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Colorado Game - 15. Chapter 15


I called the number Ross had given me after the studio session was completed and as I waited for the receiving end to pick up, I hummed the theme. I stopped when a smoky, raw but very female voice picked up with a soft ‘hello?'

"Hello, is this the Forester residence?" I asked.

"Yes, this is Sofia Forester. Who is calling?" Sofia... oh shit! Ross's mother! I almost hung up.

"H...hi, t... this is Norcross. I mean Mark." I said it as if she should know who I was and I closed my eyes as I stammered my way into this fiasco.

"But of course you are," she answered, sounding amused. "And ‘Norcross I mean Mark', what can I do for you?"

"I'm sorry, can I start again?" The laughter coming from the receiver sounded very infectious and she told me to give it my best shot. "My name is Mark Norcross and I'm calling to leave an address with you. Ross asked me to do so."

"I see. Ross is not available right now," she answered.

"I know. He asked me to call this number and give the address..."

"Let me get a pen." She returned to the phone half a minute later. "All set; let's hear it." I gave her my address. She repeated it and I confirmed. "Now tell me; when did you talk to my son?"

"I'm sorry... I..."

"You said that you knew he wasn't available, so you have spoken to him. How? When?"

"About half an hour ago," I answered. "He was here."

"I'm not a mind-reader, dear ‘Norcross I mean Mark', and my homing senses are currently switched off. Where is ‘here'?" Sheez, I was making a good impression here. Thank god she didn't know who I was.

"At the studio. We're recording some music for a project."

"Oh I see. You're an employee?"

"Yes, sort of..."

"Very well, I will make sure he gets it."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." With those last words she hung up, leaving me standing there, staring at the horn. I slowly put it back and left the studio to go back to the office.


It was a little after six-thirty when I came home, and I dumped my stuff on the floor. I'd been lucky, three years ago, to get this loft, which belonged to an uncle of mine. You could only reach it by taking an old elevator, one of those where you still had to lift up a rattling, squeaky door to get in, because the stairs only went up to the fourth floor. My loft was on the fifth.

It was a 1000 square feet, had hardwood floors, 14 ft ceilings, 6 ft windows (five of them), one bedroom, which was located above the recently installed new kitchen and the best of all; access to the roof. I spent many a night up there, reading or working, writing music. I write most of that by hand and then try it on a keyboard I have in the living room or use programs on the computer.

The staircase leading up to the bedroom was right smack in the middle of the living room. Once in the bedroom, you could look down into the living room; the entire wall had been broken out and replaced by a
balustrade. I also had a bathroom up there with an old, big tub. The whole thing would cost me a small fortune if my uncle asked me the full price for it but I only paid half, or less; $750, all-in. Not bad, I'd say, especially for a kid of just twenty one years old, back then.

I went to the kitchen to get a drink and then went up to change into something more comfortable; very old jeans and a black The Sisters of Mercy T-shirt with red text saying "Fuck Me And Marry Me Young" on the back. Yeah, I know... but it freaks out my mom whenever I wear it and that's reason enough for me to put it on. You should've heard her when I wore it to school. Well, I didn't actually wear it in plain sight, but her thinking that I did was enough to crack anyone up.

I was just coming down the stairs when a knock on the door announced my mom (she had a key for the front door downstairs) and I pulled the door sideways to let her in.

"Hey babes," she said, kissing me on the cheek. Then she stormed in further, carrying a load of shopping bags which she unceremoniously dumped on the floor. "I don't have a lot of time; I have to get back to the diner by eight."

She babbled on and on in her usual way fast way as she went upstairs, half listening to the answers I gave about the prior week and the trip to Aspen. Meanwhile, she dumped the entire contents of my backpack on
the floor and started sorting. I had kept them in the backpack, the dirty stuff in a plastic bin bag. When she had it all sorted she asked me if I had any more, and I pointed to the hamper, which she emptied as well.

"Now pay attention, okay?" she said, throwing whites into the machine first. "It's not rocket science. Turn this knob to here, then press this button. Put in detergent, not too much. No, no fabric softener, you'll scratch yourself to death. Alright, close the door. Now push ‘start'. There, that's all. See? You just have to get used to the machine."

I'd bought the new machine a few days before the trip but hadn't actually used the thing yet. Previously I just threw all my stuff into a plastic bag and went over to my mom's and she'd do them. But she had gotten it into her head that I needed to learn it and told me to buy my own machine. I guess she was right but it was handy, the arrangement we had. She smiled at me when I looked at the machine curiously as it took on water and started to churn, and she shook her head.

"You write the most beautiful music, read music notes better than words, but here you are, amazed at a machine that gives you clean clothes in an hour. I see you bought a dryer as well. Is it all hooked up?" I nodded. I had the whole shebang installed.

"Good. When it's done, you'll hear a beep. Then it's safe to take your crap out of there, dump it in the dryer. I'll stay until this run is done, show you how. Then you're on your own. So, tell me," she babbled on as we moved back downstairs, "did you ski a lot?"

"Yeah, I'm a pro now," I replied, sarcastically. "I'm going for the Olympics in two years." I made coffee and we sat in the kitchen, talking, catching up.

She told me about stuff going on at the diner, which she owned for...what was it... fifteen years now? Before that, she had worked there for another five; I spent half my childhood underneath the tables there. She had taken it over from the couple that retired and had moved to Florida. When the machine upstairs beeped, we went back up and she showed me how the dryer worked. Compared to the washing machine, that thing was easy. She made me fill the machine again, this time not helping but just watching and when I had done it right, she applauded sarcastically.

"Great, now you know how it works. Call me if you're not sure which colors can go togeth... oh, for god sakes, you're gay. You know which colors go together best." I grinned and we started to go back downstairs when the intercom buzzed. I felt a knot begin to form in my stomach as she frowned at me.

"You expecting company?" she asked as I pressed the release button to let Ross in. I blocked the view-screen from her when she tried to see who it was.

"Yeah... mom... ehm... could you try to be less ehm... ‘you' for a while when he gets here? It's kinda important." She gave me an exasperated look.

"What, have I ever embarrassed you before, when you brought home a ‘friend'?" she asked, seemingly insulted. Yeah, right; was the Pope a catholic? "I never gave you any grief about anything. I'm a cool mom. Ask your friends. That shirt, though...at least make him work for it; not just blatantly invite him."

"Yeah mom, I'll never forget how you told my first ever boyfriend that if he hadn't brought rubbers, he should feel free to use some of yours. Very cool."

"Many parents, and especially to gay children, are not as open minded as I am," she shot back. "You should be glad to have a mom like me!"

"Open minded is fine, but not on a first date!" We kept bickering back and forth until the elevator audibly stopped on my floor. When a knock sounded on the door, I shot her a final warning look and she threw up
her hands, mouthing ‘fine, I'll behave'. Then I pulled the door sideways.

Minor edit; added a line, expanded on another. Minor corrections.
andr0gene 2004-Present; All Rights Reserved
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The humor worked into the story all along has been fun. And worth a real laugh here and there as well.

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