I and Rosa are sitting out at the park by the river behind the lake. I have a quilt thrown upon the vividly green grass. The laughter of children can be heard by the little fishing pond as ducks drift across it's surface. For lunch, we are eating warm fried chicken and Rosa prepared some potato salad. It is delicious. Storm clouds are looming on the horizon and rain is on the way. We hurry to eat before the skies open up upon us.
“I love a man who can cook.” Rosa tells me as she takes a bite out of a fried chicken leg.
I smile and say, “Thank you. Your potato salad is delicious as well.”
“I try, but I am not as good a cook as you.”
Thunder rumbles on the horizon.
“It looks like a good storm is brewing,” I say.
“And we were just having so much fun,” Rosa replies.
We pack up our picnic and run to the car as the rain begins to fall in earnest. I throw everything in the back of my Honda and we head for home.
“I saw your friend George this morning. He was drunk,” Rosa tells me as I drive us back into town.
“When is George ever not drunk,” I reply.
“Did you used to drink like George?” She asks.
“I drank worse than George,” I reply. “I couldn’t handle my liquor. George can. It was rather pitiful.”
“You seem so strong now.”
“Even the strong have weak moments,” I reply. “That’s why I go to A.A.”
“I wish I was younger,” Rosa then tells me.
“Why?” I ask.
“Cause I was prettier then and more your age and you would want me. I didn’t have all this grey in my hair and these wrinkles in my face.”
There is an awkward silence.
“It’s not that I don’t want you,” I say, trying not to make light of what Rosa just said. “I just think of you as a friend.”
“Friends with benefits?” Rosa asks, alluding to sex, as she smiles demurely.
I laugh and reach out to hold her hand as I drive with the other.
“Yes, there are a lot of benefits to being your friend,” I say downplaying the sexuality of Rosa’s last question.
We finally pull up in my driveway and arrive home. Rosa reclines in my lazy boy lounge chair and is soon fast asleep with Maggie in her lap. I sit down in front of my computer to write this and soon start on chapter seven of my novel. It is just a wonderful day full of good things, good food and great conversation. My schizophrenia is at bay for the moment.