Chapter 53, Mom’s Secret Brothel Puppet Shadow
Sunday morning, arising early at the
Sainte Clare Hotel where I always stayed when visiting San Jose, I was tempted
to drive by our former house and Edward's apartment but instead drove to
Alviso, again seeking the mystical connection which evaded me.
Even Alviso, however, had changed and while Val's was still there, it was operated by a niece of the elderly woman who fussed over Gary and me. She was deceased, another Alviso ghost. The salt ponds were converted to a national park of some sort with crowds instead of the soothing loneliness they once provided. The estuaries were filled with kayakers and throngs toured the railroad tracks and levees reading park explanation signs. None matched Gary’s narrative as related to me. His was much better.
Lane's, more decrepit, still stood
but my only reflection was of the passing train kiss. I didn't trek the rail
line with others to the drawbridge. With nothing left to connect with I quickly
left to visit Mom, noticing the Agnew State Mental hospital complex was now
occupied by Sun Micro-systems as I passed Agnew.
Where are the nuts now, the street homeless of course? The cuckoo’s nests are in the downtowns.
Like Dad’s and Mom’s past part of mine was lost. The Valley’s rapid change from what I knew to what was new, left me no home town I knew.
As I drove about to reconnect to my past I weighed my mother in law’s revelation and decided it best was kept as an ultra-secret. It renewed my curiosity about my parents, however, and I decided to ask Mom how she met Dad.
I took Mom to bunch in the little downtown of Willow Glen which had revitalized into an upscale, quaint shopping street. Afterwards we drove to our old Tropicana Village neighborhood, drove past the old house and stopped at the church of my wedding to discover it offered mass in Tagalong, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Next we went to Dad's grave at Santa
Clara Mission Cemetery with flowers for Dad's head stone proclaiming, "No
Back at her house we ate take out Thai food the sipped wine in her small back yard. I enjoyed the California sun and let it dry out my hides Pacific Northwest dampness while the wine warmed me inside.
Mom rarely drank. A little wine turned her complexion red and her tongue loose. As we drank we talked, talked as daughter and mother, as confidants, as equals. Other than housekeeper gossip from long ago it was the first time we talked beyond chit chat. To resolve past puzzles and get to how she came from Hawaii to California and met Dad I set her up with a flattery compliment.
"Mom, I admire you, I want you to know. I always did but as I grow older I admire you more. I appreciate everything you did for me."
"No, it I, admire you. You help me. I must thank you. Even little, you help."
Every daughter wants to know how her Mom met her Dad so I got to the point.