Clouds tighten on the horizon at the end of the six-lane highway. Julie grips the wheel at a precise ten-o’clock-two-o’clock angle and repeatedly demurs to adrenaline-crazed slaloming lane-changers. She tries to shrug the frown lines from her forehead as she considers the neighbors motives. Calling the office to complain, who does that? Yet, seeping through her annoyance is a sinking feeling that she should not take it out on them. Surely they were doing her a favor, probably heading off another five identical phone calls. She wonders if this is how people lose their jobs. That kind of personal commotion at work never goes unremarked.
The tightly-packed clouds have settled over the driveway. Julie feels them twist around her head as she gets out of the car, as she bends to pick up an empty baggie from the lawn. The blood rushing to her head feels purposeful and necessary.
She has only to push and the front door opens. Ashtrays and teacups are strewn around an ancient bong on the attic-door coffee table . Reclining languidly against the oversized batik cushions on the hardwood floor is her flesh and blood, whose otherwise foggy-eyed face lights up in unabashed pleasure as she focuses on Julie.
“Hey,” she drawls. “How was your day?”
“I had another phone call,” Julie says carefully.
“The Carsons, right?”
“The Carsons, yes.” Through a window Julie catches sight of a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle rolling silently away from the curb. “It seems the Carsons and everyone else in the neighborhood have had enough of you and your hippy-ass friends. They’re tired of hearing the Mamas and the Papas on endless repeat. And they’ve asked me again to deal with those potted plants in the back patio.”
“Busy bodies. They need to get a life. Get tuned in and turned on.”
Julie retrieves her mother’s silk chiffon headscarf from the floor. She takes a swipe at the coffee table with it.
“The sixties are dead, Mom,” she says. “Long live the sixties.”
333 wordsincluding ASS 3. (adverb/adjective) often vulgar—often used as a postpositive intensive especially with words of derogatory implication