We took Jacob’s car. His nose hated the acrid smell of cigarettes woven into the fabric. The odor assaults me too and then dissipates from my senses until the next drive.
It was dinner for three. I suggested calling it the birthday dinner a week early. Cary could choose the restaurant, though her choosing has been routine for years. No, this was just family dinner. There will be another celebration though not on the birth day. She’s already planned her special day.
Jacob and Cary were discussing and arguing politics and culture and arrogant customers in the service sector. They are smart and knowledgeable and make me feel less so. They are the generation with their damaged lives, the weight of which could strengthen or destroy.
I heard and didn’t listen. The Trump Show has become alarmingly passé and lost the ability to shock. I’ve hardened against each new outrageous act or tweet or lie or video from a man who craves and creates and cherishes enemies as much or even more than friends. Enemies are fuel. The culture they spoke about was novel to me. Rude customers? They should be cautioned that they are not always right, and they do not have the right to disrespect. It seems that I might have heard and listened but not engaged.
On the drive home, Cary and I spoke of something from the past. When Jacob was in jail. No, he was out then because she had lived with him during outpatient rehab. I had this feeling of dissociation from my life. My words seemed to come from another mouth. They were not the words of the small-town girl who lived a pastoral life. Yet, this was my life, and the words were mine.