Monday, August 4, 2014

Hot Chocolate

So today sort of snuck up on me in my sleep.  I didn’t realize it was here until the alarm went off.  Bummer.  I think that, perhaps, the very best part of a vacation is that alarm clocks play an extraordinarily small part.

Hot Chocolate
Cole sat at the table, expectant and vacant.  This is what he did.  Behind him, Alex, a.k.a Mom, hummed softly while dumping a packet of Swiss Miss – the kind without marshmallows – into an old Steelers mug.  She took a spoon from the drawer and placed it inside the mug.

Cole didn’t see any of that.  He never turned around when she me his hot chocolate.  It wasn’t what he did.  Instead, he imitated a statue at table, waiting with the patience of eternity, while the world went on around him.

Alex resisted the urge to rub his head.  That wasn’t the sort of thing you did before the hot chocolate was done.  Sometimes after, he’d let you know when it was okay, but never ever ever before.  The kettle whistled and she took it off the burner.  Cole, naturally, paid it no attention.

It might have been imagined, but for a split second it looked like recognition in his eyes when the sound of the spoon against the side of the mug reached him.  When she set the steaming drink on the table he said, “Thank you.”

Alex always answered the same.  “You’re welcome, Pooh Bear.”

Wow, Jon.  What a dull story.  Hmm.  Maybe dull, maybe not.  There might be an expectation of something more.  To the point, if this was near the beginning of a longer story, you’d expect more.  And it wouldn’t be purposeless, there’s a bit about the characters here.

In fact, this is not my story.  It’s a scene from a movie that I have retold “in my own words.”  In the film it is a touching scene but nothing special.  It’s critical, however, because the single most powerful moment in the film, Mercury Rising is when the little boy (who was called Simon in the film) wants his afternoon hot chocolate and the enormity of his parents’ death crushes him.  That scene wouldn’t have meant much at all without the tender moment with his mother earlier.

Oh, and sorry for the delay, my computer went dead on the train this morning.

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