No Cognitive Defect - Part I

Wilson decided to fix a plate of food. Evan trailed him closely and Wilson ignored him. He used his good hand for the plate, setting it down on the buffet table whenever he saw something he liked, layering on some food, then picking up his plate and moving along to the selection. When he finally got to the dessert table, he found himself next to Father Giannini, who was agonizing over the choice of cookies or pie.

“Try the blueberry pie, Father,” Wilson suggested. “Pie is the currency of the Almighty.”

This drew a curious expression from the young priest, who said, simply, “Thank you, I will.”

After Wilson made room on his plate for some cookies, he started back towards his table. Evan’s eyes virtually begged Wilson to let him carry the food, a silent plea Wilson ignored. He wasn’t helpless; he could surely manage to get his food to his table. But he didn’t quite make it. He was shuffling slowly towards his seat, carefully avoiding people passing by him on their way to the buffet line, giving them weak nods when his eyes caught theirs. He was nearly there when his right foot got tangled on the leg of a chair. While he caught himself quickly, and was never in any danger of falling, he lost control of his plate and food started rolling off. A chicken leg hurtled to the floor. Next, meatballs and baby carrots made their escape to the carpet. Wilson tried to level the plate, but over-compensated and sent cookies sliding to the floor. Only the mashed potatoes and ziti survived. He felt everyone’s eyes on him and had to bear the indignity of Evan rushing to his rescue.

“I’ll fix you another,” Evan said as he cleaned up the disaster and seated his father.

“No,” said Wilson. “Just take me home.”

“We can’t, Dad, not yet” Evan whispered. “People are still coming in. We have to stay.”

“Well, then, just bring me a coffee. I’ll gnaw on my ziti and try to avoid dribbling sauce on my chin like an imbecile. Just get me out of here as soon as it’s socially acceptable.”

Evan chewed his lower lip a second then nodded. Wilson looked across the room and caught the priest’s eye. Father pointed to a forkful of pie and gave a thumbs-up.

“Complete moron,” Wilson sighed to no one as he set to work on his ziti.

* * *

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