Saturday, June 18, 2011 — No one can complain about this one, I trow.
Jon smelled the milk before pouring it on his cereal. I was still trying to think of a sarcastic comment when he spoke up.
“I didn’t sleep well. Did you sleep?” He set the bowl next to mine, plunked down, and leaned over to smell my hair.
“I slept fine,” I said. “I’m sorry you’re not rested. And there’s nothing wrong with the milk.”
He lifted his face to mine, raising his eyebrows, then squiggling them, then looking sad. There was milk (perfectly good milk) running down his chin and dripping onto the blue terry robe he had wrapped around him. He swallowed, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and said, “It’s, uh, the milk is good.”
“You didn’t have to sniff it.”
“You smelled it,” I said, annoyed.
“Oh, ah . . . “
“I wouldn’t keep milk that had turned sour.”
“Too bad!” Stephen walked in wearing the twin of Jon’s robe. It was uncanny. “I told him I was going to make sour milk pancakes.” He had his Southern on. “We’ll have to wait. I see you’re eating cereal.”
“Astute of you,” said Jon, drooling more milk.
Stephen proceeded to take over my kitchen, producing coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and real French toast – for one. Jon and I grimly pecked away at our Wheaties. Or maybe it was Heartland. I know it wasn’t Froot Loops, because I haven’t had them in the house since Vlad left. By the time Stephen set his tray down and went to the hall for a vase of flowers I had decided to ignore him. He owed me an apology anyway. Five minutes later we were all reading sections of the paper, and each of us had a cat in his lap.
“Oh, Bentley, listen to this,” said Stephen, folding his paper in half. “Police Log: Unknown actors assaulted a Green Lane man last night and fled in an unknown direction.”
Jon beat me to a reply. “How did they know we were actors?” While he was looking at Stephen, Chloe poked her head up and drank from his bowl. “Oy vey. Get away, cat. Bent, can I drive the car today? I have a job interview.”
Stephen raised one eyebrow. “I thought you were retired.”
“I was,” said Jon. He was wiping his mouth again; the rest of the cereal would be uneaten, unless Chloe ate it. “But this is special.”
“You know where the key is,” I said. “Did you smell the milk because of what Stephen said?”
“Milk again! No! I did it without thinking about it, okay? I haven’t slept in two nights and I’m trying not to step on your toes. Have I offended you in any other way, mine hostess?”
Stephen looked at me with sympathy. “Disregard it. He’s sensitive.”