Tuesday, November 1, 2011

scene from a dirty kitchen

We have a middle aged single mom and her college aged son discussing a life changing decision. She has on her favorite stretchy purple pants and dreams of the day they will be sold at Christie's so that her grandchildren won't need to learn to read. Her son, attempting to escape the example set by both his parents, has recently put his mother on a behavior program less about modification and more about entertainment through encouragement. Three minutes past every hour he tells her she is awesome. This not only makes her smile but encourages her to buy groceries. It has been six months and she has yet to see a pattern or suspect that he doesn't really think she is awesome. We catch the two as she is heating canned food and discussing her recent voluntary career change from employed to unemployed. During the dialogue a camera is focused on an English Bulldog sitting at full attention. The dog's gaze is alternating from one character to the other.

Mom (dumps a large can of mixed greens into a saucepan): I have a shameful admission. What number is this? Have we lost count?

Son (smiles, heats up a bowl of soup in a small white microwave and turns to her): Yes. Go ahead.

Mom: Well, it's like this. I have this good side of me that hopes whoever takes over my job is fantastic, that what that place needed was an injection of something other than me, that I was it's problem, that once I am gone some dark cloud will be lifted and everyone will be happy and wonderful and fantastic. (she begins to animate the discussion by dancing around the kitchen in an effort to illustrate a child's fairy tale ending and elicit a laugh)

Son (laughs).

Mom (stops, faces son and whispers): But then there's this dark side.

Son (chuckles): What's the dark side?

Mom: There's a part of me, a very small part, much smaller than the good part that hopes the whole place falls in when I walk out the door. That it wasn't me. That I was good and it wasn't me that made it so bad and they all realize it right before it blows up like in the Die Hard movies.

The camera moves from the bulldog to a clock hanging on the wall. It is three past the hour. We scan back to the characters.

Son (laughs again and hugs her): Mom, you're awesome.

End scene.

Do I even have to say it? Okay, I will. With gratitude.

Dear Reader,

The new girl started today and she really is awesome. Yay and damn it.


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