The Big C
Two for the Road

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Stealing it was a dingleberry thing to do, Cathy laughed. Probably not the first time someone had had that thought. But Sean knew how to get her goat: "Yeah? You probably don't have the dingleberries to do it." They heaved. They felt old, and they felt young. They laughed. While Paul slept on the floor of the den, tangled in plaid and pillows, and Adam's hand crept across to his scotch glass, Sean and his sister stole the DINGLEBERRY sign and drove away. Little shocks are all that remind us, sometimes.

Sean's sister was "famished," exhausted by their crimes. Sean looked over at a garbage bin, behind the restaurant, and invited her further back. Further back behind the curtain; when he hopped inside his ribs ached. Sean's sister was good, at treating wounds. Sean's sister took care of a lot of assholes.

"Fact: Over 50% of the food we harvest in this country gets thrown away. Fact: Expiration dates are bullshit. Fact: This box of Little Debbies is hermetically sealed. Do little Debbies even have expiration dates? I don't think so." They were Golden Cremes. Sean's sister loved Golden Cremes, because their mother loved Golden Cremes. Until their father told his wife they were making her fat.

Sean was proud: "I can't believe I dumpster dove," his sister laughed. "I'm a dumpster diver. I can't believe I'm eating trash, it's totally weird." She was buying his love. They sat on the hood of the car and feasted, on ham and peas and carrots and Little Debbies. She swore they tasted good, that childhood tasted good, that she was unhappy and he was an ingrate, but Sean knew better.

"How could you possibly be happy bending over backward trying to please him? You know who managed to please Dad? Sharon. Pretty ballsy of him to fuck around with her while mom was laid up in the hospital. Who does that? Who cheats when you already have somebody who loves you?"

His sister's hand jerked, too close to the curtain, but Sean didn't notice. She swore their father never had an affair. "Sure, maybe Dad was such a fucking romantic that he fell in love and got married three months after Mom died. That's totally reasonable."

Behind the curtain Sean's sister wondered: How long will it take? Have I already met my replacement, camel toe and all?

"It was twenty-five years ago! Dad needed someone, Sharon was there." Sean wasn't buying it. Sean was off the grid, to that. "For years she wanted to visit New Orleans, he wouldn't spend the money. He married Sharon? Took her there on their honeymoon."

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The Big C

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