The phone woke me up.
“Mom! Are you sober?”
Huh? What kind of question is that? Oh, wait. It’s Halloween night, and it’s 2:00 a.m. Contrary to every intention, I was not only sober, but I had been asleep for almost 45 minutes. I was no longer in costume, although I cannot say the same for the make-up.
“Yeah, I’m sober. And I’m asleep. What’s up?”
“Sweets and I are downtown and I’ve been calling for a taxi for over an hour but all I get is a busy tone. We’re standing outside the Orpheum. Will you come pick us up?”
Ack. Why does this guy continue to make demands of me?
Oh, yes. Because he’s my son. And because I would do the same for any friend who called with the same request.
I pull on my wig and reapply my lipstick.
“I’m on my way.”
I shoulda known I was in trouble when I passed an embryonically-young couple scantily dressed as American Indians just as I crossed the Mississippi into the city. The young man was on the phone, the young woman was huddled on a bus bench, sobbing in the cold.
Four blocks away from my destination, the police are redirecting traffic, there are hundreds and hundreds of costumed people in the streets, some of whom look moments away from declaring Martial Law.
Around the block, down another three blocks, and I’m back on Hennepin. The scene is crazy – people, everywhere, trying to get out of Minneapolis. The bars closed at 1:00. Everyone is waiting for a taxi, everyone is cold.
Stopped at a light less than a block from The Boy and Sweets, I am the only car within at least a two-block radius. A young man approaches my car, tries a door. It’s locked. He hits my trunk with his fist: THUNK.
He’s kidding, right?
I put the car in reverse, back up to the point where he and I are eye to eye. I open the passenger window. “HEY,” I bark. “What’s your problem?!”
Surprisingly, he steps back on to the sidewalk, acting as if he didn’t hear me, while it is obvious through the looks on their faces that his friends have.
“Stay on the sidewalk, honey,” I shout at him. “You’re going to get yourself hurt by someone you won’t be able to identify later.”
The lights change, and moments later a Zombie Doctor and a Ballerina climb into the car. Sweets is shivering as the Zombie opens the back door for her, then climbs into the front seat.
“Oh, man. I owe you, Mom; I really owe you.”
That’s all I need to hear.
“I’ll add it to your tab,” I say.
2 hours ago