More Memories for Harold

More haziness, more loss of consciousness for Harold.  It would probably bother most people more than slightly to be effortlessly flung in and out of consciousness with the greatest of ease, but Harold had never been confused with a normal person.

This hazy fading into another world found Harold as a still pudgy eight-year-old boy in a restaurant.  He instantly recognized the dining establishment as Bob’s Burger Joint.  His parents took him to Bob’s every Sunday afternoon throughout his childhood.  He couldn’t remember a Sunday his parents had not taken the weekly journey to Bob’s after church.   He remembered there was a life-size statue of Bob, the restaurant’s mascot, rigidly standing guard beside the cash register.  Bob the Mascot looked like Frisch’s Big Boy’s creepy, destitute cousin of which nobody dares to speak.  Harold had always loved Bob the Mascot in spite of his obvious aesthetic flaws.

It appeared as if it was an average Sunday afternoon, judging from the crowd, which was clad in their Sunday finery.  In those days, hats on women and men in suits were the order of business.    Mother, who was sitting to Harold’s left, was wearing that floral dress, the one with a huge, gaudy floral design.  Harold hated that dress.  It always reminded him of Mother’s mother, who probably had given the fabric monstrosity to Mother as an unwritten punishment for an unknown offense.   Every character flaw Mother had was somehow doubled or tripled in Mother’s mother.  Harold shuddered.

Across the table from Mother sat Father, whose attention was not settled upon the family surrounding him.  Father was a mental drifter.  He usually wasn’t mentally there for most events or conversations.  Harold assumed he got that trait from him, as Mother had always accused him of it.  Or at least he thought she did, as he was zoned out most of the time she was speaking.  Father was dressed in his best suit, which seemed odd.  Father usually only wore that particular suit for weddings or funerals.   It was then that Harold realized Mother was dressed better than usual, if one discounted the tacky floral dress.  She wore her pearl necklace and diamond earrings, which usually never saw the light of day.  Her hair appeared to be coifed in a style Mother obviously thought was slimming. 

The waitress suddenly appeared seemingly out of nowhere to take their order.  She was a tall, thin brunette who sported a spectacularly tall beehive hairdo and a generic pink waitress uniform.  Harold supposed there was a warehouse somewhere in Phoenix packed full of pink waitress uniforms of every conceivable size for every waitress in the free world.  Her face looked so familiar, yet Harold was at a loss as to where he recognized here from.   He strained to attempt to think, but his mind was like softened gelatin.  From where he was sitting, he could not read her nametag.

“What will it be this week?” the pink-clad waitress asked with a distinctive Southern accent.  Harold knew, just knew, that voice and accent, yet for the life of him he could not place it. 

Mother ordered the same meal for the entire family as she ordered every week.  Father was in la-la land again, staring aimlessly at a bird pecking an insect outside the large plate-glass window. 

“And how is my little boy doing today?” asked the waitress.  Harold just stared, giving her a look that should have been accompanied by a sizable amount of drool.  The waitress, still unidentified, tousled his sandy-blonde hair and smiled at him.  As she turned to walk away, Harold could read her nametag, the white lettering of RITA a sharp contrast to the black background.

“And how is my little boy doing today?” ran rampantly over and over in his brain like a eerie earworm as Harold tried desperately to determine why he had never realized Rita worked at Bob’s or why she would call him her little boy.


The End

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