Yesterday I had to meet my sister the ex-mayor’s wife at the credit union to deal with the dispensation of Mom’s account. One of the ladies who works there was really good friends with Mom. We sorted out the various finances. Friendly was quite efficient, all business, not emotional until the end.
That’s when she said, “I thought the world of your mother. I just wanted you to know that, without making anybody cry.” Of course we all teared up then. Friendly was frantic. “Oh…here. Here’s a copy of those CD rates you wanted. Do you need a pen? Here. Have this one.”
I was jamming one into the side of my purse. “Oh, that’s okay. Sis handed me a pen out of your pen holder. I have one already.” It just looked a little blurry at that moment.
“Take this one, too. We have all colors! Look. Yellow, orange, purple, green…and I have a PINK one! Here! Take mine.”
“No. That’s okay. Really. Sis gave me this maroon one. I guess she thinks that’s the one for me.” Let the record show that Sis had, indeed, picked that drab maroon pen out of the whole container of bright neon pens. Sis cannot change her spots.
Then Friendly let us in on the mystery that had been swirling around the ceiling since we had sat down at her desk.
“My horse bit me.”
Um. Her horse. Bit her. In the face. Her face was all bruised. I thought, at first, that she had been to the dentist Mom used to go to, the one who left her bruised for weeks. But Friendly had both jaws purple, and one really black eye, and one kind-of black eye.
“I don’t want people to think I’ve been in a fight. I don’t know what got into that horse. He’s a stallion, but he’s 34 years old. You’d think he would be mellow by now. I was feeding him scraps, and he swung his head around and bit me.”
“Did you see it coming?” asked Sis. “Did you know what was going on?”
“Well, after I came to on the ground I did. Thank goodness my husband was home. He came out looking for me and found me. I had a big knot on my head, but it has gone down, and all that blood from the swelling has settled down in these bruises.”
I felt bad for her. She’s always quite presentable. She’s mainly behind the scenes at work, with less senior workers taking over the duties at the window and drive-thru. There was an awkward silence as we were gathering our belongings and paperwork.
“So…” I said. “Whatever happened to walking into a door?”