He sat in the front room listening to rain hit the skylight. Bowls were placed on the kitchen floor to catch the water that dripped from the ceiling. The roof had damage done to it long ago. Never had the time or the money to fix it. Maybe it needed a shingle or two. He wasn’t sure. House chores weren’t his specialty. He’d rig up something in the mean time. But, never would he solve the problem. It just got worse.
His son came by the other day. Told him he had a hole in his roof. Asked if he was having trouble keeping the place up since mom died? The old man said no. Actually, he said it was none of his business.
Two of em sat there in the front room watching television; Dennis Weaver riding a horse through the city with a cowboy hat on and a badge. Sound was down. Two of em sitting in the dark watching McCloud. No conversation. Just silence.
Dad. You know that time’s coming, the kid said. Time we fix the place up and sell it, he poured himself a Pepsi.
I ain’t ready to leave just yet, the old man whispered.
You might not have a choice.
What do you mean?
The house is in bad shape. You’re in bad shape, offered his dad a cigarette.
I’ll fix it. I’ll get ’round to it.
Too late for that pop. I gotta talk to those folks at the nursing home. See what your Medicare will cover.
They’ll take my whole check. I won’t be able to get Col. Sanders no more. No, I won’t do it. Your mother died here and so will I.
Mom died in a hospice. Don’t go on with these romantic notions of how mom died in your arms here in this rat trap.
But, she did.
The young man shook his head. I gotta get going, lit up another cigarette. You gonna be alright, the old man nodded his head. O.K. dad. I’ll see you tomorrow.
The old man waved his right hand quietly. He continued watching television. It was Dennis Weaver riding a horse through the city.
Imagine that, the old man said. Imagine that.