Thelma and Louise Go To Malden: A Tale of a Good Mother, Part II
…one man had even lifted his shirt so that all could get a close-up of his most recent surgical scar. Everyone seemed duly impressed at the shiny gross-out spectacle near this stranger’s exposed navel…
Moom and I had a screamingly funny time on the trail, sailing along the untried road in utter darkness during an unexpected thunderstorm. “You do have your cell phone, don’t you?” she asked, in seriousness. “Yes,” I answered. “But do we even know where we are, I mean, exactly? Will the phone even get a signal out here? And how would we tell anyone where we are, when we can’t see anything but some sort of crops all over the place?”
We both burst out laughing, and pressed on, windshield wipers on “high”. Better to find Malden than curse the dark.
We made it to town and to the Youth Museum in one piece. What a great venue for Bellinati! The room selected was just perfect for an evening of rich, but un-amplified, guitar stylings in the Brazilian tradition. I just hoped Moom would find something to like about the music, or it would be a starkly boring evening for her indeed. It was encouraging that, like her, most everybody in the room seemed to be in the 60-to-80 age range—but still, we didn’t know anybody, so pre-concert schmoozing didn’t seem likely…
As if to set my mind at ease, she reminded me of something she had said more than once in life: “I like seeing anything done well. If this guy’s good, I’ll like him. Don’t worry about me”.
Well, not surprisingly, Bellinati was magnificent; and Moom was, in fact, quite taken by his lyricism, grace, and inventiveness.
But not so much so that she hadn’t energy left for the real party that evening, which I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest musings. Near the end of the intermission, when I returned to the lobby after chatting with the artist himself, I spotted Moom and stopped short; I just leaned in the doorway to observe events as they developed.
Moom’s wheelchair had been moved, with her in it—and she was now at the center of a cluster of seniors, proudly holding forth on all her latest ailments, discomforts, and procedures. Her newfound friends were chiming in with their own colorful war stories, too; one man had even lifted his shirt so that all could get a close-up of his most recent surgical scar. Everyone seemed duly impressed at the shiny gross-out spectacle near this stranger’s exposed navel. Not sure what Bellinati would’ve made of it, but everybody else was positively riveted by the sight.
The evening’s featured artist was great; but “Down-Time With The Over-70s” was every bit as great as he, and Moom seemed the belle of their friendly, battle-scarred circle. How nice for her!
At the end of the evening, she and I hit the road once again. The rain had subsided; it would definitely be easier getting back.
I guessed that, while my mom knew she was not likely to rescue me from a burning vehicle any time soon, sometimes a mother just wants to know personally that a thing’s going to be fine, from start to finish. If she can’t bring her chosen representatives in on the operation, she might just have to do an evening of blue-stocking guitar herself—for the cause she loves so well.