Monday, April 2, 2012

Bill In His Easy Chair

This is a short fiction story Mom wrote in 1993 about a mom trying to get through to her teenager.

The photo is of Mom from about 10 years before this story was written, in 1983.

Bill sighs as he plunks slovenly into the warn easy chair in front of the TV with a Coke in one hand and a bag of chips in the other hand. He carelessly throws his leg over the arm, spilling some chips on the floor. He looks at them but is only concerned with the amount still in the bag.

"Here girl! Come on Sal, here is a special treat," Bill hollers at the top of his lungs. A small spaniel bounds into the room and jumps on his lap. Her tail wagging in delight. "Ah not me, Sal, on the floor. There's your snack." Sal is shoved to the floor to start to clean up the mess. She is a blond cocker spaniel with the cutest curls on her ears, which drag on the floor as she quickly does away with the chips. Now that she is aware of what is in the bag she jumps back on Bill's lap for more. Irritated Bill shoves her back down. Sal sits patiently on the floor waiting for another accident.

It's 10 a.m. and Bill, a good-looking seventeen year old, is bored. There is much he could do, but he only has the ambition to watch TV. He hasn't even bothered to change clothes today, as he still wears his town blue jeans and T-shirt from last night when he got in very late from "riding his motorcycle with the boys."

"Bill, get dressed and go down to the youth center," his mother shouted from the kitchen. "You need to get interested in something. I worry about you wasting your life away in front of the TV. You know your friend Brian works down there. Maybe he can help you find a job there. I know how much you like basketball, why not use some of the fun and knowledge and help someone else, instead of always thinking about yourself." By this time she is standing in front of Bill. She is dressed in her black pants and sweater purse in hand on her way out of her luncheon.

"Mom, you know how I hate all that organized stuff. Besides, I can't work with kids, they drive me nuts. They always have so much energy."

"That's just it, Bill, you need to get some of that energy. You know, like you used to. You used to have so much fun with the boys, playing basketball, baseball, and running. What's happened? Is there something bothering you? You just haven't been the same, since, ah, we lost your dad. Is that it? Do you miss your Dad?"

"Mom, I just can't get into anything. My mind has gone blank," Bill replied, quickly staring at the floor.

"Maybe you need someone to talk to. Would you speak to a counselor if I made an appointment. It is nothing to be ashamed of, it is just sometimes we just need more help than we are able to give ourselves. I've been seeing a counselor for several months now and it has made me feel like I am a new person. I know it could help you too. Would you let me make the appointment. I'll go with you, if you want me to."

Bill just sat there unable to speak. "I love you so much. I just can't stand seeing you wasting away your time like this," his mom went on.

"Let me think about it Mom. Maybe one visit wouldn't hurt," Bill reluctantly agreed.

"Oh honey, I know it will make you feel better. Now I will take care of it. Why don't you go upstairs and take a shower and put on clean clothes. I have to go to my luncheon now. I should be back by 3 p.m. and maybe we can go out to dinner tonight, or would you rather just eat alone here. Now you need to get out of the house. You pick." She rattled on like a magpie. She was a handsome woman in her middle 40s. She exercised every day, so her body was rather trim. Her regular weekly trip to the salon kept her hair very stylish.

She grabbed her purse and walked out the door. Bill remained in the easy chair munching on his chips and drinking his Coke. Sal remained ready to jump at the first morsel to land within reach. Bill did, however, seem a little more restless - more deep in thought. Maybe there was something wrong.

Connie, Feb. 16, 1993

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