Like all of it. Not just the touchy parts, but bits of songs and soap jingles. Suds and gloopy lyrics sliding off the kitchen clock and onto Mom’s new wallpaper. We are about to have lunch when it happens. We are lucky that the knobs and dials miss us and instead land on the linoleum.
Mom is making BLT’s, my personal fave, when one of the songs from the radio pops square in Mom’s head. It’s not Sinatra or Sarah V, the kind Mom usually favors, but since she wanted to try something new, it’s something with a little pizzazz, and Mom seems to like it.
We’ve all gotten used to the explosions. Nothing new since dad walked out. Exploded out when he caught Mom kissing Mr. Pete from the hardware store. Mom had been looking for some kind of different and thought some new wallpaper might do the trick. Mr. Pete showed up, book of swatches in his calloused hand, so different from Dad’s, which were smooth and calm. Mom was so happy when he showed her a nice flower print and Mr. Pete said that Mom, herself, was like a flower. He said it just like that, in front of us all.
Other explosions: my older brother Billy and his girlfriend’s tummy and Mom scolding them both for not taking “precautions.” And then there’s the time my sister, Lisa’s foot exploded off a stray Lego my baby brother left in the carpet and we haven’t seen her since.
But for now, everything is calm after this latest explosion. Mom is dancing now to this song that is playing, it seems, on repeat in her head. And just before the song ends, in that second before it starts again, Mom says she will have to get new wallpaper. And we know that will make her happy because that way Mr. Pete will come back again, even though Mrs. Pete warned him not to, and we all remember Mrs. Pete exploding rotten eggs all over Mom’s Subaru at 2 a.m.
And Mr. Pete telling Mom that it’s kind of busy at the hardware store and that the wallpaper is washable and how he doesn’t need to come by again, and we all knew how that was just a lie. Mom standing there, watching the lyrics and jingles all over the wallpaper and the song in her head is coming back and coming back and probably reminding Mom how easy it is for things to get started again.