I made my way across Glen's yard towards making sure to avoid the nuggets of dog shit that endlessly appeared across it's untrimmed surface. The thing was it wasn't even from his dog. Lois had managed to litterbox train their dog, don't ask me how. It was the rest of the fuckers in the neighbourhood with their horse sized canines, cutting loaves that reminded me of quizno's. The large cream coloured door to the large cream coloured suburban manor stood in front of me. I tapped the bell three times and scratched my unshaven face before Lois answered the door.
She opened the door for me and I leaned in for a peck on the cheek and received the mug of black coffee she had waiting for me. She swaggered back into the kitchen wearing loose pj pants and green tee shirt, her hair done up in a loose bun, and slight dazed look in her eye that i suppose comes with being a parent.
"Glen's still in the can, have a seat. You want any breakfast or anything?", she asked leaning against the kitchen counter, her own cup of coffee now firmly in her grip.
"Nah, this is fine, besides i know where the fridge is"
"you certainly do",I smirked and shrugged.
"MOOOOOOOOOOOO-om!", Kate tore around the corner into the kitchen and slid to a stop in stocking feet wearing jeans and a purple t-shirt with a tyrannosaurus on it. She was Lois and Glen's youngest daughter, and was quite fearless and brash for a seven year old.
"Yeeeeeesssss Kate?", moaned Lois.
"I can't find my fart can"
"My fart can!", the impatience of youth overflowing in her voice.
"Sweetie I don't know what that is, or why you would have anything with a name like that"
"You know! Daddy and I went to that store, and he bought it for me, it's the goo and it comes in a can and when I push it down it goes THHHHBBBBBBBPPBB!", She spat down her front hanging her tongue out over her lips.
"Sweetie I have no idea. Where did you have it last?"
Kate had not bothered to stick around and was already back around the corner thumping up the stairs back to her room. I got up and poured myself another full cup of coffee, and leaned against the kitchen counter opposite to Lois.
"How's the last week of school treating you?", i asked.
"Oh great, every morning is more and more hectic...I can't wait 'till I can spend every day with my lovely kids all day every day", she rolled her eyes and spoke out the side of her mouth.
"MOOOOOO-om! Have Have you seen my effing Ipod?", This time Rachel, the oldest came around the corner makeup and attire done in the typical fashion of a seventeen year old girl. Though for a teenage girl she wasn't as stupid as most, capable of carrying on a conversation with an old fart like me for at least a couple minutes.
"I have no effing idea Rachel", said Lois not bothering to move from her perch.
"Can i take the car today?", she asked pouring herself a cup of coffee and picking an apple up out of the fruit basket near the window.
"I don't know did you ask your father?"
"He's still in the can, i think his prostate's all fucked again. Hi Isaac. So can I take the car?", smart as she may have been she'd clearly never heard of punctuation her words blending together in a flurry of teen-speak. I nodded and raised my coffee cup.
"Oh shit, I'm sorry Hon, i just remembered your Dad needs his car today, and I have to do the shopping."
"What?! why?! What is Dad doing?", Rachel raised her voice shrilly before biting in to her apple chewing rapidly and washing it down with some heavily cream and sugared coffee.
"Isaac and him need to go over to the east side to interview some guy about a thing...I don't know, what are you doing Isaac?" She turned to me, back to her daughter.
Uh...we, we've got to go downtown, we're mee-”
I was interrupted.
"Ok whatever, this totally blows...everyone is gonna be ditching class today and I get stuck having to go to school all day", She ran the words together again raising her eyes and then dropping them as if watching a ball get tossed.
"You know you probably shouldn't be telling your mother something like that", Said Lois.
"Like you didn't know I was going to do it"
"At least then I could pretend I didn't know. Anyway If everyone is ditching why don't you go with them? I know at least all of your friends have cars...speaking of which, maybe a summer job is in order? get your own car?", Lois had moved over to her daughter and was now nudging her in the ribs with the flair of annoyance that only a parent can provide.
"NO way! What if i get stuck some place loaded with douchebags, and no one wants to leave!?", she said, getting more indignant with every word.
On douchebag i spat up some of my coffee.
"Then you made a bad choice young lady, and don't say douchebag...it's not even really an insult...", said Lois looking over at me dab the spittle off my chin.
"Well, Lois...it's not like Glen and I need both cars? I mean I came over here to meet him anyway, we don't need to take two vehicles right?", I said.
"Yea! Isaac is totally right mom! Please!", the indigence changed to glee in as many moments.
"Fine, go, get out of my face. But you're driving Kate and Demitri."
"Yea sure whatever, where are the keys?"
"Hanging up where the keys always are?"
Rachel sped out of the room and I lifted myself of the countertop and made my way over the ledge dropping onto one of the overly cushioned bar stools. Lois was looking at me, an unimpressed look glazed across her normally pretty face giving me a feeling of concern.
"What?", I asked guiltily.
"Yes, i really want my teenage daughter taking the car out on the last week of school to fuck off all day", now she was indignant.
"No, it's not your fault. She would have bitched to daddy until she got her way anyway, you just got her out of here twenty minutes faster", she waved off my apology and emptied her finished mug into the sink.
"So what are you guys working on that's got Glen's prostate all fucked again? You know how he gets when he's stressed, he can't piss for a week and all we hear is bitching"
"It's just for the latest movie, it's a comedy though...I guess that's what it is", I shrugged and emptied my own mug.
"What does that have to do with it?", She asked.
"You ever see a comedy flick that wasn't funny?"
"Yea, they're usually unbearable"
"Exactly, even a bad action movie has fallback in cool effects, or if a drama needs a bit of beef throw in a hot sex scene...comedies are pretty much the hardest thing to write for the movies and not all around suck."
"So why are you guys writing a comedy? Wait aren't your movies usually comedies? I do remember laughing when I saw them all?", She pulled open the white door inlayed into the polished granite counters and started unloading the dishwasher.
"I guess we want this one to be funnier? I don't know it's like everything we write has too much...ok so it's basically like everything we've written except for “Cartier”, and “Last Harvest". ” I was shrugging trying to take stock of our last few projects.
"Cartier was a murder mystery and Last Harvest was a horror Lois, we haven't done a comedy for a while", said Glen who had no appeared from around the hallway at the end of the living room wearing a beaten blue bathrobe slippers and a white t-shirt.
"I know that dear. How'd the pissing go?", said Lois.
"I got off a few drops but I still feel like I've got a watermelon in my gut", He said slowly making his way across the kitchen and examining the dregs at the bottom of the coffee pot.
"Anyway, don't stress it man...we're funny...it's gonna be funny...it's not like we have a huge deadline or anything either", I stood stretching my back from the uncomfortable stool.
Yea, but I do stress .We've been successful enough that now people have some stupid high expectation of us. I hate having expectations forced upon me. It was almost easier when we had nothing to lose and everything to prove”, He glumly continued to stare into the bottom of the coffee cup as if it carried the freedom of our past independence.
Lois finished unloading the dishwasher, closed the door and turned to us.
"Ok boys, i have a mountain of stuff to do. So you play nice, I have my cell on if anything comes up, but Sharon and I are going shopping after I get the groceries so try and leave me alone?...and Hon? try and piss ok?"
She crossed the room and gave the gloomy looking Glen a kiss before leaving the room.
We didn't say anything for a few moments while Glen darted his glance back and forth from me to the empty coffee pot, a sad look of desperation draining down his face.
"Glen, why do you have so much goddamn dog shit on your lawn? You guys have a dog, but it's the size of a rat, and I've seen it shit in that freakish litterbox in the back room"
He sighed and leaned forward on his stool.
"It's the fucking neighbour dog, it's a greyhound that the guy just lets run free, and its turds are probably heavier than it is, I keep trying to run into the guy that owns it so I can tell him to keep it off my lawn but he's never around"
"Then next time it's out there beat the shit out of it with a newspaper or something, it won't come back after that"
"It's greyhound, you expect me to run out there with a newspaper, and not only catch but club the shit out of a greyhound?"
He shook his head and stood up told me to wait while he got dressed and left the room. Fifteen minutes later we were in my car rolling down the street towards any sort of venue that would allow me to smoke on it's patio while I consumed another bucket of coffee. The leather of the steering wheel was hot under my grip having been heated up, by the already rising temperature of June, while i was in the house. I fumbled with my lighter, a scratched and dented zippo, while downshifting as we came to a light.
"Can I have a smoke?, asked Glen.
"No, Lois would shit a brick if she knew I gave you a smoke", I said looking at him like he was crazy.
"Are you kidding me? I've got three days of piss in me, haven't had a coffee today and you expect me to get any work done today? give me a goddamn smoke"
His indignant look and tone of voice was more pitiful than it was intimidating. I handed him my pack of smokes from the dash in front of me and tossed him the lighter. He awkwardly lit up and slumped down in his seat attempting to give his bladder even a little extra room.
"So you work out any new ideas, or jokes or anything in the past couple days?", I asked.
"Not really, I mean i thought about it but nothing concrete came out of it. I feel like I've been doing useless household stuff, that needs to get done but just feels like nothing, should I roll down the window?"
"You're car is gonna stink like smokes"
"I smoke, so my car stinks like smokes"
"I'm gonna open it"
"You're gonna let all the AC out"
"Yea well I don't wanna smell like smoke, then Lois will find out that I've been smoking"
"Blame it on me"
"Whatever, I'm opening the window.
He opened the window, as rush of warm air passing through the car as the pane of glass slid down into the door. I glared at him out of the corner of my eye and opened my window as well dangling my hand outside and resting it on the hot metal of the door, cigarette dangling from my lips. Glen wasn't really a smoker although he certainly indulged when he was stressed or had glued his ass to a seat writing with me all day. He tentatively held the smoke between his fingers like a joint taking half puffs, barley inhaling. I pulled into a golden nugget of a parking spot right on the street in front of the chosen restaurant, a medium sized bistro called Tonncelairs, the meaning of which i was completely ignorant to. I plugged the parking meter and we made our way to the host stand requesting two patio seats and a bar menu.
So last week of school?”, I asked
Lois have any plans for the kids for summer or is pretty much-”
Gonna be a shitshow yea, pretty much. Kate is taking swimming lessons and painting sessions, and Demitri just wants to skateboard all day. Rachel however...we think she should get a job, but she pretty much flat out refuses”, He seemed more and more stressed every second.
Yea what's her deal? Is she just one of those ignorant teenagers that doesn't give a shit? I mean I've known her, her whole life and she always seemed at least a bit smarter than that”, I said attempting to flag down the waitress.
Well she's pretty much at the, I hate you and your stupid phase...y'now concerning us...her parents. 'S weird I always figured that when I was a parent my kids would love me and think I was cool. I'm cool right?”
You're kinda cool. But it doesn't work like that. At some point everyone hates their parents.”, I said lighting another smoke as the waitress came around.
She was thin and blond, they always are in neighbourhoods like this. Bright blue eyes and a bleached orthodontic smile. She set the menus down and I raised my sunglasses up onto my forehead, giving her my stock charming smile.
Hi, how you doin today?”, I asked
Great!”, she said .
Allright, can I get just a the biggest americano you've got and a shot of Jameson's on the side?...actually y'now what, make it a double?”
Sure! And for you sir?”, she turned her glance to glen who was now just leaning on the table groaning.
Uh...he'll have just a cup of drip, cream and sugar?”
She nodded, finishing jotting down the order and departed. I ashen my cigarette onto the ground and turned to him, leaning down and meeting his gaze near the table level.
Glen...you have no need to be stressed. This movie is going to be a cakewalk. Your wife and kids are not going to destroy the planet this summer. We need to get some work done today and it's not going to happen if you keep moaning like you just got knee-capped, now go take a piss before i have to squeeze it out of you.”, I spoke slowly and deliberately, his eyes slowly stopping their darting flickers and meeting mine.
He stood up from the table not saying a word and made his way inside, disappearing into the shadows of the restaurant.