The shiny, brass pendulum crashed to the already-cracked floor of the grandfather clock this morning when I tried to wind the weights. I didn’t have time to fix it then, and now the whole day has passed. It’s 9:00 at night but the clock reads 10 till 3:00.
Maybe it’s 3:00 in Stuttgart where Dusti lives. I can never remember the time difference, but I like to joke that she’s living in the future.
“Tell me the lottery numbers,” I tease her when we talk on the phone. But we don’t talk on the phone that often.
I talk to Ellen a lot. She doesn’t like it that much in El Paso. Last Tuesday we talked for an hour about the book she’s writing. We reminisced about our mom and I reminded Ellen how Mom’s upper lip used to disappear when she was angry. Ellen laughed so hard at the memory.
I love to laugh with my sisters, but yesterday I wasn’t laughing when I hugged Susan goodbye. As soon as my arms were around her frail, petite body, I started to cry.
“You are the sweetest big sister, Mary. You are the best. I am so proud of you and all that you manage to do,” the compliments were pouring out of my sweet, little sister.
But “I love you,” was all I could muster and even that sounded ugly because I was bawling so hard. I was sad when my other sisters moved away, too, but Susan is my baby.
This morning, after I broke the clock, I was driving to school when I realized that I’m the only sister left in Omaha. I pictured us as little girls, playing under the weeping willow, birthday cakes, fighting over clothes. Then in my mind we scattered.
Now that it is broken, the grandfather clock ticks twice as fast. It makes me crazy but I’m too tired to fix it tonight.