“Why?’“I don’t know. I guess she wasn’t that in to me.”Jack had no interest in discussing any details with his mother. Fun’s fun. And he knewshe knew that. So he just let the silence ride for a second.“Maybe I will go to bed. The fire’s burning down. I can dream about my grandchildren.”“Everyone should have a good fantasy life.”“What do you mean by that?”“I mean, it would be cool to have someone but I’m not falling all over myself to havechildren. Dad told me that you can have a great life if you don’t have children.”Every once in a while, Jack liked to pull her chain. She was smarter than he was, but hehad a weightier advantage. She was his mother. No contest.“That’s awful. When did he say that?”“Not when I was ten. A couple of years ago. At Thanksgiving. He said, ‘If you don’thave children, if you decide on Wednesday that you want to go to the Bahamas onFriday---you go.’ He’s got a point.”“What does he know about going to the Bahamas? Or about anything besides sitting onhis ass on the beach suiting himself?”“Like you always say, Mom, ‘blind pigs and truffles’.”“Wrong pig.”“Well, just the same, I’m not sure I’ll have kids.”“We shall see what we shall see. Goodnight, honey.”“Yes, mother. Goodnight.”Jack tossed the phone on the table. He did like talking to his mother, but it was wearying just the same. And sometimes, like tonight, it made him think more than he personallyenjoyed doing. It was much easier to just not notice. That was a virtue of a first ratesecond rate mind that his mother never could appreciate. He wasn’t sure he wanted tohave children. Even as a boy, he just couldn’t wrap his mind around doing that. He justhad to look at his folks. Clearly, about three weeks a year was his Dad’s capacity for involved parenting. And his Mom, yes and no---he’d been her top priority but she wentthrough the days with this “how did I get here?” expression on her face. And she wasalways busy. To Jack, it seemed like it might be way too much work for questionablerewards. He wondered if she remembered saying to him, “I hope you grow up and have ason just like you” at a couple of stressful moments. Yeah, he actually was pretty sure hedidn’t want to do it. He figured his Dad might have found a truffle.By now, he was standing, looking through his picture window at the neon radiating upfrom below. It was a lot more soothing than some damn blizzard. He did think that itwas too bad about Brittany. Or too bad about somebody like Brittany. It was gettingtiring to be alone. Not that he noticed that often. And not that he was alone that often, atleast literally. In fact, hardly ever. He was supposed to be at some party tonight. Anafter screening industry party at a club. Nothing better to make you feel alone in public.