I hear my mother yell in the distance as I ready to say it. I laugh into the phone.
“Ah, goodnight you guys! I love you.”
‘Love you too, Alex. Bye.’
The conversation lasted thirteen minutes, and following the conversation, things had gone their course. The flow of blood to my brain caused a euphoric chain reaction. I saw read vibrations as I sat and laid back on my bed, staring up at an abstract painting of an apple tree; oil on canvas by a college friend’s sister. I felt something in those vibrating apples. It was love. I felt love for my family emanating from its root and its marrow. It’s a feeling I know so well, and cherish now even more, like the fine wines we all imbibe. Age defines quality. The quality of my love for my family has matured and grown stronger, stronger than the days of my childhood when bed-time was fixed and allowances were given. Now is the time when I give my love back to them, and remind them of how much they mean to me.
In a phone conversation like this, the simplest of talks can bring overpowering love and compassion. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
And then there was New York…