Saturday, April 3, 2010
“Tara, Honey. We’ll be late.”
Honey. It was her mother’s all-purpose, love-is-a-democracy word. The one-size-fits-all-er that slipstreamed in through every conversation, near and small. “Honey,” Tara’s mother would say to the steakhouse waitress. “I like my A-1 spicy.” “Honeys,” she’d say to the neighborhood twins. “Keep your sweet pup leashed.” Honey was everybody’s name, even Davie’s whenever Davie was home, which was hardly ever since the Great Divorce had split the family in two. Davie came home on Christmas break and every other Thanksgiving, and once a week, on Tuesday evening, Davie was on the phone, calling from the turquoise hills south of Sante Fe, where Tara’s dad ran his jewelry enterprise and let Davie grow his hair shoulder-long. Tara always got the first five minutes with Davie, and then it was her mother’s turn.
“Honey,” she’d say into the receiver. “Honey, how are you?”
Summer was Tara’s mother’s break time. Her freedom spell. Her little bit of something-for-me. Summer was the season of Tara’s exile to the Cousin of Pennsylvania, better known, at least to Tara, as The Bore.
“How can you send me there? Again? Mom?”