Mom and I were at Perkins. The pies on the menu were in full color, which gave me a lump in my pants.
"What are you getting?" Mom said.
"The Ham Egg Cheese Melt Souffle."
"Mm. Sounds good."
The server came by. "Have you decided?"
"Yes," Mom said. "I'll have the Ham Egg Cheese Melt Souffle."
"Excellent choice, Madam. And you?"
"I'm going to have the Turkey Berry Cakey Goo."
"Oh!" Mom said. "What's that? Where's that? Oh, that looks good too. I'll have that instead."
"Two Turkey Berry Cakey Goos, then."
"No, I'm going to have the Foo Foo Bunny Short Stack."
"Oh! That sounds good. I'll have that."
"Jesus, Mom." I put my menu down. "Why even bother looking at the menu? Just have whatever I'm having."
Mom talked about the two Ethiopian ladies she worked with in taking care of Medora. There was Zenash, wide-hipped, diabetic and cooker of "horrible" African stews. And Swit, a younger lady, who was always late and studying to be a nurse. At last our copycat meals arrived.
"So Medora bit Swit," Mom said.
"Why did Medora bite Swite? And did she bit Swit's tit, said Sam I Am?"
"Swit was trying to get Medora out of her transport, and Medora bit her. She was very unhappy."
"So how long before she bites you, Mom? Maybe that will be a good sign to quit, yes?"
"And I had to do three loads of laundry. There was so much poop everywhere. Usually Medora is, you know, constipated. But lately she's just been going and going. If we could just put a plug in there! And I had to call 911 to get her up out of bed because of all the poop. The poop was just everywhere. I'd never seen so much poop. I even gave names to each poop. I called the big one Poop."
I pushed away my sausage patty.
"Aren't you going to eat that?"
"And then Zenash keeps talking about keeping Medora's ninety-year-old vagina clean. Always with the vagina cleaning! Just about every day she's washing and scrubbing Medora's honey box. The other day when I got there she was just scrubbing away on it...!"
I pushed away my crab cakes.
"And now I have to clean poop and vaginas all alone tomorrow because I'm covering for Zenash. I don't want to, but I can't tell her no, I guess."
"How sad, Mom. You can't tell people no. You're just like me. How sad."
"I'd like to tell her what I think of her work ethic, but..."
"That's the price of civilization, isn't it. On the one hand you can tell people what you think and make them mad, or you can hide your thoughts and get along. Your choice: hypocrite or monster. And then we die in a pit of mud with our bodies rotting..."
Mom pushed away her lime pudding.
"Bring back the pie menu. Garcon!"
Yes. Let us forget our troubles with pie. GLORIOUS PIE
Erhn, maybe not. (Can't anything go my way?)