Harry and Rose

“Christ, Harry. Where the hell have you been? You KNOW that Dolores and Marge are coming over here for card club tonight! Do you honestly expect us to play chase-the-ace without any munchies?”Harry glanced at his wife, Rose, with his eyes containing lights that had burned out long ago, reflecting the artificial materials of the mobile home they shared.

“My GOD, mother was right. I should have married Bill the plumber. You know Bill – he sent all five of his kids to college and doesn’t have to live in a converted trailer home in Kissimmee,” she continued, her lips cracking through layers of base applied thousands of times before.

Her eyes winced, enhanced by her recently applied eyebrows. “Good lord, could you wear a shirt and look like a human being for a change? You know I hate it when your hair sticks to the back of the leather seats in the LTD, and where the hell are my cigarettes? These aren’t menhol. Go and get me a proper fucking pack of Pall Mall’s.”

Harry rotated his belly toward the LTD, but stopped short at another interruption.

“No, not yet. First put on a shirt – a nice shirt. I’m going to burn your closet down if I see another truck parts t-shirt lying on the floor or draped all over the headboard of our brass bed that MY parents bought us 20 years ago, like your family would ever spend a dime on us for Christmas – CHRISTMAS! – and we almost had to sell that bed to get your asshole son out of jail when he tried to swipe a case of Old Style from the 7-Eleven!”

Harry, 53 years old, balding, unshaven and sporting a wife-beater and shorts, waddled slowly to the LTD.

“Harry! Where do you think you’re going? Harry! I’m not finished with you yet! I’m counting to three. One of these days I am NOT going to be here to put up with your crap and you’ll be waking up without me in our Craftmatic Adjustable Bed. Think about that, you lardass.”

Harry would do what she said, after an extensive trip to Mickey’s tavern, his daily ritual. He would continue this routine for another eight years, three days, four hours and ten minutes, when he would pass suddenly from a heart attack.

“I’m counting to three, Harry! One… TWO!…”