We call her up. Because there are these moments in time that we just need to stop and sort of go back to and look at. At this moment for example I am confused about who I should call. We only have one call. My mom, or Meagan. This is easy. My mom.

“Hey mom” I say

“What’s going on Jamie?”

“Nothing, I just wanted to ask you, I just wanted to ask, what do you know about tomatoes?”


“yes, I mean, ok, where did uncle Bill work again, did he work at the states mental hospital, which I thought was in Kings Park where we grew up, or is there other mental hospitals, what is it he did again?”

“James, really?”

“I like it when you call me Jamie, the James bit I pushed but that was after the army, but you always called me Jamie, until Jami came along and they we were both turning round wondering what the hell was going on while you and Jim cooked razor clams or shrimp linguine or whatever you were doing with all that garlic and butter and smashed bags of Ritz’s crackers”

“Get to the point, we don’t have much time”

“Do you remember the break dancing cardboard we ordered from sears roebucks, back when they delivered to the post office, when it was across the street from the American Legion in Friday Harbor?”


“we picked it up, day after day I begged you to drive into town and check to see if it was there, it was going to make me a better break-dancer, everyone in Friday harbor knew me as a break dancer and this is who I had become and this cardboard cutout that you could buy from a catalog was going to take it all to the next level."

“yes, I remember that now, for fucks sake, I ordered it from the catalog with your dad’s credit card and you had me driving by there every day of the week, all the way from the west side into town over and over again for a piece of cardboard.”

“James, I don’t have much time and my lungs are filling with what I can only imagine as cement… get to the point”

“Mom, it is funny that you say that, the cement bit, trust me, I know what I am doing. Let it just happen. Sort of like how Kodiak happened to me, sort of like how Friday Harbor happened to you. What we really want to do in these situations is get remembered for the good people we are, hence the word cement!”

“star wars figures under a Christmas trees, lights, reindeer on the roof, fall leaves, Halloween costumes, swimming in pools at the country club, honeysuckles, firefly’s and rolling around in spring grass until your back is itchy and of course your BMX bike that afforded you all the freedom in the world and “chipped front tooth”


“Mom, there are a lot of questions I have about potatoes, and garlic and shrimp, Kim, and Finn and Reilly and Laura and Erin there are so many questions I have, stay with me… stay with me, they keep coming the questions never stop ending. My heart never stops ending for you…”

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