GingerbreadLane

It's fiction dontcha know. If you've made it this far, you were probably invited. Enjoy the writing process with me and feel free to leave feedback.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I shook my head, clenched my teeth

and slammed the front door. Damn, him.

Chloe, the toe-headed cherub, had eaten exactly two moon-shaped bites from the pancake I'd given her two hours before. The pug was curious enough to snort at it--it was, afterall, in her territory now, flat cold on the linoleum in front of the kitchen sink.

Stimey's bugged-out baby browns were looked me straight in the eyes as if to say, "You gonna eat that?"

"Go on and eat it, Stime. It's all yours."

"Get it, Girl. Chloe doesn't want it. Eat it." Stimey looked down at the abandoned pancake one more time. "Got any cheese?"

There was a can of fruit cocktail still in the cabinet next to the can of Dark Red Kidney Beans, Creamed Style Corn, Pineapple Rings, and a curiously unlabeled can from who knows when. Sigh. I decided I'd break out the fruit cocktail when Chloe woke up. In the mean time, I had just about two hours of nap time to figure out what the hell I was going to do. I slouched down in a kitchen chair, propped my elbows on the table, face in palms.

Had it been the dead of winter and we were lucky enough to have just had a blizzard, I'd call my little buddy R.J. and see if he was up for a rerun of our emergency quick money making adventure. About seven years before, when Chloe's big sister Jess was but an infant herself, it had just snowed no less than a foot and a half in the wee hours of the night before. It was lunch time and reality suggested we would be out of baby food as of after dinner and had not 46 cents for a Gerber jar anywhere in the apartment. Tomorrow was coming and crying wasn't going to feed the baby any more than Byron's shoulder shrugging had so far. I stared out the window watching the wind whisk dry snow over the ice encrusted drifts that surrounded the car. Blink. I snatched the phone and speed dialed. I had a plan.

"Ssup-ssup?!" This was the greeting R.J. and I had established over the years. No need for further identification.

"Sssssuppp!"

"Man, I'm in a jam. You wanna go see if we can earn some cash shoveling driveways?" I asked hoping he was game.

"Uh, yeah sure, I guess. Split the money?"

"Yup. No problem."

"I'll be there as soon as the 'ol Tercel can blaze the trail from here to there. You got a shovel?"

"No. You got an extra?"

"Yup. Later." Click.

"So, I'm going to shovel driveways with R.J. because we have to have baby food for tomorrow." I announce.

Here's where I expected him to rise from the dilapidated futon couch and say, in the voice of The Lone Ranger, "I'll have none of that! When the lad arrives, I shall spend the afternoon knocking on doors offering manual labor in exchange for the provisions we need. Step aside, Little Lady . . . and, by the way, good plan."

"Uh, K. What time will you be back?" he said aiming the remote.

I'd have said 'When hell freezes over' except that I wasn't sure it hadn't.

"Well, gosh when will you be hungry?"

"Whaaaat?" he whined in his Who Me voice.

"You know--forget it." I stomped to the bedroom to find a second pair of socks, a turtle neck and my pink pullover.

Six hours later I spent $40 at the grocery store. Two bucks of it spent on eight ounces, yes, that's right, a half o'pound box of miniature Reece's Peanut Butter Cups--all of which I consumed in the half-mile from the grocery store to the apartment parking lot.

1 Comments:

  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger LulaGirl said…

    Now I've back tracked. We have Jesse, age 7. I still don't know where she's at or what she's doing.

     

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