He actually enjoyed spending the time with his mother that morning. She had brewed a strong Colombian coffee, prepared blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs, just for him. His favorites. They talked about the one time dad had actually been nice when he hugged them both and said that he loved them, right after his mother had passed. It was a non-existent phrase from his mouth, and never something he expressed through actions.
They sat and ate in the dining area adjacent to the couch that he would later spend most of his day. His mother had to go the nursing home to work her shift, just as she had for the last twenty-five years. And, for the majority of those years, the couch was the place he would set up shop. As long as he had his television, Coca-Cola, generic Rum and bags of greasy snacks, he was good for the day.
The Price Is Right was always the time he would start drinking. He’d joking say, as he’d pour his first, “Come on down!” He sat that morning and reminisced. Back when Bob Barker was still doing the show, he’d always be a bit uncomfortable when seeing Bob smile a certain way. It reminded him–to a tee–of the way his dad would smile. The man at the Hall with the superb Bible knowledge that the Elders saw as a potential recruit, with the whiter-than-snow smile that the women adored. The lying, cheating bastard. The guy who ran around on his mom the whole time, up until his car accident. That smile on the television would sometimes set the tone for the rest of his day, making him hit the bottle a little harder.
The normal routine: Price Is Right, junk food, Jeopardy and then the basement jam session with Rick. Rick would be beating on the door at anytime around four, and he would usually have his lazy girlfriend with him. She was the one who would provide the good Rum, so he had no complaints when she would show up with Rick.
It was just after three when the knock on the door came. It was a bit odd to see that Rick was ever early for anything, but he was cool with it. He was eager to hear the new strings on his Strat.
Mike opened the door and was already saying, “What, did you….”. He was quickly dumbfounded. It wasn’t Rick. It wasn’t his girlfriend. It was the frail, elderly man from his dream.