No Cognitive Defect - Part II

The kitchen door opened, and Evan burst in with two more bags of groceries. His eyes lit up the second he saw Anita.

“Oh, you’re here!” he exclaimed.

“I tried to call you, but I kept getting your voicemail,” Anita replied, tapping the cell phone hanging from her pocket. “My battery is about dead, and I left my charger home. I was shopping in town. Everyone seems to know your mother. There was a nice lady…rather a large woman, really, with a big, wide-brimmed straw hat...she gave me very good directions. I hitchhiked a little, and walked the last few miles.”

“Was she alone?” Wilson asked, half-interested.

“With her husband, I think,” Anita replied. “Skinny little fellow.”

Soup-Kitchen Ray and the missus, Wilson thought, and smiled.

“You’ve met Dad,” said Evan.

“Yes,” she sighed. “He doesn’t like me.”

“He doesn’t like anybody,” Evan chuckled.

Wilson frowned and took a swig of his tea.

“I’m trying to get him excited about my stew.”

“Good luck with that,” Evan said as he started unloading his grocery bags. “Dad’s strictly meat and potatoes.”

“So I gather,” she said, laughing.

“Did you buy any real food, Evan?” Wilson asked. “Something to seal up my coronary arteries and finish me off?”

“Just staples: coffee, milk, bread, cereal,” Evan replied. “I got some cookies too, Dad. Two of your favorites: oatmeal raisin and chocolate-covered grahams.”

“I’m going out on the porch to smoke a joint,” Anita said matter-of-factly just as Wilson was swallowing some tea, nearly causing him to choke. “You fellows catch up on things.”

Before Wilson could protest, she was out the door. “She’s here less than hour and she’s smoking dope on my porch!” he cried.

“You let me smoke it in my room,” Evan countered.

“Not me, your mother. I abstained on that vote.”

“Parent’s don’t get to abstain on those things. If you didn’t stop me, you let me.”

Wilson snorted, and sipped more tea.

“Just give her a chance, Dad,” Evan pleaded as he started putting away the rest of the groceries. “It’s all I ask.”

Evan’s phone rang, and he took it off his belt and squinted at the display.

“It’s Josh,” he said. “I’ve got to take this. I’ll be on the porch.”

“Who’s Josh?” Wilson asked as Evan flipped open his phone and began talking. Evan turned and mouthed the words ‘my agent’ before walking out the door.

Wilson sighed nervously as the familiar thick, sweet smell of marijuana wafted into the kitchen from the porch. Suddenly, he felt disoriented and outside himself. Was this still his house? Was he even really here? His peripheral vision faded and he started to cry out for Erica, but caught himself and closed his eyes. He forced himself to breath slowly and evenly. When he opened his eyes again a few seconds later, the panic attack was subsiding.

“It’s all just so fast, Erica,” he whispered to himself. “Why is everything happening so fast?”

* * *

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