A rewrite of a story from a couple years ago...
A Pitcher of Milk
"Oh, MAN!" I moaned as we pulled into line at the drive-through. "I'm definitely going to be late for work now."
"I'm sorry, Dad!"
My genius of a son spilled a pitcher of milk this morning and in the havoc ended up missing both his breakfast and the school bus. His school was on my way to work, so I was driving him. My wife, Sally, insisted the two of us stop for a breakfast sandwich, too. "He's a growing boy," she said reminding me of my fatherly duties.
"I hope you know the trouble you're causing me." Glancing at my watch, my heart thumped louder as I realized the meeting at work I was supposed to chair was about ready to begin. "Is this line ever going to move?" I pounded the steering wheel with my fist. The navy blue Ford in front of us inched forward. "What were you doing taking the early bus anyway? I thought you go later."
"I'm in the play, Dad! Rehearsal."
"Oh...I didn't know that," I mumbled. My thoughts returned to the pitcher of milk tipping off the table. White liquid soaring through the air...
"Oh." ...Milk raining, some slapping against my chest. "What play is that?"
He looked at me like I was green with antennae coming out of my head. "The Senior Class Play!"
"Oh...You're a senior this year. That's right." The pitcher crashing to the floor and milk spreading like a river...out of reach, out of control...
Cars moved while we spoke, and the navy Ford in front of us jumped up several spots. I looked at my watch.
"Dad, we could skip the breakfast if you want."
"No. I promised your mother." The blue car ahead inched again. "So what's the play?"
"'You Can't Take It With You.' I must have told you a thousand times."
"Oh, I guess I forgot." The milk spreading across the floor, never to be contained, neat and tidy, in the pitcher again...
The navy Ford finished at the order window. We were next.
"Welcome to McDonald's! Can I take your order?"
"Two egg McMuffins...and a coffee..." I looked at my son.
"I drink coffee, too, Dad."
"Make that two coffees." I turned to him. "When did you start drinking that stuff?"
"About two years ago!"
"Oh." The milk making rivers with tributaries running into cracks and corners, never to be mine again...
I drove while we ate in silence. We pulled up to his school. "So when is this play?" I asked to break the silence.
"Oh, I'll be out of town on business Friday."
"I know. I already assumed you wouldn't be there." He paused. "You never are." Our eyes met and he turned away. "See ya sometime," he said swinging open the door and bursting out. I watched him walk away.
Reaching for the shattered pitcher...the broken glass cuts me, makes me bleed. I looked at my watch; I could still make the end of the meeting. I decided I couldn't worry about the pitcher. Besides, it was only spilled milk.
Copyright 2009 JO Janoski