December 29, 2010
My Dead Mother Communicates with me from Beyond… Using Fortune Cookies…
And the weird thing is, she hated Chinese food.
(“Um, no, whackjob. The weird thing is that you think your dead mom communicates with you using fortune cookies.”)
Still, her solemn vow—said with such powerful conviction—made me search our house (in vain) for medical marijuana.
But then, a few days after she died, I started looking for signs. Waiting for a breath of wind on my neck. Searching for a morse code message in a flickering candle. Hoping to catch a whiff of Gap Dream and cigarettes in an empty room. Anything.
I fell asleep crying, falling hard and fast into wobbly dreams.
When I woke up, sledged with sticky tears and smeared mascara, I saw it: Lying next to me on the pillow was a small strip of paper with the words “You are Loved” written on it in small red typeset.
I picked up the fortune, holding it with trembling fingers. I hadn’t eaten Chinese food in weeks, and I didn’t remember seeing this particular message, and even if I had cracked open a cookie to discover “You are Loved,” what the fuck was it doing on my pillow when it hadn’t been there hours earlier.
My heart tripped, and I got out of bed and checked the door to the studio apartment. Locked.
(All horror movies have this sound right before the slutty girl gets gutted.)
Plink plink plink.
But then, just as I was about to call B and ask him to get his ass home, a ray of light pierced the window and illuminated the fortune nestled on the pillow. And in my mind, I heard the words spoken clearly in my mom’s reedy voice “You are Loved.” Slowly, I picked up the fortune again and whispered the words aloud “You are Loved.” I said it again, with more conviction: “You are Loved,” and for the first time since my mom died, I felt safe.
“But mom, you hate Chinese food,” I whispered.
She didn’t answer.
After a grueling, grouchy day she gave me this: “He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.”
When I was wrestling with my thesis, I read: “The secret to success is getting started.”
And when things were rough for a while, she was profound: “The first step to better times is to imagine them.”
She’ll always be just a delivery away.