PLAY FOR TODAY
Linda was eager to put together a big lunch for a social function she was attending that day, an alternative to the burgers Bob was supplying.
Variety was always, for her, the extra spice you gave to life after all.
“Twenty or so vanilla cream egg rolls ought to suffice” she thought, and promptly entered the kitchen to set about her project.
She assembled the necessary ingredients, she sorted out the vanilla cream and butter waiting for her in the fridge, she hard boiled the eggs, and she took out a fresh loaf to prepare.
Only one thing was missing.
Make that several.
The tools required to spread the magic.
She looked everywhere, in all of the cupboards. Not a trace.
She walked out of the kitchen and came to the lounge, where a peculiar sight greeted her.
Her youngest daughter, the ever unpredictable firecracker Louise, was crouched down on the floor holding something in her hand that looked familiar.
On the sofa was the cutlery that had gone missing from the kitchen.
“Louise honey, what are you doing?” Linda asked
“Putting on a show” a frank Louise revealed.
“With the kitchen knives?” Linda asked.
Linda saw that she was playing with a salt shaker.
“Careful not to get that over the sofa honey” said Linda.
“Relax mom, I emptied the salt out before I started” Louise revealed.
Linda knelt down beside her, trying to work out what her play was about.
“Oh I get it, the knives represent gang members, it’s a big bloody brawl right? That sort of thing is always your kind of scene isn’t it?”
“No Mom, it’s nothing like that, it’s a comedy drama”
“Comedy drama?” said Linda, a little surprised.
“The little salt shaker is the pushover who has to overcome the might of our main hero, the sharpest tool in the shed”
“That’s what I’m calling the sofa” Louise revealed, “It’s like a big cage where the meanest and maddest fighters come together”
“Ah, so it is a brawl then?” Linda asked.
“It starts off with that, but it’s a lot more personal than that” Louise explained.
“Really?” Linda asked.
“See, the sharpest tool in the shed has a weakness that’s known only to her and the salt shaker” Louise revealed.
“This tool’s a ‘she’ eh? I get where this is going, aw”
“Yeah, well if you can put that together, the rest of the math you do will be a cakewalk”
“Honey, who do you want to put this play on in front of?” Linda asked.
“I’d rather just keep this one to myself, its good therapy to the sick thoughts going on in my head at the moment” said Louise.
Linda grew concerned.
“Oh my floppy eared favourite, what’s wrong? You’re not thinking of dicing yourself are you?”
“No, no Mom, it’s the other kind of ‘sick’ I’m used to” Louise explained.
“Oh” Linda said, sighing in relief.
“Anyway, the little shaker is just that. He’s a shaker. He thinks he’s tough; he wants to let everyone know it, but the sharpest tool? She knows him inside out, she’s been there when he was humbled one time in a kickball incident, and he went down hard. He doesn’t let the experience show, but some of it is evident on his face”
“Honey, the shaker doesn’t have a face, its clear glass”
“Now you see the horrors of what kickball does to you” said Louise in a cold and foreboding voice.
“Oh, this is horrifying, I’m hooked” said an enthusiastic Linda.
“The sharpest tool wants to end this quickly, so she can advance to the next stage in the game, so she makes sure to tackle him quick and make sure when he lands, it’s as gently as possible. She wants him humbled, but not hurt, she tells him to take care”
“So how does the play end for him?”
“It’s an ongoing journey, he knows he’s outmatched by the sharpest tool in the shed, but that won’t deter him from learning from her…and she’s sort of impressed by that, she has to be, she likes him a lot”
Linda could now sense what this was all about.
“Honey, what got you into this sort of thing? It had to have been recent” said Linda.
“Just something that occurred to me after a birthday lately” Louise said.
“Oh I get it” Linda said, smiling.
She got up, dusted herself off and turned to walk back out of the room.
“Honey, mommy needs those knives back soon, you finish up and I’ll give you one of the leftover sandwiches I’m making up for my social, ok?”
“Make sure you use the sharpest tool there is when you do” Louise revealed.
“I might even put some salt on the rolls as well, don’t want your little shaker to feel left out” Linda replied.
“Thanks mom, I don’t feel as sick anymore, a bit, but not much”
Linda nodded, not wanting to say what was on the tip of her brain next.
She kept that to herself.
She remembered what that recent birthday was.
It was Rudy’s.
He had wanted to spend the day having everyone who attended the party help him put on a play he had written with finger puppets, only to be dragged into an incident that saw them make off with a bouncy castle and it ultimately got everyone detained. Louise felt so bad about the incident she ultimately helped a distraught Rudy put on the play.
As Linda left the room, she pondered the clarity she was holding back from her daughter.
“Honey, you’re not sick, you’re in love”