I have been gone for the past few days….visiting a friend and San Francisco.  After unpacking, napping, and taking the dogs out for a walk on this glorious day I sat down to check my email.  For the first time…maybe ever…I called Ed just to catch up.  I had missed him.  It is an odd thing to turn a corner in a relationship…from avoidance…to forced attention…to reduction of guilt…to enjoyment…to friendship.

He answered.  I asked what he was doing.  He said he was about to eat dinner.  He asked what I’d been up to.  I told him I had just got back from San Francisco where I was staying with my friend, Bridget.  Ed knows Bridget because we’ve been friends since Kindergarten.  He asked how she was.  I told him fine.  He asked what we did.  I told him we ate and shopped and had fun.  Then he laughed and said, “I didn’t even know you were gone.”

He reprimanded me for not keeping the receipt for his new electric razor.  It died last week.  It’s about a month old..and it wasn’t cheap.  He asked if my husband…the one I call Kevin sometimes, was mad that I didn’t keep the receipt.  I yelled the question to Kevin so Ed knew I was asking.  Kevin yelled back, “I don’t care” loud enough for Ed to hear.  He laughed and said, “I guess that’s just not on his radar.”

He asked how often I visit our mother.  I told him I go about once a week.  “Really?” he said.  “Do you ever give me the credit?”  “For what?” I asked, not understanding.  I guessed his meaning, “Do you mean you want me to tell Mom that some of my visits should count for you…like you visited.”  He began one of his glorious inhalation squeals of delight.  “Yes!” he said within his laugh.  “Yeah, Ed, that makes a lot of sense.”  Once Ed is delighted he keeps saying things mixed into the laugh to keep himself going.  “It is sooo funny…..that they thought you didn’t take me to see her…..on her birthday.”  His sentence is halted by his need of deep inhalations of air.  He is talking about an email I got from his staff telling me how upset he was that he didn’t get to see our mom on her birthday….the event that started this whole blog.  Obviously someone got something wrong on that…and obviously it tickled Ed into almost complete hilarious asphyxiation. He begins to calm down…breathing slowing.  Then he says, “Family Health West.”  “Yep,” I say.  “How old is she?”  I ask the second part of the question.  “Seventy-nine….you drilled that into me.”  “Yep.”

Then I said I was going to go.  In the old days…the days when I called him only to return his calls…about once a month…when I said I had to go he would get a little desperate and try to keep me on the line as he searched his mind for any more requests.  We used to always joke about that….”Got something else you might need?”  This time he just said, “Okay…thanks for calling.”