My pal plans to visit me, the recouperating invalid. I glance out the window to see the road filling up with rain, a river. I hear the whiz on my neighbours sprinkler system as it spouts into action, because we are in California.
When she arrives I am busy scrubbing the toothpaste smears off the sofa. I drop a tea towel over the petrified banana that I found under it and wonder how much of a failure the current 'fruit' campaign is in reality? I resolve to turn myself into a fruit bat and seek out 6 weeks of fruit in all the usual and less usual places. I try not to be distracted by thoughts of junior and rain and meltdowns and cabin fever. [translation = he is allergic to rain.]
We sit at the table we I sip tepid coffee gingerly and attempt conversation as my elastic bands twang.
“I thought you had cleaners once a week?”
“I do, but that's a top to bottom affair. I have deal with the day to day, or minute to minute deluge.” I remind myself that I probably don't have to worry about the 'whole' fruits as they'll just turn into raisins, it's more the sliced and diced versions that will transform themselves into black, furry mould. I sniff discretely to see if I can detect fermentation? I pay attention.
“I thought you said most people lose weight? You look the same? Sort of.”
“I am the same, 6 to 8 bottles Ensures that. It's just my face is swollen so I look bigger.” Junior has arrived at the table and waits patiently to tell me something. He is holding his nose, pinched between his index finger and thumb. I know that he wishes to register a verbal protest about the stench of the coffee, as the acrid fumes are offensive to him. I am so heartily impressed with his social skills, by not interrupting that a warm glow envelops me.
“Yes dear? What do you want to tell me lovey?”
“I am here to be telling you somefink else.” I disguise my confusion with a gentle smile. ”What is it dear?”
“I am not talking to you, I am talking to her,” he points at my pal with his other hand, his finger tip dangerously close to her eye. It is hard to tell who he is addressing because his body isn't orientated to anyone or anything in particular.
“I am saying dat mummy is dah fat one like dah Puffer fish. Not dah Goldfish because dey are being thin in dah face, you see, like dis!” He sucks in his cheeks, concave and purses his lips. I ignore my pal and her giggles. My enthusiasm and warmth for him wanes.