Sunday, February 26, 2023

Remembering Rudy

Bonk! The mouse smashes the massive hammer on the cat’s head, his face flattened into the ground. Skeeeeeeeeeer Pop! He peels his head off the ground and it pops back into shape. 

    I chuckle. I’ve watched cartoons for as long as I can remember. When I was a boy, they were black and white on big box screens. Dad got our first TV on sale and I remember him making my brother and I carry that damned thing into the living room. 

There was nothing better than racing home as soon as school let out to watch the newest cartoon come out, right at 4pm every night. The next day in school we’d be acting out all the crazy stunts till our teacher whacked our wrists with a ruler. 

Boy oh boy were those the good o’ days. Since then, my dreams have only consisted of imaginative cartoons. After all, dreams are the rule breakers of reality and logic, at least Ma would say so.

“Here” A voice pulls me out of my memories. I look at her. Have I met this woman before? She’s holding out a medicine cup with pills and a glass. “Take your meds.”

“Hmph” I said, “Why?”

She sighed. “You’re sick.”

“Hmph” I repeat, taking both cups. I pop the pills in my mouth and drink up. I study the glass for a minute before handing it back to her. I recall the gold rim and intricate designs. 

“I bought these cups.”

“I know”, she said. “You bought them for mom.”

“Hmph, right!” I exclaim, scratching my head. What was her name again? Abby? Jessica? Weird.

“Dad” She calls. 

“Huh? Dad?” I mumble, most of my attention returning to the television.

I turn back to her as she sits down beside me and doesn’t say anything. Tears slip from her eyes. This woman is sad, is she sad about her dad?

“Is everything okay?” I asked her. “Is something wrong with your dad?”

“Yeah” she breathes.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” I reply. “It’ll be okay.” She just needs encouragement. She takes my old, wrinkly hand and puts it to her soft, young lips. 

“Dad, don’t you remember me?” She whispers.

I squint at her. Yeah! There is something familiar. She looks like my wife, but has my hair. Well, the hair I once had. Then the gears clicked. 

“You are Rudy. We named you after your mothers father. You’re my daughter, right? And all grown up too! I bet your mom is proud of you!” 

Rudy laughs as more tears come out. 

“Yeah” she says. “She was.”

Rudy gives me a quick hug and then nestles her head into my shoulder. My eyes shift back to the television.

Pop! The cat now fires a gun and all that happens is a flag that comes out of the barrel and says “Bang!” I chuckle as the mouse scurries away. I loved watching cartoons as a kid. 

Boy oh boy were those the good ol’ days.

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