No… this is not some sicko porn story. I just couldn’t resist the title.
About five years ago my mother and I took a bus tour trip to Italy. Well, we FLEW to Italy; the bus trip started once we arrived. The first night we and our fellow passengers stayed at a hotel in Rome. Mom went to bed early, but a handful of the younger tour members talked me into grabbing a few drinks at the bar.
If you’ve read any of my other stories you know talking me into a drink is a Herculean task.
- Get the skin of the terrifying Nemean Lion
- Kill seven headed Hydra Beast
- Get Amy to have a cocktail…
We had already come from a pasta dinner where I drank a fair amount of wine, so I wasn’t exactly starting fresh — I had all the enthusiasm of someone already on her way to someplace special, and led the way to the bar.
A couple of the other tour members noted that since we were in Italy, we really had to try the Grappa. Grappa, if you don’t know, is basically like drinking paint thinner laced with wine. I once tried to give Grappa to a homeless wino, and he turned it down as too strong, took another swig from his rubbing alcohol bottle, and shuffled off.
At this point in the trip, I hadn’t yet seen how they make Grappa – that came later in the tour. Turns out after they squeeze all the good parts out of the grapes for wine, they take the giant pile of squished grape skins and throw it in their driveway, where it sits for a week feeding the flies. Then they scoop it all back up, along with the slower, unluckier flies, and press it into Grappa. FanTAStic. I don’t think they even charge you for the extra protein.
So, I try the Grappa. Since I’m already a little buzzed, what should be horrendous is just mildly unpleasant. Like any booze that starts off terrible, Grappa gets better with every sip. I have two or three. Then I go upstairs to bed.
Our hotel room in Rome is comprised of two single beds pushed uncomfortably close together. Apparently, Italians don’t get the point that people order twin beds in a room because they do NOT want to sleep in the same bed. Of course, this is the same country where I had to squat over a hole in the ground to go to the bathroom in what was an otherwise perfectly civilized Italian version of 7-11, so clearly they have a different idea of how things should be done.
Stumbling into my room, I see my mother has gone to bed in what is historically my side of the bed. Ah well. I brush my teeth. I hold a lighter to my face and breathe out a few times to watch the flames. Chuckling quietly to myself over jokes no one else in the world would understand, let alone find funny, I go to bed on the left side of the conjoined-twin bed.
I begin to dream that I am in the Grand Canyon. I am on a plateau, overlooking the canyon below. I have to go to the bathroom, but I can’t find the damn edge of the plateau. I’m on my hands and knees feeling the dusty ground, blind, like Mr. Magoo looking for his lost pair of glasses. I’m feeling for the edge, which in my mind, equals finding the bathroom.
Suddenly, I hear a voice from above.
I look up, and now I can see. It is a clear blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds. It is the source of the voice, which I recognize as my mother’s. I am wondering what she is doing in the Grand Canyon and why I can hear her voice coming out of the sky.
“Mom?” I call back.
“Amy,” she says again. Her voice is otherworldly, and, I have to admit, perhaps a touch annoyed. Maybe she doesn’t want to be in the sky. At this point, I don’t know. I’ve never known her to be in the sky, but who can say.
I am still feeling for the canyon edge, but continue to look up into that blue sky.
“Mom?” I ask again. “I’m looking for the edge.” Maybe, I think, she can stop playing God for a second and help me find the damn edge of the canyon. Then maybe I can help her get out of the sky and everyone will be happy.
“Amy, what the hell are you doing?!” says Mom.
Yep, she is definitely annoyed. I wake up, because my mother is shaking my shoulders.
To my surprise, I am not in the Grand Canyon. I am in a hotel room in Rome, in a bed, and more alarmingly, I am straddling my mother. She is lying on her back beneath me, staring up at my face. She seems crabby. Furious, even. Her beady little eyes stare angry holes through me. I realize my hands are on her chest region, more recently known to me as the flat, dusty ground of a Grand Canyon plateau.
Away from my Father, she had probably assumed this was the one place she did NOT have to wake up being groped in the middle of the night. Whoops.
Still thoroughly drunk, I erupt into giggles and swing off her, realizing I really have to go to the bathroom. I stumble there, bumping into things as I go. I must have had to go to the bathroom while I was sleeping, and swung my leg over to the left like I would have at home to get off the bed. But with Mom’s bed pressed against mine, all I did was flip over on my stomach on top of my poor mother. Confused, and looking for a way to get off the bed so I could walk to the bathroom, I must have started feeling for the edge of the bed, which, thanks to my mother’s lack of padding, in my dream became a Grand Canyon plateau.
My mother had awakened to find me sitting on top of her feeling her chest, staring at the sky and asking, “Mom?” over and over. I tried answer the God-like voice coming from the clear blue sky in my dream; Mom was just trying to get her lunatic daughter to stop pawing her.
We had a laugh, though I think Mom is still a little shaken. We had a new rule after that.
No more Grappa for Amy.