You lurch forward, your toes crack. Self-conscious, but no one heard, you assure yourself. There's a wrinkle on your shirt where your chest meets your abs; too much flexing and stretching pre-show. What was it she said before?
"Avery, I don't want us anymore. Your attitude recently... it's like damp seaweed and sticks and drips on me all sickly. What's the matter with you?”
“Michelle, you're imagining this. I think you're imagining I should be someone I never was. When you met me, what did you think of me?” You sit while she stands.
“That you were some kind of tin-can-phone messiah. You cared. The kind of guy who would tell stories to me at bedtime. The kind of guy who wouldn't give up because life is hard. Life is hard. You lose your analyst job, you have to find a new one. You skin your knee, you affix a bandage.” She hugged herself and shook as if drifting on an Antarcic ice floe.
“Oh, this is because I'm an actor now? That's not fair. So, I make less money than I used to--”
“You make less money than you used to because you think less of yourself than you ever did.”
You're on stage and exhale. Pancakes, this is all just syrupy pancakes. But your mother's not there to hand you the plate. Isn't that how you wanted it to be all your life? Just doing what you want, watching cartoons? Is this really that? Is it supposed to be harder than a balmy Saturday morning?