It's really warm and it's really sticky. You can feel your sweater clinging onto your skin even though it was much needed when you were standing outside in the 60 degree weather. That's the thing about the subway- it's September- the end of September, but September- so summer still lingers down here, the heat trapped within these concrete walls.
There are some relationships that are sticky. They linger even when their season has passed. Her mother was that way. She had long left the comforts of her middle class bedroom. She had paved her own road through college and she got a job in a different country immediately afterward. Her mother was supportive and loving but sometimes it was... Well, sticky. It was warmth when she'd already put on the thick sweater to protect herself.
She wants to do all these crazy things. She wants to take up horseback riding. She wants to understand linguistics. She wants to work for a neuroscientist. She wants to be a flight attendant. She writes to NASA because she's tall and she wants them to just consider sending her to the moon. She writes to Tyra Banks because her little sister is short but her little sister is also beautiful and she thinks she would be a superb contestant on the next cycle of America's Next Top Model.
She's not the settling type, and this worries her mother who has worked the same job for over 30 years. That sounds tiresome and bored and she's much too excited for life to live it so sleepily.
But her mother's steadiness is why her retirement money looks so good. This is the steadiness that allowed them to raise three kids and send all of them to college.
Which she is grateful for. They are both grateful that she got to go to college.
But here's the thing with the umbilical cord. It is necessary for life to exist but it must be cut for life to continue, at least in a meaningful way. And she wants life to be meaningful. She wants to taste it and all of its different flavors and variations. That’s what she’ll say tonight on the phone.