Fiction by Marc Erdrich
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Soul Mates - page 3

MOTHER: I told you I’m not going on any cruise with him. You know, you’re stupid. You’re both stupid. FATHER: (Waving his hand at her in disgust) I don’t know how I’ve lived with you all these years, Janet. Don’t go. Don’t go. I don’t give a God-damn. I’ll go by myself. Meanwhile, I’m going in to watch the ball game. (Father exits. Mother continues to drink tea and puff on her cigarette.) SON: (to audience) He died the next day. I was at a friend’s house when my aunt called. “You better go to your mother,” she said. “Your father’s dead.” I’m sure he died on purpose. He was determined to take that trip one way or another. Well, he did. He fooled her after all. It was okay with me. We had made our peace, he and I. MOTHER: Oh God, what am I going to do? SON: You can come live with me. MOTHER: With you? SON: Yes, with me. MOTHER: You’ve got some case. You want me to come live with you, the way you live? SON: And how do I live? MOTHER: If you have to ask, don’t expect me to tell you. SON: Oh, I see. So you don’t want to live with me. Then what do you want? You can’t just sit in this house and vegetate. You can’t sit and watch television all day. MOTHER: I won’t just sit and watch television. I have plenty to do. SON: Like what? MOTHER: I’ve got cleaning. SON: Yeah? MOTHER: I’ve got bills to pay.