Thursday, May 19, 2011

Best birthday ever

He closes the apartment door with his left hand, the grocery bag and mail in his right. Flips on the one overhead light in the tiny kitchenette, places the mail and the plastic bag on the counter. Five of the six beers into the fridge, all but one of the cardboard slabs of frozen dinners into the freezer. The bag gets saved for use later cleaning out the cat's litter box.

As he slides the frozen plastic tray out of the box and folds back one corner of the foil his phone rings. He lets it ring while he puts the dinner in the microwave and punches in the time, then picks up the phone off the counter and hits the button to answer.

He stands resigned while a small tinny voice sings on the other end of the line; finally the voice stops and he says,

"Hi Mom, thanks."

The voice speaks for a long while as he stands, flipping through the mail. Junk, junk, bill, junk.

"No, nothing special. Had to work a little late. How's Dad?"

The voice begins again and he stares distractedly out the kitchen window for a time, then replies,

"Do you need me to call the doctor's office again?"

As she continues speaking the microwave beeps ready and he takes out the dinner - steaming in some spots, still cold in others - and places it on a plate. He grabs a fork out of a drawer filled with a loose assortment of utensils and picks up the beer bottle with two fingers while holding the plate with the same hand, and walks a couple of steps to his chair. He puts the plate and the bottle on the side table and switches the phone to his other hand.

"Okay Mom, listen, I have to go...thanks for calling. Yeah...yeah, I love you too. I will. Thanks. Bye."

He sits down in the chair and opens his beer. He picks up the remote, turns the tv on, and starts to flip through the channels.

1 comment:

Dana L. said...

This was brilliant, Sean! I had to re-read it a few times....well-done!