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Missing my son
by Tom Waits
I was in a line at the supermarket the other day, and uhm... y´know, I had all my things on the little conveyor belt there. And uh... there´s a gal in front of me that is uh.. well, she´s staring at me and I´m getting a little nervous and uh, she continues to stare at me. And I uh, I keep looking the other way. And then, finally she comes over closer to me and she says: "I apologize for staring, that must have been annoying. I, I... You look so much like my son, who died. I just can´t take my eyes off you." And she precedes to go into her purse and she pulls out a photograph of her son who´d died. And uh, he looks absolutely nothing like me. In fact he´s... Chinese. Uh... anyway, we chatted a little bit. And uh, she says: "I´m sorry, I have to ask you. Would you mind, as I leave the supermarket here, would you mind saying "Goodbye mom" to me? I, I know it´s a strange request but I haven´t heard my son saying "Goodbye mom" to me, and "So long" and it would mean so much to me to hear it. And uh, if you don´t mind I... " And I said: "Well, you know, okay, yeah, sure. Eh.. uh... I can say that." And, and so, she uh gets her groceries all checked out. And uh, as she´s going out the door she waves at me and she hollers across the store: "Goodbye son!" And I look up and I wave and I say: "Goodbye mom!" And then she goes, and uh... So I get my few things there, on the conveyor belt and the checker checks out my things. And uh, and he gives me the total and he says: "That´ll be four hundred and seventy nine dollars." Uh... and I said: "Well, how is that possible! I´ve only got a little tuna fish, and uh some skimmed milk, and uh mustard and a loaf of bread..." He goes: "Well, well you´re also paying for the groceries for your mother. She uh, told me you´d take care of the bill for her." And I said: "Well, wait a minute! That´s not my mother!" And he says: "Well I distinctly heard her say as she left the store "Bye son!" and you said "Bye mom!" and so what are you trying to say here, uh..." I said: "Well, JESUS!" And I looked out into the parking lot and she was just getting into her car. And I ran out there. And she was just closing the door, and she had a little bit of her leg sticking out of the door and she was pulling away and I grabbed her leg and I started PULLING it! Just the way... I´m pulling yours..