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October 03, 2022

Dinner With Henry 62: The Simpson

By Bruce Memblatt

They barely noticed Simpson when he entered the loft that morning. Elvira, Henry, Diego, Andre, Shakespeare and even little Winifred were too excited to see Clarissa's eyes opened.

"It's about time," Shakespeare snapped.

"You ain't kidding," Diego yawned.

Andre said, scratching his head, still staring at Clarissa's large bulbous eyes, "Since when do you say ain't, Diego?"

Clarissa's tentacles and legs continued to lie lifeless and unshaken on the floor of the loft along with the rest of Clarissa, but her eyes were clearly open. A ray of sun pierced through the skylight, causing her to unnaturally squint like someone had poured lemon juice on her eyeballs.

Then, as if he appeared out of nowhere, Simpson cleared his throat, clicked his heels, and said, "Why is she squinting like that?"

Henry scrambled over to his mother's head and he cried, "God, what is it now! By the way, how did you get in here, Simpson?"

Simpson's eyes rolled. "I just walked in, but none of you noticed, because you were all too busy gawking at her."

Henry, grasping the handle of Winfred's stroller said, "Poor Simpson, now what about my mother?"

Then from high above they heard Elvira buzz, "My mother, too."

"Yes, we all know she's your mother too, Elvira," Simpson sighed and then he gazed intently at Clarissa's eyes. "I don't know, but in the meanwhile we need to write out a report, just in case."

Henry's wing and eyes darted up, "In case of what?"

"You know what, Henry," Diego breathed, and then she tossed her hair over her scar and said, "I wish I had a cigarette."

Winifred's head jolted. "Mommy!"

"Sorry," Diego hushed and then she made a puffing gesture with her lips.

"But her eyes are open. She's starting to stir!" Henry said, while he furiously shook Winifred's stroller back and forth.

"Daddy!" Winifred pushed her hands and cried.

"Sorry, Winnie," Henry said and he continued to shake her stroller.

Then Simpson's lips curled, and he stared at Henry like a cactus had grown out of his ears and said, "But there's a bizarre look in her eyes and the rest of her body remains lifeless. Sometimes we have to face reality, Henry."

Henry's eyes gazed around the room: he looked at his giant bug mother on the floor, then he looked up and saw his giant sister towering above her, and then he looked at his one-eared wife, and then at Shakespeare's eye sockets, and then he sighed. "I'm not sure if facing reality is such a good idea in here." "Oh really?" Simpson said, and reached into the side pocket of his red blazer and pulled out a pistol. He pointed the gun at Henry and said, "I'm afraid reality is all we have, Henry."

At that point Andre fainted and fell to the ground with a thud while the rest of the room hushed.

Clarissa's eyes continued to stare bizarrely into space as the sun beamed down on her pupils.

Henry stood frozen in shock and stared at the barrel of Simpson's pistol.

Then Henry saw Diego march over to Simpson, look him directly in the eyes and say "What the fuck is going on, Simpson?"

Simpson just coolly waved his gun at Diego. Afterwards, he pointed it back at Henry. "I say a word, it's reality; you move a finger, it's reality. If I pull a gun on you, it's reality. If you think it is, it is, get it? I'm tired of you people always whining. It looks like your mother isn't feeling so well, Henry."

Suddenly Andre rose from the ground, and he cried, "Wait, listen everybody! I know what he is talking about! Simpson is talking about the ecstatic truth!"

At that moment, Shakespeare kicked Andre in the leg and said, "Hey dummy, that lunatic has a gun."

"You don't understand, Shakespeare," Andre said, waving his hat in the air, "the point is, does he?"

"He does," Simpson said, his eyes gleaming. Then he raised his pistol in the air and he took a shot by Andre's shoe.

Andre fainted and fell to the ground again, and then Shakespeare followed, toppling over, too.

Then Henry, who had just about lost all the composure he had left, walked up to Simpson and said, "Have you lost your mind, Simpson? What on earth are you doing? And just you wait till my mother comes around; you'll be out of here on your ear!"

Simpson just held his gun higher and said, "But what if she doesn't come around, Henry? Someone's going to have to be in charge. And it's not going to be you, Henry."

Then Diego strolled to Henry's side and she defiantly breathed at Simpson, "Oh yeah?"

It was then that Simpson pointed his pistol at Diego. Shakespeare picked himself up from the floor and snapped, "In charge of what?"

And Andre, coming to, started to laugh hysterically, and he said to Simpson, "Yes, in charge of what? If she goes, we all go! Who will we run the kitchen for? Ha Ha!"

"I don't care!" Simpson shouted and held his gun high and aimed it at Clarissa's head.

Suddenly a sound from above shook the loft and Elvira's long legs began to stretch across the floor towards Simpson.

Diego turned to Henry. "Uh oh, we are in big trouble, Henry."

"You stretch your legs one more inch, Elvira, and I'll blow your mother away!" Simpson shouted while he waved his pistol frantically in the air.

Then Henry felt Diego jabbing him in his thorax, saying, "Henry, look -- look! Your mother is stirring! It looks like she's going to be okay there."

"But," Henry cried, "what about Simpson? We have to stop him from shooting my mother!"

Diego just turned and stared at Henry and Andre said, "Um, what are you talking about, Henry, Simpson isn't here, remember he ran out of the warehouse when your mother started sneezing? Are you all right, Henry?"

Henry shook his head as if he was stepping out of a dream and he said, "Sure, if I say I am, I am."

"What?" Andre said and he and Diego, and even Winifred stared at Henry, but all Henry could think of was Simpson.

It seemed so real, he thought.

Then Shakespeare walked over to Clarissa's head and he said, "Time to rise and shine, lady bug."

And finally Clarissa rose high and stood above them and she sighed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-02-13
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