We were sitting in the salon across from each other, Baby Boy and I. He was watching a movie. I was reading the newspaper. Fred was taking a nap on the settee in front of me. We should have been all of us, more or less content.
Baby Boy picked up the remote and adjusted the sound on his movie. When he replaced it on the table it's edge crossed my paper. I moved the remote two inches aside so I could turn the pages of my paper without undue hindrance. Baby Boy watched his movie. I read my paper. Fred slept on the settee. Three times Baby Boy picked up the remote and three times he replaced it on the table. Each time he replaced it, just an edge of the instrument lay over my paper. Three times I picked it up and moved it two inches away.
"I'm scared", I told Fred.
"That doesn't do any good", he replied.
We were sitting in the salon across from each other Baby Boy and I. He was playing pinball on the computer. I was reading a book. Fred was in the wheelhouse flipping through Pacific Yachting and probably smoking too much. We should have been all of us, more or less content.
"Don't bang on the keys so hard", I told Baby Boy.
He looked at me, mumbled and went back to his game. I got up from the settee and went to the fridge for a drink of juice.
"Don't bang on the keys so hard," I said again walking towards the wheelhouse.
"I'm not", he said.
"Fuck you too", I replied laughing and walked up the ladder to the wheelhouse. Speaking to Fred, I said, "You get so caught up in the game. It's easy to forget and start treating it like a real pin ball machine."
Cash. Bang. Boom. Baby Boy walked out.
I threw myself to the wheelhouse door and leaned out gaily shouting "goodbye". I waved my hand. Baby waves. Bye Bye. Bye Bye.
Baby Boy kept walking but he raised his arm. I saw it.
"I'm not a child."
"You're not a child", I replied, "If I had to say anything it'd probably be something like that you're an alien from other space."
I thought later, "Maybe I should have said that to Baby Boy".
We'd talked about his name the other day. He'd voted for Free. I'd wanted him to think about it for awhile but he voted for Free.
Free left a message on our answering machine to tell us he was just phoning home to let us know he was OK.
"His voice sounds tight", I said to Fred. "He sounds like he wants to cry."
We went for our evening stroll and when we came back the phone showed CALL again. This time I put the message over the telephone speaker and Fred listened to it as well. There was no new message. Just a replay from the day before.
"His voice sounds tight", said Fred.
I thought, "Maybe I should have said that to Baby Boy."
"That" was this, what I said to Fred.
"Baby Boy has to make decision. He has to decide whether he wants a job and responsibilities and worries and hurdles to overcome forever, for the rest of his life." I had tears in my eyes. I was crying a lot those days when I ended my judgment to Fred with, "and someone to cry because he's gone... ……or what he's had."
"Maybe I should have said that to Free", I thought.
I was sitting in the salon reading a book. Fred was in the wheelhouse probably smoking too many cigarettes. Free came in. It was 20 minutes until supper. We should have been all of us, more or less, content.
"Can you move?" Free asked me. "I want to play with the computer. That is…", he continued, "if it's not inconvenient to you?"
"Of course it's inconvenient", I muttered and then raged.
"You think you're perfect", he told me.
"Listen to me", were the words I hurled back.
Then he was gone.
"Fred", I shouted, "he's packing!"
"Bye Bye Baby Boy. Bye Bye Free."