I still have three volume integrals to solve for tomorrow’s homework. Do they realize how long it takes to solve one of these &$^@&. In a minute maybe. Not now. I recline back in my chair; it squeaks. God I’m getting fat. Should go to the gym. The aroma of fries fills my head through the open window. That is the trouble of living around too many fast foods. You are always hungry and even the air seems to be making you fat.
I wonder what my friend Toby is up to tonight. Toby and his family live inside my apartment room wall. They are a mice family by the way. They scuff and scurry about in there most of the time. There is a small hole at the base of the wall, which they probably use to come and go as they please – the landlord said it was where the radiator was once connected. Two years ago he had promised to cover it up, but never got around to it. I never pressed either.
Toby lives with his mom and dad, Mrs. and Mr. Mousie. Mrs. Mousie can tell by the way Toby is wriggling his snout that he is about to throw a tantrum. He is pretty moody and a little spoiled, you know. He does things whenever he feels like; like watching TV when he should be eating the pea and carrot soup dinner, with his parents. The simplicity of their dinner is not a reflection of their means, no sir, but rather cause they would like to watch their weights. It was more for Toby’s benefit who is becoming quiet stocky around the edges, but would he listen.
Mr. Mousie retires quietly from the dinning room to the lounge, fishing for his reading glasses from the breast pocket of his evening robe before settling in his armchair with the paper. He had inherited his fathers restaurant business. No – he doesn’t own a restaurant. Rather it’s more like how a gangster would say that he owns a city, without actually – you know. Mr. Mousie has long been wanting for Toby to join him – to learn his way around, but you know kids these days.
“Mom – grilled cheese,” Toby calls out from the lounge.
“Son, why don’t you try some soup, your mom made it, so yummy. Try some,” Mr. Mousie says trying to entice his son.
“Why don’t you have it dad, mom’ll make me the grilled cheese. Wont you mom?” the prodigal son replies. Who did Mr. Mousie think he was dealing with, anyways? He goes back to the paper with a silent sigh.
“No, I am not. You can have the soup or go to sleep hungry. I don’t care,” Mrs. Mousie replies stacking the spent soup bowls in the sink before she runs the water.
It’s this I don’t care – which tells Toby that she eventually will, she always does. He just needs to persist, “Mom! Come on. Please.”
“No,” she replies.
“Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Grilled….”
“Ah,” Mr. Mousie shoots his wife a glance over his paper, as if to say, can we just shut this up please.
“God, Ok, ok, ill make you one. You are such a baby.”
“Thanks Mom,” Toby says with a grin. He did it. Didn’t even have to glance away from his TV show, either. “With garlic, onions and tomatoes, please.”
Taking her yellow gloves off at the sink Mrs. Mousie walks over to the fridge wiping her hands with the apron on her waist.
“There’s no bread she calls out – have some soup son.”
“No – grilled cheese,” Toby says, still staring at the tele.
“But I just got bread yesterday,” Mr. Mousie says not realizing that this was a ploy on his wife’s part.
“Its – not – in – the – fridge,” she says making eyes to him.
“Oh.” Mr. Mousie buries himself behind the paper again.
“Mom, there is bread in the pantry, I know there is, ill get it,” Toby says scuttling off to the pantry.
“Ok, but there aren’t any onions or tomatoes.”
“What? Why? Dad didn’t you get any?”
Mr. Mousie looks up startled again, first to his wife, then to his son, not really sure what to say, “sorry son, I guess I forgot.”
“One thing dad, one thing you have to do and you forget it. What else have I ever asked for? Ok ill have plain grilled cheese.”
“Ok – suit yourself but really the soup is very good, why don’t you try a bite and if you don’t like it ill make the grilled cheese.”
“Ok I will,” Toby says walking to the kitchen lifting the lid, dipping a spoon in, sucking at the end of it, “hate it. Now the grilled cheese please.”
How did Mrs. Mousie not see this coming? Lost for ideas and a bit tired from the day she walks over to the fridge to fetch the cheese. Would you believe it – there isn’t any.
“Toby, baby, we are all out of cheese,” she calls out standing there.
It is not very often that a coolness condenses over a dad – as it does now over Mr. Mousie. Where would he get cheese at this hour. He had once had to grab some chips in the middle of the night cause of you know who, and a cat had pounced on him as he made his way back. Those darn cats are always hungry.
“Dad, can you go get some cheese,” Toby calls out.
“Son, its too late – I promise tomo…”
“Dad, cheese, I want cheese, I want cheese, Cheese, Cheese…”
Dear oh dear, poor Mr. Mousie. You have to feel bad for him. I think there is a slice of Pepper-Jack in the fridge. Yes there is. I gobble down half of it and the other I place in front of the hole in the wall. Here you go buddy.
“Wait! We do have cheese, I can smell it, its Pepper-Jack, Mom we have cheese,” Toby says shuffling downstairs to fetch the cheese, while Mrs. Mousie fires up the pan and fetches the bread and butter.
Goodnight Toby, hope you have a good meal buddy.
God I can’t do math now, maybe tomorrow. Humm, new season for Narcos is out.
Credit: illustration by Mariah (M.S)