Coffee grounds. There’s coffee grounds at the bottom of my cup. Can’t you do anything right? Make a cup of coffee? Boil water? Did you accidentally tear the filter? Or, were you just sloppy? Over-filling it? There’s not much of a science to it. It doesn’t take physics to figure this out, he lit a cigarette; spit black dots back into the cup. You wanna try to make another pot? she shook her head. Practice makes perfect, he said. If at first you don’t succeed…
Make your own damn coffee, she mumbled.
What was that?
I said. Make your own damn coffee, she said clearly. The old man laughed, flipped through channels on television. You think you’re real cute, she said. You’re a bully. Always have been. Going all the way back to grade school. Don’t know why I’ve stuck with you all these years, she cried. Don’t know why.
That’s it, he said. Go on. Get it all out. Can’t take criticism. That’s what it is, he went to the refrigerator. That’s the boy’s problem too, he remarked. Can’t take a lick of criticism. The question is, why did I stick around all these years? ‘Cause I’m no quitter, he said. Look at you. You gave up years ago. And that boy is going down the same path. You’re like two peas in a pod. Always against me, he moved items around. Bologna. Salami. Turkey. Where’s the ham?
We don’t have any, she sobbed.
Didn’t you go to the store?
How do you forget ham? It’s a three letter word, he said. It comes in different varieties; honey glazed, brown sugar cured, country ham…
Go get you some, she yelled while walking out the front door of the trailer.
Get back in here, he yelled. We ain’t done talking.
I need air, she said. Fresh air.
All this over coffee grounds. You making a scene. He grabbed the keys to the truck on the counter. I’m gonna go get some things. Like ham and a decent cup of coffee. You want anything?
I’m fine. I’m fine.