"I was outside with the dogs," I say. I actually still have their leashes in my hand, and a paper towel underfoot from trying to soak up another one of Meko's accidents.
"I've been trying to call you for an hour," my mother says. She sounds kind of tired-angry. "Your phone must be dead."
"Yeah, it ran all the way down while Sister Girl had my charger--she gave it back to me last night, though, so it's recharging now."
"She's with me. She wants to tell you something."
This might sound kind of ominous to you, but she does this all the time. "No, give me the phone, I want to tell her." That kind of thing.
"Hey," Sister Girl says. "I'm in the emergency room."
"I got hit by a car."
"Ohhhhh my God. Were you in a car?"
"Yeah, yeah." Sister Girl just sounds plain tired. I can't hear what she says because the connection keeps fuzzing in and out, but I can tell that she's laughing. "I know I'm laughing, you [fizz fizz] I'm crazy, that's just how I [fizz fizz] with things." I dunno, I might understand that better than you think. "This seventy-eight-year-old guy with an expired [fizz fizz]--"
"Ohhhhh my God--"
"--was going to the doctor--you can imagine, he shouldn't have been [fizz fizz] in the first place--decided he just wanted to make a left turn all of a sudden [fizz fizz] left side of my car is gone."
"Ohhhhh my God."
"I hit my head--not hard, but you know, the buttons [fizz fizz] cap--" She was driving home from her 5 am-1 pm shift at Panera, I assume, and she has these little buttons they make her wear on her uniform cap to show that she's, like, instrument-rated for paninis or fully trained in the arts of salad or whatever. "I'm pretty sure they've taken his license away [fizz fizz fizzzzzzz fizz]--"
"I can't hear you at all now--"
"I [fizz fizz], we're going to be here for a while. Did you know that Mom works for the police now?"
"Yeah, I did." Sister Girl's got such an I'm a Pastry Chef and I'm Okay schedule (she learns all night and she works all day) that I guess she hasn't been around to hear Mom's many, many stories of the university police department and its benefits-related escapades. (You think I'm being facetious, but I'm really, really not. I can't really get into it because it's not even my confidence to violate, but... "they finally found him in New Orleans" was uttered at one point.) I can't tell what Sister Girl's saying now at all, but if I had to guess, I'd say that it involves how Mom's police connections are going to... something. I don't know. It's pretty clearly Mr. Magoo's fault for making a random (and illegal? I'm not sure of the exact details) left turn and annihilating what sounds like the driver's side of my sister's car. I don't know that we need superelite connections to establish that. I'm more concerned about the insurance and fixing and/or replacing the car and, you know, the possible damage to my sister's brain.
"So what I'm saying is," she concludes, "I'm not gonna be home for a while. You can go lock the door back."
ETA: I should add, she seemed to indicate that the man was driving himself because there wasn't anyone else to take him to the doctor. Also, she said something about "traveler's insurance." I actually feel really bad for the guy--I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt anyone, and he probably feels terrible now. Also, she says she's not bleeding or anything.