chapter 25

Wha Chu Gonna Do

“Good morning Celia dear” Sheila declared smiling broadly and

   brightly as a distraction to her pushing a box of mini donuts under

   the ledge of her reception desk. 

       “How was the vacation? You look so, so, nice. Are you

   pregnant? You can tell me.” Giggle.

      “Good morning to you Sheila. No, I don’t think so. Wouldn’t I

   need a ma’an in my life for something like that?”

      “Please send my daughter in Sheila thank you” intoned the all

   knowing intercom.

      “Bye now” said Celia entering the den. 

       Sheila smiled tah-tah and unsmiled just as quickly. She grabbed

   a donut. “Hot gossip, the kids a dike, I knew it!” Giggle.

       “For once Sheila is right. I would never have thought delivering

   mail and chewing grass would agree with you so….”

       “Contented mother. Real content. Real folks, real air and a night

   sky full of stars. You might try it sometime.”

       “You know dear, the instructions that came with these Jimmy

   Choos specifically said, “No cow pucky” so you can take my seat

   on the next wagon train. Now get or should I say. git yerself a cup

   of coffee and let’s begin.”

        Celia went to the breakfast cart with the shiny samovar and

   poured herself a cup of coffee into an uncomfortable coffee cup

   and saucer. The first sip was pretty bad and it wasn't going to get

  any better.

       Petra had taken up her position on one of the couches either 

   side of a low glass table. She came to this position with a small

   collection of pre-arranged and labeled manila envelopes and, her

   coffee mug which was big and comfortable with a handle big

   enough for four fingers, same coffee though. 

       Petra having claimed one couch meant Celia would face her 

   from the other. Reclining as if tossed on one end of Celia’s couch

   was a magnificent leather garment, a coat of superior leather, high

   design and, well just an incredible garment. Celia looked once and

   resolved to ignore it.

      “So you didn’t quite live up to your daily report quota. What

   happened, did you fall off the mail wagon?”

     Celia re adjusted her sitting position, looked for the seat belts 

   and readied for battle.

      “Delivering mail is a real job Mother. Once I was acclimated, I 

   was working real hours, hard hours and coming home exhausted. 

   I did a lot of that work on the plane.” Celia patted her shoulder 

   bag which she had put on the floor so as not to offend the coat.

   “Mailman is a tough gig Mother. You should try it sometime.” 

      “Again darling, just don’t have the right shoes, dang it all. Now,

   here’s what it is Celia, we had a meeting and then we had 6

   meetings and we considered your reports and everything else and

   this is what We have decided. We just want to ‘go for it’ before 

   anybody else gets the same idea. Thank you for the evaluations 

   but, dang it all!”

      Celia wrote in her now dismissed evaluations everything she

   thought would dissuade her mother from moving ahead on this

   damnable project. Now it would be a fist fight.

      “You know Mother, I don’t think this town is the toothless

   redneck, cud-chewing incestuous revival meeting you think it is.

   I’ve detailed it in my reports and you might save yourself a lot of 

  trouble if you looked them ov…” 

      “No no no, it’s in motion even as we speak. We have crews 

  already headed to  ‘ground zero’ from Chicago and L.A.. They’ll 

  be there in a few days barring twisters, injuns or just getting lost.

  Here is a part I love. Do you know who our man on the inside is,  

  out there, in Ardensville?, hmm? I mean besides you. Want to 

  guess?”

     Celia shrugged truly not knowing the answer.

     “An idiot sheriff named Morrow!”

     “ Morrow dropped a dime on the town?” Celia jumped up like 

  she was snake bit. Petra was slightly taken aback though

  conditioned to her daughter’s outbursts. 

     “You know him? Good. Next time you see him, please ask for 

  me, if his parents got divorced, would they still be cousins? It was 

  two phone conversations with that cowpoke what convinced us, 

  Ardensville was ground zero.” Self satisfied, Petra got up to

  retrieve a bowl of cut strawberries from the breakfast cart. 

     “Did you know Dear, your sheriff Morrow entertains dreams of 

  being Governor? With the right Christian appeal Dear, I dare say

   he’s a boot in.” Petra considered and rejected a strawberry she

  deemed imperfect. “Heads will roll. They were warned.”

      “Darling, why don't you try that coat on, hmmmm?” asked Petra

   having found an acceptable berry.

      “Is this your coat Mother? Quite a coat.”

       “No Dear, yours'. Try it on.”

       Celia rose from the couch and took up the coat. It was a

   remarkable piece of work. She put it on. Wow. She walked to the

   full length her mother always had in any office and explored this

   coat of coats. It was magnificent. 

      “Great pockets Dear. How do you like the pockets?” asked Petra

   with a measure of guile.

       She reached into the perfectly located pockets and her hand was

   met with a jingle. She explored some more. Keys, there were keys

  and she brought them out from the deep satisfying pocket.

      “Look Mother, someone forgot their keys.”

      “They're your keys Darling. Your new home on Central Park

   North. It's still a little bit rough now but in 2 years you will think

   you were on Park and 77. Got it for a song and in a few years it

   will be worth an opera.”

       If 'swoon' is the word then Celia nearly did swoon in the now

   apparent presence of all the capital, conspiracy and bad behavior

   coming into play for this  massive project. A condo plus this coat

   were insignificant to what Petra had in mind for the American

   vidiots and Celia.

      “I don't know what to say Mother” Celia whispered terrified as 

  if in a leaky lifeboat surrounded by shark fins.

      “How about something like....,thank you Mother. I'm so excited,

   so happy. When can I move in and get out of that tenement in the

   flight path called Queens?. You could say something like that

   Dear”. Petra found yet another acceptable strawberry.

       Startled to composure again by her Mother's self satisfied

   elitism, Celia  breathed through her nostrils and pursed lips. 

       Slowly, she took the coat off. She smelled the fine leather and

   admired the stitching. She returned it to its place on the couch and

   seemed to reflect.

      “Thank You Mother. I'm so excited, so happy. When can I move

   in and get out of that tenement in the flight path called Queens?”

      There would be a few days of strategy meetings with some

   execs. Top secret. Hush hush. Celia was punctual and attentive. 

   It would be a guerrilla war

  "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."