It was Gabe Jones’s fate that the women in his life were music lovers. His wife, Lissy, was, and his mother and grandmother: Sonia Lindholm Jones, star singer in the Lutheran choir, and Francesca Caratini Lindholm—war bride from Salerno who, Italian or not, fixed lefse and made sausage like anybody’s grandmother—Francesca, singer for the Catholics. What the three of them cared about wasn’t rock or country or anything easy, but real music as his mother called it, and all Gabe’s life somebody had looked at him eagerly when the music started, waiting for him to understand.
He didn’t, and that fact was on his mind—stuck there—on a day he was under a car, working his fingers through grease to pull out a driveshaft. When he put his wrench in his pocket and rolled out from under the car, he was still as sure he’d never understand as he was unsure why he was quitting work in the middle of the day to take Lissy on the overnight trip she’d been wanting. More than that, he didn’t get why this trip seemed to fall into the same category as musical expectations: things that made him uneasy.
However, it did. Gabe wiped the grease off his hands and hung the towel back on the garage wall. “Lock up when you leave, Tim,” he said. He went over the plans in his mind—that Lissy had it arranged for the number to ring at Tim’s if there was an accident, an emergency, that, besides Tim, Jake was on call for the night, that both Tim and Jake were working tomorrow until he and Lissy got back. She had the girls parceled out to the neighbors and she’d promised they’d be home by six.
Violin Still Life © Robert Meier