I couldn’t possibly have known that Ava’s mother would pick this night for a surprise visit.  Predictable she’s always been, paying special heed to my warnings that it’s not a good idea for someone her age to drive.  She’s eighty-six.

I have to place her there now, however, deep within that whole mottle of confusing events, that soft slide from infamy to tragedy.  Had it not been for Ava’s mother, I would only have had to deal with the infamy.

Many years ago I confessed to Ava that I felt quite guilty because I didn’t like her mother very much.  In one of those moments, however, that brought a measurable strengthening to our marriage, Ava said, “It’s all right.  I don’t, either.”

“Interview With an Umpire”

What would you like to talk about?

Fiction.