Fiction | June 01, 1990
The Last Brown Deli Bag In the Grand Union
My mother is missing. I left her sitting in the passenger side of my grey ’82 Toyota angle-parked downtown in front of the Quik Cleaners while I ran inside. Five minutes it took me, tops, two dresses, a skirt and one of Harry’s suits. I come back to the car. It’s parked slightly cockeyed, but legal. I look inside and it’s empty. At first I think I’m losing my mind. Maybe I took the other car, the Rabbit, but I never drive the Rabbit because of the brakes and the radio. I know I took the grey Toyota, which I always take, and anyway it’s there in front of the cleaners where I left it and my mother isn’t. She’s eighty-five years old; where could she be? She’s frail. She’s hard of hearing. She sees but not so well. I look around. Maybe she needed to pee or something. I go into the store next to Quik and ask if they have an old lady in the bathroom. They think I’m crazy. This is a dress shop for teenagers they tell me. I see that it is. The lights are flashing. The music is playing. The clothes are not real clothes. What would an old lady be doing in our bathroom? they say. I go back on the street and look again. She’s not there. I go back to the car and see the note. It’s on the front seat. We have your mother. Do not panic, it says. You hear that? Do not panic. Go home and wait for our call.
If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.
Want to read more?Subscribe Today
SEE THE ISSUE
13.2 (Summer 1990)
Featuring the work of Marck Beggs-Uema, Stephen Berg, Robin Behn, Christopher Buckley, Kathryn Chetkovich, Gillian Conoley, Carl Dennis, Wayne Dodd, Ken Fifer, Norman Finkelstein, Diana Hume George, James Harms, Jane Hirshfield, Brooke Horvath, Edward Kleinschmidt, Scott Lasser, Lucile Lichtblau, Bill Meissner, Josip Novakovich, Max Phillips, Tracy Philpot, Bin Ramke, David Ray, Eugene
May 17 2022
Gone Linda Wastila The late May morning I drove east from Chapel Hill, I didn’t pay much mind to the tracts of yellowed corn and soy or the tobacco-curing
May 17 2022
The Cadence of Waves
The Cadence of Waves Trent Hudley Leon showed up the day of the blackout in December of 1998, toward the end of some extreme El Niño weather we’d been having
May 17 2022
Palace Rock by Mason Kiser On Mondays, we ruled the sea. Lightning lashed the whitecaps, and thunder shook the hull, and rain fell so slantwise that it ripped to shreds