Family Life

Episode 2 – Ticket to Ride

I am in the shower, trying to rinse off the aches in my back, my neck, my hips. Mornings are like that.

Going back to work after the Christmas holidays. I have so much on my mind.

Above the noise of the shower spraying I hear tinkling in the toilet. Denny is up.

I turn off the shower and squeegee down the wall tiles with a firm grip on the rubber handle.

A few minutes later my hair is dried, my make-up is on. “I have a million thoughts running through my head for my story.”

“Would it help for you to record them?”

“I don’t have time for that.”

Denny doesn’t offer an alternative. In his life there is always time for the things he wants to do.

I sit down in my chair and start typing. I will follow Denny’s recommendation and quickly get some notes down before work.

Denny says something and then stops himself. “I shouldn’t be interrupting you.” He is still on holidays and is sitting on the sofa opposite me. He pulls a fuzzy brown blanket over his head. It’s the week after Christmas and he doesn’t have to teach this week. He is in his underwear and I can see his large white legs sticking out from beneath the blanket.

“I’m not here,” I hear Denny’s muffled voice from underneath the blanket. Of course I’m not distracted as he continues to sit there, his ankles crossed and his feet wiggling.

His looks up and now he is wearing the blanket as a toga. I grin.

“I’m going to write a silly book, like Miranda Spence.” I point at the book I was reading yesterday.

“You’re laughing already and you haven’t even finished the book.”

I’m not really laughing, but almost.

“I tell you, if you can make people laugh, they’re going to love it,” Denny tells me. “That’s what people want. They want you to make them laugh.”

I smile some more. I get back to typing. Only now I have forgotten the main thing I wanted to remember to write, the reason I risked turning on my computer before work.

I get up and walk to the kitchen, where the thought originated, thinking this might help.

“The bananas you bought yesterday are already over-ripe,” I tell Denny. His doctor advised him to eat a banana a day for potassium.

I look in the fridge for something to take for lunch. Yesterday evening I polished off a tub of rice pudding and there is one more chilling in front of me. I reach for a carrot. Lutein, for my eyes. They have been burning lately. I grab a celery stick and a couple of radishes to go with my carrot and stuff them in a container and snap it shut.

I glance at the table. On the table is the Ticket to Ride game we played last night. We’ve long ago given up having normal breakfasts together, except on weekends when Denny cooks. His breakfasts can rival any restaurant.

Denny sees me looking at the game, “You won again yesterday. You’re better than I am.”

“No I’m not.”

“Yes you are. You’ve won every time except once.”

“I just have a strategy that works.”

“That’s why you’re better than me.”

“Not really.”

Because Denny is not working I have asked him to go to work with me today and help me out with my desktop publishing. Denny is a pretty good self-trained computer tech.

I also need him to do a couple of odd jobs at my work.

“If it’s ok with you, I think I’ll plan to put that thing up on the wall on Friday instead, and anything else you need on Friday.”

“Umm. Uh huh.” That thing refers to the white receptacles in the ladies’ bathroom stalls. A lot of things have been neglected in the last decade at the non-profit I work for, including waste receptacles in the women’s bathrooms.

Today Denny will do computer work. Friday he will replace lightbulbs and do kitchen and bathroom maintenance. He likes to have a definite plan. When I was hired it was assumed Denny would be handy. He’s cool with it. So far.

Denny will come help me after lunch. I put on my coat and shoes, grab my veggies and purse, give Denny a kiss, close and lock the door behind me and leave for work.

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