Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Finding a couple was hard. The man was weird or the woman was flaky. They had given up on  new friends and just went back to see Cindy and Tom in their old neighborhood. There kids could play and they felt the old camaraderie that didn't exist in the land of McMansions. Cindy and Tom had not moved after 9/11. They stuck it out in Chicago and kept their small bungalow. But John and Mary had moved thirty miles west into sprawl.

 The night of book group John and and Tom watched the kids while the girls went down the street. They drank whiskey and played music and the kids fell asleep on the couch. By the time Cindy and Mary returned they were slightly drunk.
 Who wound you up?  Cindy demanded of her husband.
 Tom  shrugged. He was a slight man who took care of the  kids a lot.
 Just had a few he slurred.
 Cindy looked tired. She was a psychotherapist who had to have everything on schedule. They had married later and John often thought she could have easily ended up single. They all sat around the fire and the sleeping kids on the couch.
So when are we getting together next? John asked.
He wanted to make sure they saw each other again. Lately he had become desperate. He worked at home and they lived so far out he became starved for social interaction. In fact he had become a little weird, pestering old friends to get together who did not want too. 
I don't know  Cindy said.
Mary smiled. She didn't want to pressure Cindy.
I'm sure we can work that out later.
John shrugged but felt nervous.
How about next weekend?
I don't know Cindy replied.
Well get your calendar he suggested.
Cindy  looked at John. She had called him out last time when he fell asleep on their couch. You did that before she said as his eyes became heavy. She seemed annoyed. John didn't care much for Cindy but Tom was a good man.
 I don't want to be pressured, she said to him.
Hey its  no big deal he shrugged.
Mary stood up.
We better go.
John frowned.
Why...I'm sure they want to have another drink.
No. We don't.  I'm tired, Cindy said walking upstairs.

Later that night John stared at the ceiling.
Cindy was weird.
She doesn't like to be pressured, Mary murmured on her side of the bed.
I like getting together with Tom though. Maybe we can have them over  next weekend.
The next week John called and left messages. Then he emailed. He texted. He even called Tom at work. Nothing came back. They never saw Cindy and Tom again.

Rocket Man...the American Dream upside down

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