Mildred De Gavilan
As the phone rang in the De Gavilan residence, one could survey the entire empty apartment to justify it going unanswered. That is, justified until reaching the kitchen, where Mildred De Gavilan sat opposite the phone, eating frozen grapes. The kitchen, set a-blazed by a window's attempt to swallow a sunset, was beautifully golden and warm. A modern Vermeer painting could be produced using Mildred and the De Gavilan's kitchen as models. "Young Woman with Ice Grapes." or perhaps "The Phone with the Pearl Ringing."
Mildred plucked cold, pale-green cells from their stem, almost by the command of the phone itself, the way she stared with blank commitment at the cordless--planted sternly on its charging base. Much like the age of trees, stubbornness was on this afternoon measured, by the amount of rings. The caller's unwillingness to accept an empty home, equally matched Midred's unwillingness to answer the phone in her parents' apartment; doing so would by participation, reintroduce her to the household. She had moved out a season ago and had more than earned the right to not answer the De Gavilan's family phone when it rang.
The frozen grapes were excellent. Sweet and full of spritz, Mildred swore she tasted a trace, a slight sting of alcohol. When the caller finally caved, Mildred collected her victory humbly. Smiling only at the icy bursts that took place in the secret of her mouth, while the sunset withdrew light from the kitchen. She was finished before Evening fully folded the day away. A familiar South Bronx craved her attention from just out the kitchen window. Yet, the nerve-like blank stem of the grape cluster could not afford to share Mildred's undivided attention. She sat and watched fixedly at what reminded her of a bronchi branch. Her eyes followed along the stem like a maze, attempting to reach one end from the other. She thought about music concrete, biodynamics in wine making, and electric circuitry. The entire time, the phone had not rang again.