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.”