Is it because of some deep-seated hatred for my brother?
No. I shake my head vehemently as I whisper 77, 78, 79… I love my brother.
Do I want to sabotage myself by making my family, and my new sister-in-law-to-be, hate me?
Again, I shake my head no and continue counting…80, 81, 82.
No, the fact is that I hate being late, and yet, I am always delayed, postponed, behind, tardy, unpunctual, behind schedule, overdue; well, you get the picture.
I was late at birth – two days I’m told. I was a late bloomer, and didn’t even enjoy a first kiss until I was 17. At 35 I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Yet I did know I wanted to be a good sister.
83, 84, 85…
“How many more?” my mother screams in my ear, even though we are only sitting a foot away from each other.
“I don’t know,” I respond, gritting my teeth.
I am about to be late for my brother’s wedding, and I can find no excuse for it.
I rack my brain for any clues from my brother when he left the hotel (earlier) to get ready at the church.
We are all in strange territory. His fiancée’s family lives in West Virginia. I arrive from San Francisco, my mom from Delaware, my bro from Maryland.
89, 90, 91, 92…
“Don’t be late!” I do remember brother telling me that at breakfast. “It’s a 15-minute ride to the church, and there could be traffic.”
I scoffed at him. “Traffic? In this little town?”
He grimaced and admonished: “I know you.”
So, my mom and I leave 20 minutes early, noting a bit uncomfortably that we are the last relatives to leave the hotel.
“Beep your horn!” Mom shouts.
“It’s a train, Mom, not a herd of sheep!” I shout back.
Yes, that is correct. We left 20 minutes early, but our car is stopped at a railroad crossing, and the longest train in the annals of history is chugging in front of us.
98, 99, 100…
One hundred cars I’ve counted, with no end in sight.
“Mom, we’re in the back waters of nowhere, and we are going to miss your son’s wedding.”
Like in a stupid adolescent movie, the kind rated PG13 that only gets two stars, Mom and I scream out loud, to no one in particular, together.
But the train moves no faster.
We are desperately…