Once upon a time, there was a man named Bobby.


"Venice, though?" They were on the phone and Jean never could keep excitement out of her voice. Bobby could hear it through the wires, excitement and pain.

"It'll be good for him," Jean said, and Bobby knows that Jean transferred the phone from one ear to the other from the slight pause, the slight inhalation before she continued, "I think. It'll be good for him."

Bobby didn't ask what Jean thought would be good for her, and never would; some people were just good mothers, and that was that. "Venice, huh," Bobby said. "Send me a postcard."

"Bobby--" Jean started, but Bobby heard an engine in the driveway and that was the cue to pretend he didn't have a cel phone anymore, at least not other than for work. "Bobby," Jean said again. "You can't do this all the time."

"Snoop," Bobby joked. "I've gotta go, say hello to the crowd."

"I'll send you a postcard," Jean said, and Bobby knew from the little sadness tinging her voice, she wouldn't.