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June 17, 2024

Dinner With Henry 38: After the Rainbow

By Bruce Memblatt

Henry and Diego rushed into the loft. Shards of glass covered the floor. The sun peered through the skylight, drying the rain that had poured through the broken skylight during the storm the night before. Clarissa lay stretched out on the floor with one doozie of a headache.

Henry and Diego approached her cautiously.

Henry knelt near her head and shouted, "MOTHER, MOTHER ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?"

Raising her head slightly above the floor, she buzzed, "I will be if you stop shouting, Henry. My head is killing me!"

Then Diego sighed, "Really, Henry why are you shouting?"

"I'm shouting because my mother is lying on the floor among shards of glass. What happened?"

"It appears the skylight broke during the storm last night and knocked her in the head, Henry," Diego sighed, and then she shrugged and rolled her eyes.

"Yes," She buzzed, her big bug eyes staring at Henry, "but never mind all that, I had the most amazing dream, and you were in it, Henry, and so were you, Diego, as was Shakespeare, and Sincere, and that loudmouth chef, what's his name? I was far far away, but all the while I was there, all I wanted to do was go through the door, and I did, Henry, I went through the door. I saw what lies in store."

"Oh brother," Shakespeare snapped.

Henry quickly turned around and cried, "Hey, how did you get in here?"

"The little one probably snuck in," Diego said, staring at Clarissa's head. "You know, her head is kind of furry."

Henry waved his hands at Diego and Shakespeare, and said, "Can we get to the point, people? Please tell us what lies in store, Mother."

Then Clarissa arched her head and she buzzed, "At the end of our evolutionary process, we all turn into specks of light and then we just are. It's amazing, Henry, we're not bug, or human, or any other kind of creature, we just are. Such distinctions don't matter. It's like a dream, we just are. It's beautiful, Henry."

"I see," Henry said, rolling his eyes, "Mother, would you like some water?"

At that moment Shakespeare snapped, "What do you mean we just are?"

"Like I said, we just are," She buzzed. Her black eyes tilted against the floor.

"And what do we do?" Shakespeare said, grabbing at her tentacle.

"We just are," She buzzed again.

"So, we do nothing?"

That's when Diego's eyes grew wide, and she stood and said, "You don't understand, everyone. What she's saying. She's saying what you've always wanted her to say, Henry, that there are no differences between us."

"Yes! Yes! You must listen to her, Henry! This is an amazing breakthrough! With this change in your mother, things will be different for you. For all of us! The art of just being is nothing new, Henry. But to bring it to true fruition in this brave new world your mother envisions is something we should embrace!" Andre shouted, waving his hat.

"How did he get in here?" Shakespeare snapped.

"He snuck in," Diego whispered, still staring at Clarissa's head. "I wonder how big it is?"

Henry walked to the center of the room, and paced, and then he paced some more. If his mother did really go through a dramatic change then life for him and Diego and Winifred could be much easier. But what if she didn't? What if it was a ruse? Or what if she just flipped her lid again? And what about the rest of it ... Just being, and that whole evolutionary process stuff? Should he humor her just to make life easier? Then there was the other alternative; what if it was true? There were too many things to think about for one afternoon. Suddenly, it dawned on him Winifred wasn't with Andre.

"Andre, Andre!" Henry shouted, "Where's Winifred?"

"Don't worry, Henry, She's with Sincere."

"Oh, I hope they're getting along," Diego breathed.

Shakespeare snapped, "You better hope she doesn't turn her into a newt."

Diego turned away from Clarissa's head and looked at Shakespeare, and she sternly whispered, "She won't turn her into a newt."

Clarissa curled her head, nodding, then she looked at Henry and buzzed, "Come here, Henry."

Intrigued, Henry walked steadily to Clarissa.

Her eyes glittered. "We'll just be, Henry we'll just be."

Shakespeare jumped. "But we already are."

"We are not!" Andre shouted.

"Please," she buzzed, "no more shouting."

"But, Mother," Henry said, "about what Shakespeare said, we'll just do nothing?"

"Yes, Henry we'll do nothing forever, we'll just be, and do nothing. Now stop fidgeting."

"Sounds kind of boring," Diego sighed.

Andre got excited, stood in front of Shakespeare, Diego and Henry and exclaimed, "You don't understand, we won't get bored because we'll be doing nothing in unison! We'll all be one."

"One what?" Shakespeare asked.

A puzzled looked crept across Andre's face. He scratched his head and he said, "I'm not sure."

"And what about your cooking, Andre, you won't be a chef any more," Henry said, looking intently at Andre.

Andre's eyes grew pained. "I won't be a chef?"

"No," She buzzed.

"Hmmm, I see," Andre said. And then he turned his head down and stared at the floor.

Suddenly they heard something large coming down the hall and they turned their heads.

"Oh look, its Elvira, Henry," Diego said, still staring at Clarissa's head.

Elvira entered the room. She stood high over her mother and she buzzed, "Mother are you still going on about that being nonsense?"

"Yup," Shakespeare snapped.

"Quiet, Shakespeare." Clarissa turned her head up towards Elvira and she buzzed, "Yes, daughter. And for one thing, I can't wait until you turn into a quiet speck of light."

Elvira raised her head towards the broken skylight. "Never, Mother, never. Here let's get you up already, before you cause more damage."

"Damage?" She buzzed.

Then Elvira's large body bent down over Clarissa, and she buzzed, "Everyone out of the way."

Quickly, everyone scampered to the other side of the room, except for Diego, who stubbornly remained next to Clarissa's head until Elvira began to lift Clarissa. At that point Diego marched over to the rest of the group, scowling.

They watched intently as Elvira pulled Clarissa higher and higher, holding her until she could stand on her own. Once again she towered over everyone, even Elvira.

"Well, it looks like things are starting to get back to normal! And once more things will be better now that you've had such a dramatic change of heart, Clarissa." Andre shouted, gazing up at Clarissa.

Then Henry looked up at her and he said, "Yes, Mother, things will be different around here now, won't they?"

Clarissa tilted her head, her black eyes darted back and forth, and she loudly buzzed. "Don't be silly, Henry. I said at the end of the evolutionary process. For now, things remain as they are, you wretched half-human."

Shakespeare nudged Andre and whispered, "See, I told you she was nuts."

"Shush," Andre hushed him.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2011-05-02
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