Billie Sue announced that we were having Burger Tex for dinner tonight, and I was sent out the door to pick it up. Usually these burgers are a Friday night treat, but we got lucky early this week. By 5 o’clock we were all sitting around the kitchen table sipping coke from our Styrofoam cups and eating burgers and fries straight out of the Styrofoam containers.
I relayed the news I heard about the school hiring an experienced math teacher for calculus next year. It relieved my sense of obligation to stay in Houston next year instead of joining John out in California.
King Richard turned to me with his jaw dropped open – displaying a gooey, white lump of mashed up burger bun – and a look of pained confusion on his face.
“She’s going back to California when the school year’s over,” Billie Sue explained as if to a slow child. “You don’t think she’s going to stay here without sweet little John do you?” I had accidentally called John that in one of my conversations with her and she showed no signs of forgetting it.
“Yes, as much as I love it here, I want to be with John.”
KR pointed vigorously to the table. Sometimes the food and the ‘talker’ are just too much to handle so he resorts to pantomimes to help bridge the gaps in his communication.
“Do you think John should live here, too? We could be like All in the Family,” I teased, and KR nodded contently.
“John has already worked harder than most people do in a lifetime. He needs to quit work immediately.” The philosophy of life through the lens of cancer has been interesting to discover from King Richard. But Billie Sue displayed no interest in the philosophical.
“Are you out of your MIND? And live on WHAT?”
“People focus too much attention on making money. You really don’t need all of that,” he continued.
Her body jerked back away from his as she glared at him, “I think the chemo fried your brain!”
Just then the phone rang and abruptly ended our discussion.
After Billie Sue had left us for the quiet of the den I showed KR what I had scribbled on my napkin - I think Chemo fried your brain. He looked at it disapprovingly. But I told him the quote was just too precious, that I had to write it down. “I mean, when are you ever going to hear a quote like that again?” I asked.
“Tomorrow,” he grinned. And after a pause, “I hope.”