Monday, May 31, 2010

365 photo Project - Day 151

Taken: May 31, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Santa Rosa, Ca.

Like most people, I left home at 18 to go to college and for the most part, I never went back. I spent the last two summers of high school working at a sleep-over summer camp and when I moved to D.C. to start college, it never occurred to me to go back home in between semesters. It wasn't that I didn't want to spend time with my family, it was just time for me to move on. I was on my own and I knew I had to learn how to make my way in the world.

I started talking on the phone with my parents a lot. I'd call a few times a week, get them up to speed with the goings on, sometimes ask for money and hear about how everything was going back home. We didn't have cell phones then; you had to stop somewhere in order to make the call. Whether it was the phone in my dorm, the pay phone out on 20th Street, you had to sit in one place for the duration. I can't believe how weird that seems to me now. You too, I'm sure.

I had one other weekly call I would make. To my grandma Ada in Brooklyn. She was my Mom's mom,   an often dower, cynical redhead who didn't take shit from anybody. She was what was once called a "piece of work" -- a true original. I don't think I ever really understood her and she died when I was in my early 20s, way before I figured out who I was much less my crazy iron-fisted grandmother. But we did talk on the phone a lot. I don't remember any details from our talks, just the general feeling of them and a vague recollection of her voice.

I don't recall if she gave me any advice or if we just talked about what was going on in my life. I just remember I could call her and talk. And then when she died I remember thinking how I couldn't do that anymore. And for a long time after, I would think about picking up the phone and calling her like she was still around. I still think about her sometimes and our phone calls. I wish I could remember what the hell we talked about.

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