“The ‘bar business’?” I said, interest not entirely feigned, gesturing with my glass to the tiers of booze, stacked in a cascade that began flush with the mirror.
Well, if that was her field of study
But she shook her head.
Clearly I had misheard.
Never been good with homophones
I can laugh at myself: whether this conveys self-
“Okay!” I said jovially, “So... more like, Mom, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be at the ballet barre?”
That one made her frown.
I took a sip of Bourbon and pretended to think.
“The legal profession,” I said, snapping my fingers. “Taking the bar exam.”
She just raised her eyebrows slightly in mocking dismissal.
I tried to remain calm and to look cool; I’ve never quite understood why collected is the final part of that trinity; language is weird.
She stared; clear enough.
Almost whispered that one; just seemed like the obligatory follow-
More silence in response.
I tossed back what was left of my drink, signaled for another, rolled my shoulders.
“The manufacture, sale, purchase, storage, or investment in bars of precious metals?”
I could smell that I was wrong; on I steamed.
“The practice of excluding people from entry into places or professions based on demographic or racial considerations?”
I could hear that I had started to hedge my answers; they sounded more and more like questions
“The construction technique of pouring cement around a framework of metal support members, referred to as re-bar, a shorthand for ‘reinforcement bar’?”
Yes, when I get frustrated
Sorry about that.
Having deeper problems here at this point.
“Barricading doors? Ruling out possibilities? A computer screen element? Part of a goal post? A unit measuring either music or atmospheric pressure?”
This drew six, fast, minute and curt, head-
“Oysters? Salad? Wet? Dry?” I was repeating and overlapping; it was getting hard to breathe. “Part of a towing rig?” I was starting to wind down.
“A band of color or light?” My voice sounded hoarse to me. It was embarrassing.
What could possibly be left!?
“Candy bars!” I cried, triumphantly.
Then she pursed her lips, took a brief, delicate and
And shook her head.