Dave Rice 12:35 p.m., May 23
The phone rang and young Kenworth Clifton pivoted so fast toward the phone that he swept his glass vial collection from its valise container. A number of them broke in mid air, and many were swept about the room.
Kenny got a look of devastation on his face, one of those looks that makes any decent adult feel for them.
Mando answered the phone.
"Si?....Senora Clifton? Yes, yes he right here, safe and sound."
Kenny was running to the phone and Mando handed it to him.
"Mom!" he exclaimed.
"Hey, baby." responded the Soccer Mom.
"Mom! Oh Mom!" Kenny started crying. The tumult of past months hit him all at once. Kenny didn't like to cry, not because he felt it was unmanly, but because he didn't know when it would stop. He kept his feelings bundled somewhat, probably like most people. When he broke the glass containers, he realized, it just snapped in his mind, how close to death his Mom had come in the Gulf Coast.
People turn things on and off in their minds, because it's important to be able to function. Psychologists, for example, are usually crazy. They just decide to turn it off in their minds in order to be able to treat others. Ha.
"What's the matter?" cried Stephanie Clifton.
"I just broke about half of my water sample containers! We're going to the Boca Jr.s game! I miss you Mom! Mando has been a complete as$hole the whole time!" replied Kenny.
"I'll be back within twenty four hours. I love you, honey."
"I love you too." said Kenny, starting to get a hold of himself.
"Put Mando on the phone."
"Here." said Kenny to Mando, who looked at him like 'You snitched, but it was to your Mom so okay, but don't make a habit of it.'
"Si, Senora Clifton...I understand....It's no problem, I'm very sorry....Yes, yes, we take water samples for Kenwort...Wherever you want....I'm sorry, wherever he want...Okay, that's fine."
Mando hung up the phone, looked down and looked up.
Osvaldo Merino looked at Angel Solari for an instant. The exchange of glances was faster than most, but the meaning of it was clear- both agreed that Mando was not only afraid of the Soccer Mom, but he was obsessed with making her happy. That explained why he kept the kids cooped up, paranoia that something would happen. They knew Mando well enough to know he wasn't afraid of others, his reputation was known to them. So it was the Soccer Mom that had Mando in check. Aha.
Dido - 'Slide' Live in Buffalo: