It had seemed like an excellent idea at the time to call Mother on her 70th birthday.
Summer in Round Top Texas was the place where wonderful musicians played different repertoires in the huge barn-like building. But I was outside in a rickety phone booth in the woodsy part of the country behind the theater. But I could hear some music.
We had just said our hellos when she quickly interrupted, “I’m watching OJ speed in slow motion down the freeway. “It’s a police chase.”
“How could it be a chase if it’s slow motion?” I said.
She laughed. “You know. It’s for the cameras.”
I pictured orange juice rolling down the 405.
“You remember,” she said,” that handsome football player? They say he killed his wife and someone else.”
I tried to remember the Hollywood scene and of course it was OJ Simpson she was talking about.
I missed those days when your neighbor was on TV playing to the camera. Your neighbor was famous and OJ wasn’t orange juice. Your neighbor was a big handsome football–player-bit-actor and not only did he slow down to catch the camera after he murdered people, the whole of LA stopped to watch the action.
“Mom, I’m in a phone booth out in the woods. I’m missing the show.”
“Well you sure missed this show,” she said. “ But, they’ve got him now. He pulled over.”
Lighting danced about in the distant sky. The storm was moving in. The cello played. Then applause filled the phone booth.
“Well Happy Birthday anyway,” I said.
When I rushed to my seat, the music had finished, but the thunder clapped and the barn shook and the sky outside the window lit up like fire out there. Things were moving fast, slow, and always.