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December 04, 2023

Dinner With Henry 119: When Mama Gets Blue

By Bruce Memblatt

Sirens rang into the night all across Delancey Street. Helicopters above the warehouse flashed spotlights on the giant creature that stood on the roof, towering over the manic crowds below.

Oohs and ahhs and screams rose from the masses as the giant braced herself, just teetering over the edge of the roof.

Meanwhile, several floors below, Diego, her head sticking out the window, called to Henry. "Henry, you're not going to believe this."

Henry scampered out of the shower. Toweling his wing, he muttered to himself, Please don't let it be true.

"Henry, your mother..." Diego said as she pulled her head in from the window.

Henry's eyes plunged into despair like a balloon that had been popped. He ran past Diego and peered out the window, at the large crowd gathered below looking up, and at the cop with the megaphone about to speak.

"Umm, can you all hear me?"

The crowd answered in what sounded like a million yesses falling on top of one another.

Then the cop pulled the megaphone closer to his lips. "Okay I need total quiet; can you do that for me?"

"Can you do that for me?"

"Can you?"

The crowd, looking bewildered, responded, "YES!"

Then the cop looked up toward the roof and said, "Hey, you up there, lady giant, or whatever you are, you must come down off that roof."

Henry pulled his head in from the window, turned toward Diego, who stood next to him and he said, "What are we going to do now?"

Diego hushed, "You'll have to go out there and talk to her, Henry."

Henry, covering his head with his hands, said, "I know. I know, but it's just so embarrassing. Remember the last time?"

"I remember," Diego said, her eyes staring out the window. "I will come with you, Henry, but just one thing. I am sending Winifred to my sister's house in Jersey till this all blows over. I have a bad feeling in my belly and I don't want Winifred here."

"What do you mean, bad feeling?"

"I don't know, Henry -- something. This time something is different."

Down in the kitchen Andre was putting the last of the pots away when Maria tore through the doorway.

"Have you looked outside? Can you see what's going on?! Santa Maria! It is like the END OF THE WORLD!"

Shakespeare snapped, "What happened, did you lose another bracelet?"

"No, you stupid little shrimp, look out the window!"


Then they heard Andre, who had already made his way to the rear of the kitchen cry, "Oh no! Oh my God! She has done it again."

Maria and Shakespeare ran to the window.

Then Andre and Maria stared out the window, at the crowd, at the cop with the megaphone below, at the spotlights crisscrossing the sky, and Maria turned toward Andre and she said, "What do you mean again?"

"Right after Winifred was born, Clarissa started acting bizarre and then she climbed up to the roof. It took us days to get her down. It was utter madness like I had never seen before!"

"The entire family is hanging on by a thread," Shakespeare snapped.

"Ay, mamma, my poor lady," Maria said as her eyes caught the cop below while he pulled the megaphone to his mouth.

"Do you understand you must come off that roof, giant lady?"

"I am not a lady. I am a bug."

"You can say that again, but whatever you are, you must vamoose!"

"Not as long as there is blood coursing through my tentacles. Not as long as that mall is being built. I will never leave my home!"

"You know something, lady, you are not the only one who has to move!"

"You dummy, can't you see how large I am? Moving for me is not so simple!"

"Hey lady, sometimes life just throws us a curve ball."

"Don't call me Lady!" Clarissa buzzed loudly.

Then Maria saw debris come plummeting past the window.

The crowd cried, "Ooooh! Ah! ... Ooh ... Ahhh."

Andre tapped Maria on the shoulder. "Like I said, it went on like this for days."

"Well, then where is Henry? She is his mother. Where is he?!"

And as the words escaped Maria's lips Henry entered the kitchen.

"My god, it's like magic, "Shakespeare sarcastically snapped, "how ever did Henry get here at the exact moment Maria uttered those words?"

Andre's eyes, nose, and lips quivered, "Not to change the subject from this terrible occurrence, but I have always had the feeling that I am being watched when I am here."

Then Maria's eyes widened, and she said, "Me too. I can't explain it, but it's as if someone knows what's going to happen next. It is the oddest thing."

"Oh, stop being ridiculous," Shakespeare cried as Henry approached.

Then Shakespeare turned toward Henry and said, "So, anything new?"

"Very funny, Shakespeare," Andre said. "You know, we have a real situation here, and Henry -- he must be at his wits' end."

Henry patted Andre on the shoulder and said," It's okay. It's okay. I just have to talk to her. We'll get her down, just like last time."

Suddenly Maria's bracelets began to furiously jangle. "SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? HENRY! GO!"

"Someone is just a little on edge," Shakespeare snapped.

"I am waiting for Diego. She is getting dressed and then we will go outside and talk to mother. Do you guys want to come too? Maybe with all of us it will go faster."

Andre grinned, "I'd really love to, but I've got to put these pots away."

"And I've got to help him," Shakespeare said.

Then Maria turned to Henry and said, "I'd love to, but I have so many forms to fill out on my desk!"

Henry looked out the window, took in the scene, and he sighed.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2014-10-13
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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