Frank sat in his recliner, his right leg up, his big toe attacked by gout. He was far from happy. He was miserable, hungry, and in pain. Edna was in the refrigerator – that is, her head and upper body – looking for Thursday night dinner.
“The toe’s terrible,” complaint Frank. “It’s as bad as the time we were at Niagara Falls.”
“It was at the Grand Canyon you had the gout, Frank.”
“The Grand Canyon? I knew it was someplace big.”
He was subject to gouty arthritis and other conditions for which medications occasionally worked. Then, there were side effects. Frank had trouble following the nightly news on the flat screen. Edna had trouble at the back of the refrigerator. What would happen if she could not find the mac and cheese?
“I’m a little sick to my stomach,” said Frank.
“Is it a side effect, Frank? Or is it something else?”
“The pills that Dr. Fruman prescribed don’t seem to be working. I’m really queasy.”
“Can you eat? You’ve got to eat.”
“I feel as bad as I did the week we stayed with your sister.”
For a large part of that week, Frank recalled being in the bathroom, unable to eat his sister-in-law’s brisket and goulash. For some reason, she served brisket followed by goulash.
“I think you’ve got it wrong, Frank. It was when we were with your brother and the second wife who divorced him.”
“Is it mac and cheese again?” he asked.
“I can give you mac and cheese or something that’s very green at the back of the refrigerator here,” offered Edna.
Frank coughed. “Remember when I had bad laryngitis?”
“That was at Niagara Falls, Frank.”
Niagara Falls – he thought about the cascading water and what he had missed.
Edna put a dish of what appeared to be mac and cheese into the microwave.
Laryngitis – when the larynx doesn’t work right. A week without talk at Niagara Falls. Edna set the timer. Pain, stomach upset, mac and cheese, and laryngitis. She realized that’s how things are – the bad, followed by the good.
David Sydney is a physician. He has been published in ‘Little Old Lady Comedy’, 101 Words’, ‘Microfiction Monday’ ’50 give or take’, ‘Friday Flash Fiction’, and ‘Entropy Squared’.