A NOTE BEFORE READING: I began sharing weekly excerpts from my novel, The Somebody Who, on June 26th. If you want to begin at the beginning, go here.
If you want to read more sooner, head over to Amazon where you can purchase a copy. (There’s a button on the left that will take you there).
It’s ten past ten when Evelyn enters the kitchen the next morning, and she isn’t surprised to see that the counters are sparkling clean. Such is the rigid routine of Mrs. Krosky.
Mrs. Krosky is one of the reasons that Evelyn really doesn’t like weekends. Mrs. Krosky is the woman who plays the Claudia role on Saturdays and Sundays. And while Evelyn is grateful for the generous benefits that come with Davy’s long-term care insurance, she wishes she had someone more like Claudia on the weekends. She wishes Mrs. Krosky were a little more gentle. She wishes Mrs. Krosky did not appear to have retired from the military. She wishes she didn’t feel so intimidated by Mrs. Krosky’s airs of judgment and finality.
Crossing to the coffeemaker near the bay window, Evelyn knows that she will see more of Mrs. Krosky’s routine. She will see The Krosk (as she silently calls her) and Davy, doing calisthenics in the backyard.
Does she really have to wear that damn whistle? Evelyn muses, as she pours coffee into her favorite mug and watches The Krosk persuade Davy to touch his toes for the umpteenth time.
Evelyn grimaces as she observes the routine. The Davy she married, the Davy she fell in love with, would never have let a rigid woman with ex-army airs tell him to touch his toes!
Evelyn’s observations of the calisthenics session manage to put her in some sort of trance, and so she doesn’t hear the front door opening. In fact, Adam’s voice makes her jump.
“Anybody home? Ma? Dad?”
Evelyn quickly returns to the moment and listens to the sound that always seems to accompany Adam: other thirtysomethings.
“In the kitchen, Sweetie!” Evelyn calls, as she follows a maternal instinct to open the refrigerator door and survey what she might offer the hungry masses.
Adam saunters into the kitchen with his flank of fellow activists—two guys and a gal. “Ma! How ya doin’?” he asks, as he hugs her.
Evelyn, lingering in his hug, knows not to answer that question honestly. For that matter, she doesn’t even attempt to answer it dishonestly. She just asks, “You folks hungry?”
Adam and his cohorts exchange shrugs and grins that indicate they won’t reject any food that is offered, so Evelyn returns to her fridge perusal while Adam makes introductions.
Brian. Aaron. Phoebe.
“Where’s Dad?” Adam asks then.
“He’s exercising in the backyard,” Evelyn replies, retrieving from the fridge a bag of bagels and a brick of cream cheese. “With Mrs. Krosky.”
“Mrs. Krosky? That sounds intense.”
Brian, Aaron, and Phoebe snicker a bit, and Evelyn wonders if they’ve been smoking pot.
“You should go back and say hi,” Evelyn tells her son.
“Well, he’ll be in soon, right?”
Evelyn tilts her head and shrugs her shoulders as she places bagels on the broiler tray. It strikes her as odd that Adam does not even go to the window to look out. It strikes her that Adam is, in some way, scared of Davy.
“So what’s the, uh, demonstration about?” Evelyn asks, knowing that a change of subject will make the room more comfortable for everyone else that is in it.
“State legislation,” replies Brian, with an orator’s tone. “Gay marriages.”
“Oh,” she comments, closing the oven door. “Are you for or against?”
“Mom!” Adam attempts a sarcastic admonition, and Evelyn senses that he is embarrassed.
“Sweetie, it’s just that it’s a loaded topic. There’s marriage. And… there’s being gay. Some people are opposed to one or the other. Some people are opposed to neither. Some people are opposed to both. Are any of you married?”
“That’s not the point!” Brian jumps in. “The government should not be in the business of defining relationships and deciding whether they are legitimate! The Conservative Right is pulling God and the Bible into the argument, and God and the Bible have nothing to do with it! It’s about the separation of church and state!”
Evelyn admires the fire behind Brian’s words. And though she wonders where the talking points end and he begins, she admires his confidence in making a statement that has been made for the past several decades. It’s good, she thinks, that there are still Brians and Adams and Aarons and Phoebes to fight the fight.
But what she really wants to know is this: Is Brian Adam’s lover? Or is Aaron Adam’s lover? And where does Phoebe fit in? Does Adam even know he’s gay?
She’ll have to ask later. The bagels are ready.
* * *
… to be continued on August 14th .
In the meantime, if you want to read a short piece about the back story, click here.