The call came at 4:11 am: "Your mom is upset--can you talk to her?"
I lept out of bed, taking the phone to another room to minimize the disturbance to John, who was trying to sleep through the event.
"Hi, Mom. What are you doing?"
"I need to take the rolls out of the oven, but this lady won't let me. She says it's a nightmare, and I guess it is, but she won't let me check."
"What oven? If you were baking cinnamon rolls, you would be baking them in my oven, here at my house. Were you baking them here, for us?"
"No, I'm a volunteer. I was making them for a bunch of children."
"Mom, there's no oven on your floor. The food is cooked on the first floor and brought up--"
"I just want to go down there and check on them but she won't let me."
"But Mom, you're in bed. It's 4 am. If you got up and went all the way down to the first floor, you'd have more trouble getting back to sleep."
"They're going to burn. When it starts to smell up here, they'd better go down and have the police turn it off, or it could burn up the whole place."
"Mom! It's a nightmare."
"Yeah, this lady thinks I'm crazy."
"You're not crazy. You have an illness that gives you these nightmares. Your brain does things in dreams that seem real, but you're just dreaming. You had too much excitement yesterday, shopping at Macy's and going to that movie. And tomorrow you are going to wear the new lavender silky blouse we bought. Isn't that a cute blouse?"
"Yes, I like that blouse. I like going shopping."
"You need to get your sleep so you can get up tomorrow and wear that lavender outfit and get your hair done. Can you take a drink of orange juice or V-8 or something and try to go back to sleep?"
"Okay, I guess I can."
"I'll come see you tomorrow afternoon."
"I'll come about 3 pm or 4 pm."
I went back to bed and lay awake for three quarters of an hour, wondering if Racquel had been able to calm Mom down, if I should stop taking her to stimulating events like movies, if Jona was already up and on her way to start her work with Mom at 6 am.