Kenny’s enormous hands engulfed Eric’s as they greeted one another. “How do you know my mom?” asked Kenny.
Intimidated by such a fine male specimen, Eric began to stutter. “Uhh, uhh, I’m just here to fix the plumbing,” he replied.
“Eric is your cousin,” interrupted Patricia, “you know my sister that I haven’t spoken to in 40 years? Eric’s her son.”
“Is that so?” replied a skeptical Kenny. “Well it’s certainly nice of my mother to have taken her nephew in. She has shown you more compassion than she’s shown me these last few years.”
“Eric, will you excuse us?” asked Patricia.
“Certainly,” said Eric after sensing the awkwardness. He speedily left the room. “You have a lot of goddamn nerve,” Patricia told her son.
“I HAVE a lot of nerve?” said Kenny. “YOU’RE the drunk doctor that somehow killed a patient during a routine colonoscopy. YOU’RE the alcoholic wife that sucked and fucked the entire neighborhood. And it doesn’t appear that you’ve changed your ways either! Empty vodka bottles are everywhere and now it seems like you’re into going to GameStop and picking up younger guys!”
“Don’t give me that shit!” replied Patricia. “Your father was just as guilty as me, yet you chose to side with him!”
“You burned the goddamn house down MOM! What did you expect me to do after you tried to kill us?!”
Patricia covered her face with her hands. “You know that was an accident, Kenny,” she said. “How many times do you want me to say sorry?”
“Jesus Christ,” replied Kenny. He grabbed one of the numerous liquor bottles from the cabinet and poured a drink.
After several moments of silence, Patricia spoke up. “So what do you want from me?”
Kenny looked down at his glass. “I’ve been let go from another job,” he said. “Camila left me and now I can’t pay rent. So I’m coming home, Ma.”
That night, after another nasty fuck session, Patricia rolled over alone while Eric laid there in bed staring at the ceiling. Then a strange thought occurred to him: something was bothering her. Should he try to actually talk to her?
Eric tapped her on the shoulder. “Kenny seems like a pretty cool guy. Is he moving in?” he asked.
Though slightly annoyed, Patricia realized that this was Eric’s awkward attempt at conversation. She rolled over to look him in the eye. “Yes,” she said, “he’s fallen into hard times and I’m helping him out.”
“I guess you two haven’t always gotten along, huh?”
“Do you care to talk about it?”
“Should I leave?”
Patricia didn’t know what it was about this stupid idiot lying in bed with her. From the outside, it would appear that they had nothing in common. But for this brief moment, this odd couple both knew there was something, however intangible, between them.
She placed her hand on Eric’s cheek to comfort him. “Just stay out of the way,” she said.
TO BE CONTINUED…