The Parents went back to Los Angeles last night after a two-week visit. Our small apartment is once again our own and that’s a nice feeling, but a visit from The Parents is always sweet. They are good sports about everything and are willing to do anything we have the urge to do. They’re comfortable to have around and only become stubborn when we try to waste food.
Last night, Brian told me about having witnessed my mom carrying an apparently empty salad bowl across the living room to Dad one evening so she could offer him a single leaf of lettuce that was about to go to waste. Dad ate it, of course. He eats anything he suspects someone is about to throw away. Its state of decay is of no matter. If it’s a choice between something going into the garbage can or going into Dad, the only moral thing to do, according to The Parents, is to give it to Dad. I’ve never been able to figure out how this makes the world a better place, but it makes sense to them so I do a lot of nodding and smiling while they’re here and then I toss all the rotting leftovers once they’re gone.
Mom read my entire novel in one day last week. She has never read anything I’ve written before, but since “Terps” is on Amazon now, she was curious. I worried it might disappoint her. None of the characters have any apparent religious affiliation and one of them says “fuck” upon occasion, so I was hoping she wouldn’t think I was depraved. She didn’t. Sweet Mom sat in what Brian calls the “Vicki Chair” all day with my old (very hot) laptop on her lap and read it through, claiming to be hooked and wanting more. She also found a typo or two for me, which was very helpful. We’re still looking for those.
Dad and I had a mini chess tournament over the last few days. He started off moaning about how rusty he was and even pretended to forget how to move the pieces properly, but once he started saying things like, “Oh well. I guess I should just take your queen while I’m over here…” there was no hope for me. The dumber he pretended to be, the more blood he would shed. On Sunday, I asked him if he wanted to play again. “I want to beat you again,” was his response. Anyone who knows Chuck Williams knows how uncharacteristic of him such a statement is. Final score: Dad-5. Me-2. I’m surprised I beat him at all. Time to reexamine my Bobby Fischer chess book for some pointers. Oh, and now that Dad has the taste for it again, he is threatening to show up at Randy’s apartment to challenge him to a game from time to time. I think Randy is the brother who plays chess. If not, my apologies to Randy.
So now it’s back to normal. The cats can wander freely through the apartment without fear that they’ll be found snoozing on The Parents’ pillows and we can sit back and watch The Bachelorette, knowing it’s a stupid show but feeling at liberty to indulge ourselves since there are no witnesses.