I push my plate away from me. This eating alone sucks I decide. I had just had a supper of baked chicken and cornbread – not exactly a rounded meal of the food groups. Dieting is so hard for me, but I am determined to get back to my normal weight. I have found it helps greatly with my social anxieties.
The phone rings and I answer. It is 10PM and almost bedtime.
"Come get your medications," my father says and then he hangs up.
I walk over in the cool night air. The smell of the summer air and the ambience of crickets calling brings joy to my soul. I walk into the house and sit down in the den.
"I am so proud of you lately," my father says as he hands me my medications.
I take them and he checks my hand for errant pills.
"You've done so well these past few months."
My father's words are of little comfort. I am no longer a child and long ago quit basing the worth of my life on his opinions.
"What are we going to go about your medications when you move in a few weeks?" he asks.
"I will just have to take them," I reply.
"No," my father says. "It will be a very long time until I trust you with them."
"Goodnight," I say as I get up and walk back across the yard to my house.
It could be worse, I tell myself. My father has given me a more normal and conventional life. He really does mean well. I think of all the people mired in poverty and homelessness and it softens my humiliation over the way my father treats me. I will never again have to worry about such things.
The evening ends with me drinking a glass of skim milk and having one more cigar before retiring. Maggie knows the routine and is already curled up in the bed awaiting me. I turn on the air conditioner. Turn off the lights. I then lay down on the bed and in what seems like moments, I awake to the morning sun shining through my windows. It is another day.