Memories of my dear mother
I felt my eyes turn glassy upon hearing her name. It dawned on me from the very moment I placed my hands on the shrine of my mother that despite all the heartache her and I have been through together, that we loved each other with every fiber of our being. Not many people can admit they feel that way either. It takes lots of guts and glory because not every family had an overwhelming concern for their own as my mother did for me. Every morning she would wake me up, whispering into my ear a sweet motherly voice. My clothes would dangle over the footboard of my bed and lay strewn across my floor and were neatly folded and placed in my dresser when I got home. I could never admit to myself that my mother was just as important to me as my own life. I had friends who understood me and my mother at times couldn't understand me at all. We bickered constantly and sometimes even weeks on end I would take every route I could to get away from her. But now…it isn't like that very much. Mother didn't ask to receive the shattering health that she does now and I can't very much blame dad either though he was more withdrawn from the situation than what I expected of him. I didn't face him with such brutal animosity that I put the blame of Mother's death onto him because even in the childish nature that I understood well, I couldn't bear to blame anyone. Not that it was anyone's fault but the genetics. The genetics…something wrong went with the genetics that ran through my Mother's blood. In fact, her whole family had a history of genetic problems. There was no missing toes or blood clot medical conditions. It happened to be, which was not so surprising as expected, that several if not all women born into the Harrison Family had an unusual death around the age of fourty-five. It was not always the case as other women lived to the age of 59, the longest lifespan of those with the foul curse. I felt a lingering emptiness in the pit of my stomach that gnawed at me. Hunger or maybe thirst I thought gave me this bitter feeling. I thought. My lips felt dry and I heard twisted groans beckon from my stomach. I neared the local diner, Josten Carroll's Fish Fingers, which ironically had not even a hint of fish on the menu. It border-lined from being a fine dining restaurant and a family café but nevertheless, it left my taste buds on a satisfying edge. Stepping through the door, the ring of the bell between the crack of the door circled into my ears. Suddenly the hustle and bustle of the place came alive. People filed in a line at the counters where there would be fresh mint green tea and fried bananas with grilled meat being passed out. The restaurant kept customers coming for the fried bananas and thick beef patties. It didn't take long for one of the waiters to come rolling down the aisles towards me to send me to my table. Another well-known trait of the restaurant was the dine-on-wheels which many people mistaken as a drive-in road but literally was waiters on rollerblades jetting from one table to the next. I tidied the salt and pepper shakers that fell on the table as my usual order sailed away behind the kitchen doors. They knew everyone here. Sal, the old business owner who was just short of reaching the grand age of fifty, went to my birthdays and if I recall he came to the wedding of both my parents. So, we knew each other as long as I could possibly remember. His daughter, Katie, kept the business afloat and though she turned twenty three about three months ago, and barely has finished her beginning business classes this semester, she had the shining prowess of an experienced business owner. If I asked them a question about a customer next to me, even if they were new and barely stepped through the door, chances were that they learned something about that person within just seconds of just meeting them. It's a gift, I am told. To be able to learn about a person just by looking at the way they move their body and the expressions on their face. It always intrigued me how the owner would manage the restaurant. If I didn't come here, every so often, there would be varieties of food being constantly added to the menu. My mother enjoyed the place and created several delicious margaritas for the older customers and gained profits from time to time. Just south of the restaurant a few streets down Salem Boulevard, sat Grand John Jackson Cinema. Famously known for his solo debut on Broadway which paid homage to the star, Marilyn Monroe, alongside with her daughter, they sung in several musicals that went viral within a year of release. Though he was born in Brooklyn, he fell in love with our quaint town in Missouri that did not have much to offer but peace, quiet, and family. "Hello, Nicholas." I heard a voice call out to me as soon as I realized my order had arrived at my table. "Oh hey there, Nancy. I didn't see you there. This place brings back old memories." She placed the glass full of lemonade down. "You have grown so handsome, the days roll by, and I forget that you aren't eight years old and mischievous." "I am young in many ways, Nancy. To you though, I will always be the child of the diner. We are all family here." She smiled and placed down my pineapple Hawaiian burger. She carried on to the next table and began to converse with the customers. They chuckled at some joke. Grabbing both warm sides of my bun, I felt the fresh tang and lean meat collide within my mouth. After chugging down the refreshing glass of lemonade, I bid my dues and laid a large tip together with payment for the meal. A line of luxury cars rolled down the boulevard, the windows dark tint and blue. The people nearby marveled because the richer folk never shopped within the same area as the rest of the citizens. They had their own small groups of people that they tended to come together with and just like them the citizens had a mold that they would never seem to grow out of. I felt like I wavered between groups to group so I was never too keen on classifying myself in a certain group of people when people asked. Politics and class became the primary reason to make friends with certain people. I strolled into the barber shop to trim my long flowing mane. My mother would chastise me for keeping it too long, believing that if men grew their hair past the tip of their chin they would be professing themselves as women. I remember always explaining to her that it was a great hairstyle that not all people could pull off. Clearly, she referred to my hair not suiting the shape of my face. Yet, I simply hanged my shoulders and went on with having the hairstyles. I was never one for fashion; just a simple flannel shirt and light blue jeans with my worn loafers would be just fine for me. I noticed the sun starting to hang down on the horizon and quickly speeded to the shop before its closing time.
“Pretty late, my good man.”
“Oh sorry. I just really think that I should cut this long mane of mine.” I grabbed a fist full of my hair and shook it at him.
He broke into laughter. “Oh goodness, get over here! I enjoy cutting hair so much; I would probably cut hair way past closing time.” I sat onto the chair and I was spun around and boosted up to the large mirror. On the desk of the mirror, his beauty tools sat in a collective row, each laid down in order for its time of use. "So what do you want? Flashy? Colorful? Seductive? For the ladies?" He asked in question. "No No." I smiled warmly. "Something proper for a man of my age."