Call No. 1: Brandon McCord. Younger brother.
Garrett: Hey Brandon. What's up?
Brandon: I'm cooking beet greens! They're steaming!
Garrett: Oh so?
Brandon: Did you know you could eat these?
Garrett: Yes. You can also eat carrot greens. Stir-fry them, toss them into salad, or make them into a pesto.
Brandon: Oh, okay, cool. I'm learning to cook more for myself more. It's really fun actually. I have a chicken marinating right now.
Garrett: Very cool. Good for you!
Brandon: What are you doing?
Garrett: Unpacking a yellow watermelon that unf-
Brandon: They come in yellow?
Garrett: Yes, the flesh is. And, unfortuneately, it's not pink. The yellow ones have a slight cantaloupe flavor that I find somewhat distasteful, but this one is mild, so it's fine.
Brandon: Oh. Hey can I call you back? The greens are burning I think. Maybe?
Garrett: How on earth do you burn something steaming? Is this like when you burned jell-o? Did you actually forget the water aga-
Call No. 2: Steve McGee. Uncle on father's side.
Garrett: ...Yes, we're a litigious state. Yes, California has traffic that slows down if there's a ratty boot abandoned along the pullover lane. And, yes, California has to rework immigration laws so workers can get here easier. I agree. Yes.
Steve: So how is not Kansas better?
Garrett: It's Kansas. You have tornados, snow, all and all just terrible weather, and the corn outnumbers the state population. Your only claim to fame is Dorothy Gail and that's because she's famous for leaving. Plus, she's not even real.
Steve: Alright. I'll give you that. But the people are nicer.
Garrett: Only in manners. You're a red state. They hate the liberals. "You don't belong here," they would cordially say before berrating my sexuality and support of Planned Parenthood over Kansas-style BBQ and a slice of pie.
Steve: Okay. Probably. But-
Garrett: Steve, can I call you later? I'm chopping up watermelon for sorbet. I'm gonna lose a finger.
Steve: Alright, call your dad.
Garrett: Will do.
Call No. 3: Suzanne McCord. Mother.
Mother's Voice Mail: Hi you've reached Suzanne. I'm not home right now so please leave your name, number, and message - slowly - and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Garrett: Hi mom. Guess you're out biking or something. Call me back when you can. Probably not in the next few minutes as I'm about to process everything in the food processor and I've got simple syrup boiling away and I try not to talk on the phone when I have boiling sugar or sharp objects going. Just a personal policy. Anyways, yes, call me back. I have to chat with you about this visa for China. Seriously, I swear, the Communist Party must want to recruit me if they need to know my father's profession, my Kaiser number, and the phone number of a hotel I can't pronounce somewhere in Xi'an, which I'm not sure I can even find on a map, yet. Will they still let me in if they know dad's a therapist and I work in journalism? I'm a little nervous about the latter, particularly. Given, it's in food, but still. Anyways, love you lots. Bye.
Call No. 4: Michael McCord. Father.
Garrett: Dad? Hi!
Dad: Garrett? I can't hear you!
Garrett: Hold on! I have the ice cream machine running! I can't hear you! Let me go outside!
Dad: I can't hear you over the background noise! Call me later!
Garrett: Wait! I'm running outside as fast as I can! The patio door just gets a bit stuck!
Garrett (now outside): Goddamnit.
Call No. 5: Bryan McCord. Older brother.
Bryan: Hey, little brother. How are ya'?
Garrett: Eating sorbet and trying to work on this proposal. You?
Bryan: Good, just took the dog out for a run. Krista is upstairs taking a nap. How did the apartment stuff go? Did you figure things out with the mold and the complex?
Garrett: Not yet. Working on it. I'm so far behind work wise because of this nightmare. First the flood. Then the flood part two. Now mold is growing everywhere. It smells of sewage and the after party for Dore Alley all rolled up into one noxious fume. If childhood trauma had a smell then my apartment is that.
Bryan: Wait until you acheive homeownership and you have to pay for it all yourself.
Garrett: Oh god!
Bryan: That's what you'll say when you pay $3000 to get your roof redone.
Garrett: No! Ice cream headache! Ugh!
Bryan: Ouch. Hey, can I call you back later? I think Daisy just threw up some grass in the house again.
Garrett: Go. Ow. Yes. Call back.
Bryan: Feel better, brother.
And my family complains that I never call.
6 cups watermelon
3/4 cup simple syrup
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon tequila
Pulse the watermelon, simple syrup, corn syrup, and tequila in a food processor or blender. Chill mixture before pouring into an ice cream machine. Process via manufacturer's instructions.