Thursday, February 2, 2023

Don't make me mad

 "Nobody is going anywhere," Sal was possibly gruffer than he imagined, but Alton was in no mind to do anything at the moment. He was a polluted animal and growing restless by the minute.

"It just isn't fair!" Alton stammered. He could barely stand on his feet. "I've waited  years to see that woman."

"Why?" Aaron asked with a distressed face. Sal knew he was worried.

"Cause.." Alton belched. "I want to have it out with her." Aaron's father looked a little crazy.

"What do you plan on doing?" Sal asked.

"I'm gonna find that bitch." He nodded.

About then a regular came in and Aaron already had the beer waiting. They talked about the weather and who was going to the Super Bowl while Alton just about tripped over his own feet.

"You're gonna go to California?" Sal looked at him as if he doubted he could get him back to his room, but he was a lightweight. Sal knew he could throw him over his shoulder if he had to. But he really would hate to.

"I'm taking Aaron with me," he was a matter of fact on the subject.

"Yeah, so  he can drive you, I guess?" Sal shrugged. "You know, he doesn't even have a driver's license." Sal fumed. "If you two had actually raised him, he might be a doctor by now. He's got a good brain. Heaven knows, how that happened? You two did nothing to help him when you could. And now you expect him to go somewhere with you."

He thought Alton might be crying. He heaved as if he might throw up. Then he coughed. "But she raised him, not me." Alton pointed to himself. "And he needs to bring  his Momma home." Alton practically swallowed a frown

Aaron just shook his head, and he went back to greeting guests and serving up drinks, nuts, and pretzels. 

"Let's not rush into anything," Sal said as he quietly walked Alton out from behind the bar. Oh, how he wished he could leave him out in the cold, but he got him in the pickup truck. 

Of course, Alton wouldn't shut up about how he was going to kill her when he found her. Sal shook his head. There was only so much he could do for somebody like Alton.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Then all I've got to say


Aaron knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. He could hear the thrashing of pans in the kitchen. He was at the bar getting ready for the after-work crowd. There was a game on the TV tonight. It was relatively warm. It was as if they were thawing out for the next cold snap. Sure there had been days of fog that left frost and slick spots, but it was a white January.

Sal was paying his dad Alton a little these days, cleaning the restrooms and the kitchen pots and pans along with bar glasses and mugs. Of course, Aaron cleaned the restrooms because he already knew that was beneath his father. No way would he stoop that low. 

Aaron looked to Sal who only gave him a sigh. Yes, that fool of a dad of his was drinking. God, they needed the old bastard out of here. He was just a drunk. Alton was having a pity party, stomping around singing a very off-key song of "Nobody loves me."

"Hush!" Sal went in first. Aaron could hear Sal in the kitchen. "How and hell do expect to catch a woman if she sees this side of you, man!"

Aaron with clinched teeth gnashed. He wished Alton would just go away. Why did he have this nuisance in his life?

 It was never easy with his mom who thought he was an idiot all this time and yet, he'd had to take care of her most of his life. He never managed to finish high school. Just when he thought misery had left him, his dad showed up like a bad door prize. Aaron cringed at the thought of how far his father might go to mess it all up.

Aaron's cell rang, which was quite unusual. Jody only texted him when he got to work and usually when he was on break. Of course, it was always sweet nothings but it always made him smile. He couldn't imagine anyone having his number. And that's when he heard the news about his mother.

MUDSLIDE. Oh, he couldn't get the word out of his brain. His chest tightened. He thought he might lose consciousness. What were they saying? "She's in California!" He shouted into the phone. Oh, she was just a statistic now in the cleanup.

"Damn, she never said nothing about going to California," Aaron said to no one after he got off the phone.

"What's going on, son?" Sal awoke him from his stupor.

"It''s mom." That was all he could manage to say.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

On your own, honestly and truly

 "I think you two are very good for each other," Angel told her about them being a couple from her perspective. "You know, kind of like a campus couple."

"A campus couple?" Jody winced back as if that was funny to her.

"Oh, you know the type. They hold hands, and they love to study together. They don't need much, but everything is like a little adventure, you know. And of course, everyone envies you two."

"I don't think anyone would envy me," Jody told her as she took the bottle and sat down in the certain chair where the baby was either breastfed or given a bottle. "Well, I guess I thought that when I was with Andrew." She seemed a little sad about it. "It was like I could see everyone thinking, 'why is he with her?'"

Angel could tell it must have always been hard being Andrew's girlfriend. She knew his parents weren't that fond of her and she now knew Andrew didn't treat her like a bride-to-be.

"It's better now," Angel helped her with little  Freddie then. To make sure he was getting the bottle properly. "Just think of the things you two can do together. Who knows, you might want to travel."

"Traveling?" Jody shook her head. "I think we like staying home."

"But there might be a time, you two will want to get away from all of us," Angel smiled. She said she thought it might be a little crowded around here. People might start thinking they owned the old apartment complex.

"Is mom bothering you?" Jody wanted to know.

"Surprisingly, no." Angel shrugged. "I was certain she'd be here all the time. Just for a little bit on a Sunday afternoon, these days."

"She's been over a time or two, but really you'd think she lived in Kansas City or something. I don't see her often," Jody watched the sleeping infant nursing the bottle. 

"It must be Sal," Angel nodded. "I wonder what he told her?"

"She's not loud like she used to be. She seems calmer these days," Jody looked up at Angel and smiled.

"Really, I never knew my dad had that kind of effect on women." She hugged herself and laughed as if she liked this side of her father.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

It's a new year!


Jody really didn't have much to say about Aaron's Dad, Alton. Perhaps it was all a little sad, but she didn't want to get melancholy. Especially, when she was at Angel and Jared's and there was a baby to play with. She smiled ever so endearing. Naturally, she'd brought pampers and some onesies while she was out.

"Are you sure you haven't heard anything from.." Angel pressed her lips tight as if Jody would have to guess.  Jody didn't want to think about Andrew. Maybe he'd called, but she'd changed her number. She didn't have a phone with him anymore. Of course, he hadn't tracked her down. She must have meant nothing to him after all, or he was just giving her space. She didn't want to think about it. She shook her head, no, and picked up the infant instead.

His legs were so chubby and he was so heavy.

"What are you feeding him?" Jody smiled. Angel only sighed with a smile. She mentioned his percentile and other baby stuff Jody wasn't really aware of, but Freddie was definitely doing great. And so active too.

"So what do you think about Cara and Kenny?" Angel went to the kitchen to get a bottle ready for Freddie so Jody could feed him.

"And Jay and Amanda," Jody quickly smiled about it. "I dunno, but I like it. I feel Cara needs us more than ever and I'm glad she's with Kenny too. For the first time, we're all couples, you know." She said that was something to be happy about for the new year.

"I guess so," Angel shrugged and Jody could understand her sister-in-law's doubt. "I never know with Cara. She's full of surprises, but distant too." She said she thought it was all fake with Cara and Kenny.

Jody nodded. She didn't want to think that way about Cara. She hoped for the best. "What do you think of Aaron and me?" Jody couldn't help but stare at Angel as if maybe she was a fortune-teller after all, or maybe a true gypsy.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Whatever makes you feel the sun from the inside out

 Jay was at his wit's end. He thought for sure he could ring in the new year alone. Well, at least with just Amanda. However, throw in some snow and a sleepover and suddenly life changed. Especially, what had Cara done to Amanda's hair?

His sweet Amanda. Maybe there was just too much girl time. A part of him felt he'd deprived Amanda all this time, but he thought she had plenty of friendships. There was Angel and Jared after all.

Oh, this ungodly long time of family and togetherness. They didn't even make it over to see Amanda's parents. They had been sick. Of course, Jay felt he might be sick.

But as luck would have it, after the cold snap came a warming trend and he ended up grilling steaks for the new year. Of course, there was Kenny who paid for the groceries. After all, he and Cara were staying with them during Twixmas Break. 

Naturally, he wondered if these people still had jobs. He still went to work and Amanda only went in the morning but had plenty of time to try all those little macaroon shops and milk tea afternoons with Cara. One would have thought they were visiting some other country. But Kenny drove them around and each evening there was something to eat from a new place they shopped. 

"Shouldn't we be worried about Aaron and Jodie?" Jay got back to the original worry they kept Cara and Kenny in the burbs.

"I think they're fine," Cara said about Aaron and his Dad. They'd seen them at Christmas. They'd given his dad Alton plenty. He seemed to be a kid in a candy store. They'd all given him something and he said he was blessed. 

Jay could only grit a grin now. So that's what this was all about. They were blessed. He supposed so. Because he did savor the chance to eat steak one more night while Cara and Kenny were here. Still, he hoped Amanda didn't go blonde. Didn't she know she wasn't Scandanavian?