And just as I was in that happy place between snuggly under the sheets and worthless lump of sleeping man-flesh, my phone rang. And I just knew it was my mom (remember: superpowers). And I sat bolt-upright with my heart flailing around like a drag queen in a marabou boa.
At 36 (and 50 weeks!), I still get the occasional drunk-dials in the middle of the night, but the superpowers help me identify those calls by sound and I can just stick my head under a pillow and fall back asleep rather quickly.
But late-night or early-morning phone calls from the family have historically meant only one of two things: bad news (the dog died) or worse news (the cancer, the plane crash). Otherwise, we just don’t call each other when normal folks are in bed. Seriously. Our hearts can’t take it.
Worse yet, the number on my Caller ID last night was Mom’s cell phone—which, of course, meant that either someone was trapped in a car overturned in a rain-swollen ditch or there’s been an international kidnapping. (I’m good at interpreting the signs. It must be from watching all those episodes of CSI. Or maybe it’s the superpowers.)
Trembling (literally), I answered the phone. And Mom’s first words to me were: “Bonjour from the Eiffel Tower!” Which is exactly what I’d said when I’d called my folks from the actual Eiffel Tower a couple weeks earlier. So Mom was clearly calling in the middle of a life-flashing-before-her-eyes thing and it was too late for me to save her. Because Mom couldn’t actually be in the Eiffel Tower—she was in Iowa.
And then it hit me: She wasn’t in Iowa. She was in Las Vegas visiting her cousin. And (as she explained over the phone) they were eating at a restaurant in that fake Eiffel Tower above Paris Las Vegas. Or the Elvisio. Or whatever the hotel is that has the fake Eiffel Tower. (Don’t look at me; I’ve never been to Vegas.)
She had time-zone issues. She was excited about her trip. She didn’t realize how late it was. She just wanted to call and
And after my heart found its way back down into my chest, I crawled back into bed and slept like the dead. And I mean that in the just-an-expression kind of way.