God Shines Down on Poisoned Skies, Hollywood Beach, Florida
I got into Hollywood, Florida almost two weeks after my mother's birthday. But, the point is, I got there. Leave the tales told out of class about my sister where they lie. My mother turned 79 on the second to last day of March. I was otherwise engaged.
Taken as a whole, the trip was fine. Brief but long enough to hang out over a restaurant table with my two brothers, their spouses (spice?), the kids... and my mother.
Did I say my mother just turned 79? She is calcified, set in her ways and the bond borne out of the novelty of us seeing one another wears threadbare in a very short time. I should know better. Hell, do Jewish sons ever learn? Are Catholic kids much different? A trip to see my mother is like opening the textbook to psych 101. Condition Response. Passive Aggressive. OCD. Martyrdom. Displaced anger and misplaced aggression. All in one. Concentrated like Florida orange juice... with the pulp and supplemented with extra acid.
Like I said, I should know better. I was fine... until I saw my mother throwing things out. Recycling has not cone to her. Nor her neighbors, or, indeed, the entire city of Hollywood. I called the City Services, fire department, parks and rec. I found out that there are recycling bins in the parks. I never did find out who picks them up or even if they are picked up at all. The fire department was stumped. The building management was as polite as could be, but no... we don't recycle. My mother hasn't seen Al Gore's documentary. Nor, evidently, has anyone in the twin towered complex in which she lives. There must be at least 500 units. I figure a lot of recycling materials are created daily. My mind went to Sarah Silverman's brilliant, "The Great Schlep." Only this time, it's not to get the bubbes and zaydies to vote, but to recycle. I decided I would have my mother detour to the park on the beach, not far from where she lives, to drop her first recycling. Easier said than done. We couldn't find an entrance to the park. The more maniacally obsessive I became in my quest to lead her to the bins, the more flustered my mother became, and in short order, abandoned the effort.
"I'm not going to do it if it's inconvenient."
Honest to God, that's what she said. As Al is my witness.
"What about Sophie and Jolie? What kind of world are you going to leave them?" I figured I would work a serious dose of guilt, associating not recycling with a post-apocalyptic planet for her two favorite grandchildren to rummage through like ragamuffin redhead survivors in a Mad Max world. Her lopsided adoration of S & J is, in itself, is a major mishpoche. Never mind. I was beating a dead horse. Or an aging bubbe.
Be that as it may, after my mother dropped me off at the Fort Lauderdale airport, I checked in (electronically-- something a bubbe would never do) and proceeded to the gate.
Across from the hallway I spotted a recycling bin. Broward Recycles. Hollywood is in Broward County.
Despite the urge, I didn't call my mother on the cell. I haven't told her since I've been home. The Great Schlep got Obama in. Let's take things slow. Maybe next trip, when she turns 80.