The POV Experiment: Father Hubbard, by Lisa Samson
I once loved her in such tender completion, but forty years later, her voice scrapes down my Eustachian tubes like a rusty fork on a pilled sweater.
"Hezekiah! Hezekiah Hubbard!"
What now? Five minutes ago she yelled up the steps, asking if I'd remembered to get trash bags at Costco.
No. I hadn't.
Next--the 80 pound bucket of dog food.
Of course, I'd forgotten that too. Not that she'd written it on the list. Oh, no. The woman expected me to her mind. For forty years I've said, "I'm no mind reader, Mother," and for forty years she continues to get mad at me for not filling a role I ever once said I could.
"What is it, Mother?"I set my toothbrush, bristles facing the door, please, into the holder.
"Did you remember the Milk Bones?"
"Was it on the list?"
Oh, I could picture her, those skinny lips puckering inside more wrinkles than found in one of Al Gansky's plot lines.
"So I suppose it's my fault now, Hezekiah? Why must I always be the one worried about the dog's needs?"
Might as well go down. Sooner than any man married to a woman called Old Mother would like, I stood with her in front of the gaping cupboard.
"Look it, Hezekiah. Empty." She crossed her arms. "Would it kill you, even once, to look and see how much food the poor dog has?"
It might. Then I'd have to come into the kitchen, Old Mother's domain, more than I'd like because it would become my responsibility from thence point even forevermore. I couldn't suppress the smile.
"You think this is funny? Fine then, the dog can starve for all I care." She stomped out of the kitchen.
The dog sat at my feet, tongue hanging out, tail wagging.
I reached for the leash on the hook near the door. "Come on, boy. I've got steaks hidden in the freezer in the garage. Let's go to the park and have us a cookout."
Lisa Samson's latest, Straight Up, is winning rave reviews all over the blogosphere. Visit http://www.lisasamson.com.