I was able to see my oldest son Rafe and his girlfriend Jan when they attended the play Jerome had been directing which I hoped made both him and the playwright happy. Every live body counts when it comes to theater. I just wished I had a live body so I would count more. I had not seen Rafe for a long time and I was very pleased to see him looking handsome and well. His latest romance definitely agreed with him. His girlfriend also looked pleased and interested to be there.
Theater always brought our family together. We had been attending Jerome's plays for years in some theater or another across the land. He had done shows in Phoenix, Utah, Texas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and a family member had always striven to be there wherever he did one.
I took a Grayhound bus to Los Angeles when he did the show about his missing father there. It was a wonderful trip. Rafe who had already gone there a couple of days before gave me a ride home in his sports car. When we reached the city of Phoenix where we both lived he pointed out many construction jobs he had worked on in his years in the business.
Rafe had been hard on himself, nearly always working twelve hours a day and drinking on the weekend. I was afraid he was going to die young after he had a heart attack, but he had been steadily cleaning up his bad habits. He quit smoking and now from his color when I saw him at the play, I believed that he had cut way down on his drinking. I hoped so. I knew he would be a happier man if he gave sobriety a chance. And might not be joining me in the hereafter for many years to come. For a time there I greatly feared I might bury him, the worst thing a mother can contemplate.
I was thinking after I saw Rafe that I would have to find out how to teleport myself to California where I would have to find the old mansion where Santos, my youngest son, was staying. I was just not sure I was up to whisking myself to California as Coral whisked herself around the country as a spirit. I just did not believe I had the hang of it. But maybe if I concentrated I would somehow find myself doing it automatically. I had always had flying dreams. Maybe it was somewhat like flying. I remembered how I would brace myself to take off in my dreams wondering if I could get myself up in the air again. Miraculously I would take off. I would be so overjoyed because I had done it again.
Maybe it was as simple as that. Where oh where was Santos?
I had come to realize that probably most spirits spent three fourths of their time back in the same environment they had left once they got used to being invisible. That is where they felt the most comfortable and 'at home.'
I was sure that every town had a hereafter with mostly spirits of the hometown folks inhabiting it around and about the relatives they had left struggling on earth. Every crisis would surely bring them rushing back even if they did leave for a little while.
I was going to have to check on Vivienne again to see if she was making any progress in her struggle to get through the Thanksgiving holiday without a meltdown. I knew now she was worried about her only full blooded brother Santos in a crisis. I wanted to remind her that his back injury meant that he had to change jobs whether he wanted to or not, and jobs were scarce in this depressed economy. Yes, maybe he needed to go back to college as he mentioned to try to get a degree in another profession. His student debt loan wasn't too high. He had been paying on it regularly. Maybe he could arrange to go back, but I feared that he would incur another forty thousand debt load if he became a psychologist which he talked about wanting to be. Possibly more. He could be saddled with school debts to his grave.
Many of these former students were so school debt laden they were going to be years paying them off. Were times worse than they had ever been? Well, probably so, but I would just have to take heart along with them and struggle with the hard times.
The problem was the country had simply filled up and gotten old. The whites had come and killed off nineteen million or so of the former inhabitants, the Indians, and things had been good for a while. Lots of big empty spaces, but now the population had snapped back to higher proportions and the young had lost their taste for holocausts.
Although there was always a holocaust going on. People desperate to lower the population rates had endorsed legalized abortion, even the liberals who had formerly been 'bleeding hearts' who did not want to kill a fly. They hated war, but did support the war on the unborn. Apparently they felt that some brutality was necessary to keep some semblance and order and control of mass breeding without regard to room and ability to support and afford.
I understood that. The country was getting so shabby. You could see that, as a country always did when it was overflowing with poor. Now corporations were taking their companies to foreign places where labor could be as low as a dollar and a half an hour. Joblessness, as a result was rising all over the US where people had become accustomed to higher wages and demanded them whether the corporations were making as much profit as they could or not. The people did not know what they were doing. They were sending corporations right straight to Mexico and other places like India.
It was going to take them quite a while to decide they would settle for an hour and a half wages as Mexico was doing. Of course, the products brought back to the US after being made with cheap labor in Mexico and other places might not find as ready buyers, if too many jobs were lost in the US.
I had feared when I was working in a cosmetic factory they would move it to Mexico every time it was time to sign the contract for our wages. Organizers from back east would come and extort us to strike if necessary, but illegals from Mexico would never strike, and I decided I could not afford to either. I needed to feel my family. I knew very well the company could easily cross the border, and we would have no job at all. As it was we were still getting minimum wage which was as I recall somewhere close to six dollars an hour at the time, which was a lot better than a dollar and a half the company might be able to pay workers in Mexico.
They would barely survive on that, but I was barely surviving in the US on minimum wage, so I did not know how to live on Mexican wages either.
There was so much to think about if you were going to help your kids survive hard times. I hoped that Santos had found some kind of way to earn some money in California, so at least he wasn't going hungry. Well, I was going to go and find out if he was okay no later than tomorrow. Even if I had to ask Coral for her assistance in getting there.