Friday, August 28, 2009
Eat Sensibly, Tom and Julie
"So. What are they doing?" Julie said.
Tom leaned out the open window. Julie rested on the roof, toes upturned to the dying summer twilight. "Mom looks like she's going to fall asleep at the table. She spilled her whiskey."
Dad's voice sliced up through the quiet air.
Light from the kitchen below fanned onto the lawn from the open window.
"Did she see you?" Julie said.
"Yeah, she saw me. But her eyes couldn't even focus. She could've been looking at Frank Sinatra. Or an ironing board."
Booze eyes. Julie's term for it.
"Good," she said. "So what did you get?"
"They're still in the kitchen." Tom huffed his weight up onto the sill. Julie slid over. "I couldn't risk much, obviously," he said.
"I know." Julie flipped a page of the book on her stomach. "It's fine. I'm not very hungry anyway."
"Here. I got us two oranges. I know they've been sitting a while. But I don't think they're spoiled."
Something crashed downstairs.
They both flinched.
Not clear if the offender was mom or dad.
"Mom's still got some fight in her," Tom said. That was good for them. As long as she could totter on feet, they would beat on each other. When mom went down for the count, dad would come looking for more.
Tom smiled. But dad was afraid of heights. He never set foot on the roof.
"What do you have there?" Tom said, stretching out on the shingles.
"Medical encyclopedia. Did you know there's pictures of sexual intercourse positions in here?"
"Yeah, I know."
Julie ran her finger along the page.
"I'll take that orange after all," she said.