Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chapter Thirty: Jerome publicizes the new play he directed all he can

Jerome talked about Rafe, my oldest son, and his girlfriend Jan, asking about the play. I wanted to go if Rafe attended just to see his reactions, but I didn't know if Rafe was still going.  I knew he would be if Jerome had anything to do with it. I was also wondering what Santos my youngest son was doing.  He was in California the last I heard trying to see if he could find a job down there.  My grandson, Santos Junior, was down there going to high school, which was Santos's main reason for going.  Santos used the money I left for my funeral and burial expenses to go.  Since I had willed my body to science, there had been about $500 after all expenses were paid for each of my offspring. That was all I had to give them which was quite a pitiful sum considering what my own dad had left me and my other sisters, close to $100,000. 
But when Mother died she only willed her daughters what was left over from quite a lavish $10,000 funeral plan.  I had been so frugal I had not even used up my $1200 before I died even though Mother had been dead for over ten years.  I kept it in a small account with Marsha for emergency dental repairs.  But I had not told any of my kids about it or how much was still left, so they might not ever find out about it, as even Marsha forgot it was there, and had to be reminded every time I tapped into it, which I had not done for four years.
Mother had been so incensed that she had settled for such a small divorce settlement thinking my dad would stay alive for years, she had told us all she was not going to leave us a penny, as we had plainly gotten her share when our dad died only two years after she left him.  I told her that was okay, but that once people got their hands on money left to them in a will, they hardly ever gave any back.  Romina was the kindest and paid for Mother's back operation which I think set her back five or six thousand.
This was a good investment as Mother had somehow managed, working along with her alcoholic second husband, to bring about $300,000 back home after he died and she retired.
They had earned their small fortune in real estate after she divorced Daddy and went to live on the beautiful island of Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.  Our mother dressed in mu mus and looked basically Hawaiian the whole twenty years she was there since she was quite dark.  Her skin was a beautiful olive.  The Hawaiian people took to her and she said she would have stayed there forever if she had not had a stroke and needed her daughters to take care of her.  Deborah had mostly done that.  The rest of us tried to do our share but I was only able to handle her about two weeks before I gave up, and Deana just a little longer than that.
This was during the time when Mother was her worst behaved in her old age.  She was violent and she ran away from us.  She pinched my little grandson I was tending at the time and I heard her in there saying, "You are a very bad little boy and you are going to grow up to be a very bad man!"
I rushed in and told her she was never to say anything like that to my bewildered grandson again, who was actually the nicest little boy imaginable.  I don't know what caused her to say such a thing to him, possibly his dark skin.  It was hard to believe she was prejudiced even though she had lived in Hawaii for twenty years, but she was.
But that was also when Mother either developed stroke damage or Alzheimer's and said funny things that made us laugh about as often as they horrified us.  In fact, I had never laughed at Mother more in her life.  I recall once she was sitting in Deana's house, and I was there visiting her, and she looked around and said, "This is the ugliest house I have ever seen in my life!"  Something about that struck me funny although Deana was not too amused.
She was always trying to send money to George Bush, the first Bush president.  Finally Marsha took her money away from her, and managed to intercept another letter she sent to President Bush.  In it she said, "I can't send you money because my daughters have stolen my bank account, but here is my Chevron gas credit card, so use it all you want."
Oh I could tell you stories all day about the funny things she did.  I think she noticed we were laughing at her in spite of ourselves and so she just out did herself doing more outrageous things.
I thought I had better get prepared to see Mother again now that Daddy had sneaked up on me and taken me by surprise, when I had sent out the word to all relatives to approach me with great caution, making sure they were welcome.  Mother was sure to want to know how Daddy acted since I gathered she and Daddy rarely saw one another.  She had also divorced her second husband before he died, and she had sent her third prospective husband on his way before she ever married him, but it sounded like she was still a favorite with the old codgers who arrived in the hereafter every day.  Mother had always been a flirt.
I had not seen Rafe for quite a long time, but I gave up hearing from Jerome by mid afternoon on Saturday.  He was so busy he had probably forgotten all about asking me to attend the play again.  He was out beating the bushes to get other people in to see the play.  He was even promising a free ticket now to everyone who showed up.  He was just as anxious as the playwright was to have this play seen.  It would not be good if no one attended when they were thinking about starting another theater company featuring new plays.
Oh well, he might call at the last minute and ask me if I was ready to go again.  You could never tell what Jerome might do. 
I decided not to hunt Santos down until after the play closed.  I did hope that Jerome would be able to find an audience for tonight's performance and for the matinee on Sunday.  I would probably haunt the theater any way, as I could not get my mind on anything else.  Coral hadn't seen the play.  Maybe she would want to go.
Maybe I could find other people to attend it from the hereafter.
If Jerome ever produced one of my plays surely Jimmy (James Dean) would go since he had promised me a production of one of my plays in the hereafter.  But I doubted if I could get Jimmy to attend this play.  He probably wouldn't think he had good enough reason.
I tried reading Jerome's mind and got that Friday night's performance garnered nearly a full house!  Oh great.  Well, I didn't think I should be praying for more people.  Perhaps that was inappropriate, but I certainly did wish for good audiences for the remaining two days for Jerome's sake as well as for his friend Chase's....

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