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The Good Doctor
--- Chapter 18 ---
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The Good Doctor 18

“We can’t do this!!!!!!!”

“What? We’re not doing anything. Besides nobodies gonna know!” He slid his hand down the back of my pants and was playing with my butt. My libido was screaming YES but my brain was screaming NO. I wanted him in me, I wanted that feeling of possession of belonging. I mean, geez! Shouldn’t this be slowing down? It’s like we’re having more sex all the time.

“Besides, I’m a doctor and I think that you really really need this.” Yeah right……..like a prescription!

“Pete, that bitch Jane knows that we’re in here and there’s no fucking way that she’s giving us time to fuck.” Charlie seems to be paying big time attention to Jane so maybe that’ll lead to her getting banged once in a while and she’ll get off my case. Oh god he’s kissing my neck! “Besides, why are you so horny? We had sex this morning!”

He smiles at me and then kisses me again. “I don’t know, it’s crazy.” He nuzzles my neck and nibbles for a split second on my ear. “I,” he rubs his eyes and shakes his head slowly, “I think about you all the time. I think about you more than I did before, before………..we were together…….crazy, it’s crazy.” The corners of his eyes get all crinkly and are sexy as hell in a male outdoors kinda way. Pete is tan and that really makes his blue eyes pop while his blond hair is dropping down over his forehead. His voice is all rumbly and makes me vibrate down to my toes.

Pete pulls his face away, smiles disappointedly and says. “It’s oooookay. I guess that I can always go and cure sick people. I’ll go.” Go? Who the fuck said anything about going?

“Oh! No……….I mean………..don’t do that…………..I never got the chance to show you the warehouse. I got a little office out there too.” I kiss him. “No windows.”

 

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“Now listen to me!” She grabs my arm.

“Mom, I am listening.” My god the woman has got a grip like a vice!

“Eric, you’re not listening and I need someone to know this. When I’m dead nobody’s gonna know how to make this sauce! You think that your father cares?”

“Mom, you’re not gonna die. Well, I mean, everyone dies but not for a long long long time.”

She pointed her finger at me and wagged it back and forth. “The key is the stock. This is a true glaze. I didn’t just boil some beef bones for an hour, this is an actual glaze and it’s the thing that gives the sauce its life.” She actually thinks that I’m gonna make this?

“Twenty quarts of stock! That’s what you start with. Start with! That’s just to start! You boil that down, slowly, lovingly to maybe a quart then even more slowly to two cups.” She puts her hands on her hips. “Eric, are you paying ANY attention at all?”

“Mom! I’m listening to every word!” A lie. “I know that this is important to you and it’s important to me too.” A lie. “I wanna be able to pass this on to Jase.” A lie.

She gives me a doubtful look and then turns back to the stove. “Okay, the tomato is the dominant flavor but you add one ladleful of the stock to the sauce. This big ladle not the little ones.”

She goes on………….endlessly. What DO I want to pass on to Jase? I want him to be honest, with himself and with others. I want him to finish what he starts, to understand that you can’t be a quitter. God, I want so much for him……..and he’s gotta learn it from me. Shit! Like I’m up to that job! Well……there’s Pete too, he oughta be great at this…….and Jase actually listens to him.

Whack!!! She’s banging her ladle on the counter. “Eric!! You’re not listening!”

“I heard it, Mom! Stock! You were talking about stock!”

She leans against the counter her shoulders slumped forward and stares at me over her glasses. “Five minutes ago it was stock. For the last two minutes it’s been meatballs. Will you concentrate??” She waves her hand at me and turns disgustedly back to the counter.

“I use three kinds a meat in my meatballs, beef, veal and pork……….and they gotta be lean.”

Now this is heresy! “Mom, since when do you believe in lean?”

“I don’t believe in lean……………necessarily. I do believe in healthy and there’s ways to make meatballs moist and still healthy. And…………as it happens they taste better this way. The trick is adding more of our stock to the ground meat.”

Beyond mom and positioned so that she can’t see him in the family room is Jase. He’s sticking his tongue out at me, and using his thumb and forefinger to make the loser sign. Damn! I shoulda never taught him that! I growl at him with my eyes but he knows that I’m trapped and can’t run after him. I make like a fake lunge in his direction but he just laughs behind his hand. I try everything, my disappointed in him look, my angry look, my I’m gonna get you look, it all means nothing, he just laughs more. Little brat, I wonder if it’s too late to sell him. No! I’m kidding! He’s my whole fucking life, well a huge part of it anyway.

“Eric!” Mom is shaking her big spoon at me again. “Quit teasing Jason!” Me??? Fucking teasing him?? “You know………you’re just like a little boy yourself, don’t you take anything seriously?” Oh God! Maybe she’ll jamb that big spoon right into my head.

 

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I scoop Jase up on the run, he wasn’t expecting it and he squeals. “So I’m a loser am I?” Mock severity. He knows better than to fall for this. His body is sooooo skinny and yet so vibrating with life. He twists and turns until he’s right side up. His arms are around my neck and he lets me hold him with perfect trust.

“I didn’t SAY that you were a loser, Dad.” Oh yeah! He’s all innocence and endearing smiles now!

“Maybe you didn’t say it but that’s what you meant. You know, it’s important to your grandmother that we be interested in this stuff. Understand?”

“You know how to make meatballs, Dad?”

“Meatballs? Ah…………..no. With your grandma around I’ve never had to.” I bury my nose in the crook of Jase’s neck and inhale. Little kids always smell so great, not sexy great or perfume great but puppy breath great. I carry Jase into the living room and plop down on the sofa with him still in my arms.

“You know, at some point your grandma is gonna get it that she’s not really making any inroads with me and at that point she’s probably gonna drop me like a hot potato and turn her attention to you.”

“Whadya mean, Dad?” Jase twists around and straddles my waist. His knee crushes my balls momentarily. Geez I can understand that little girls might not understand about crushing their father’s balls but it sure seems to me that a little boy should understand it.

“Jaaaaaason! Son, don’t put you knee there.”

He ignores my pain. “Whadya mean when you say that about grandma, Dad?”

“Actually………………….I’m not sure.” Great! All fathers should be confused! I run my fingers through his hair and try to get it into place. Funny, I don’t give a shit how I look but I do care how he looks. “It’s just that at some point she might figure she’s got a better chance of teaching you to cook and to generally be perfect in every way.”

Jase puts his index finger into his mouth, chews on it for a minute and glances around the room like he’s trying to figure something out. What’s he gonna do with that wet finger? Oh right, his dad’s shirt! Yuck! “But, Dad, I’m just little…………….I don’t know how to cook.”

“That’s okay, Sweetheart, grandma will spend all the time that she needs to spend making sure that you know everything that there is to know about cooking…………..Italian cooking anyway.” No…………..she wouldn’t do that. At least I don’t think so. “Well, there may be a way out.” I touch the tip of my finger to his nose. “If she tries to teach you how to cook ANYTHING, just tell her that you you’d be afraid that if you learned to cook then you’d never get to see her anymore.” I sighed. “That won’t stop her but it might slow her down and make her think.”

He looked a little worried. I kissed his forehead. “Don’t worry. I won’t let anything bad happen.” Yeah, right! Like I can stop all the shit in life that is gonna come down on his head one way or another.

 

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“So you met his mom.” There was more to Rose’s statement than just the statement.

“Yes, Rose and she’s very nice and noooo she doesn’t just work with crazy people.” I know exactly what this woman is thinking and it’s never pretty.

“Sweetheart, I didn’t say anything about crazy people. Of course……..now that you mention it……you are practically a member of the family and Irene has gotta be enthused about having such an unusual specimen so handy. Maybe you’ll even inspire a book or something. How’s about “A Study of the Immature Male” that sounds like something you could make a contribution to.” Damn this woman is a bitch!

“Rose………..don’t you have some elderly sick person that you wanna fire before they have a chance to use that cheapass insurance that you supply to your people?”

“Sweetheart, speaking of old sicko’s, and please note the plural, how are Jane and Charlie doing? Did I tell you that I saw them splitting a happy meal when I stopped in to Micky D’s for a cup of coffee?”

“No surprise, Rose! You can practically smell the sex when they look at each other.” I would have called it disgusting but I was not exactly totally in the clear on this subject myself.

“Well,” Rose said, “I probably shouldn’t make fun of them at least they’re getting some which is more than I can say for myself.”

Gee, maybe being like a zillion years old is cramping her style. “Rose, you oughta try that new truck stop out on I94. Sit on the hood of your car with a 12 pack of Miller Light and a big bag of chips and ya just might pick yourself up a social life, especially if you go in the evening when the light is low.” I can be a bitch too.

 

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Pete’s wet, I’m wet but Jase, finally, is clean and dry. Jase’s bathroom is littered with rubber animals for bath taking. We got ducks, we got dinosaurs, we got boa constrictors, we got dogs. I’m pulling his pajama bottoms up and Pete is pulling his pajama top down and all the while Jase is telling us about the little boy at his daycare that puked in the wastebasket. Jimmy, poor little guy, he’s probably the main topic of conversation at thirty homes all over town. It’s weird and certainly unfair but kids can be defined by incidents like that. The name Jimmy the Puker could, cruelly, follow him for the rest of his life.

“Jase, I hope that you don’t call him that.”

Jase puts his left foot on Pete’s bent knee while he straightens the pajama feet. At the same time he’s twisting his head around to talk to me.

“I wouldn’t do that, Dad.” He’s shaking his head. “That wouldn’t be nice and besides I like him.” He leans back casually against Pete while I brush his barely dry hair.

I look up and smile at Pete and say to Jase. “You look very nice. You goin to bed or……I look at my watch. You got like twenty minutes that you can still watch television.”

He screams. “TV, Dad!” He pulls us both to the family room and gets Pete and I to sit next each other while he climbs up and sprawls over both of us. I glance at Pete and notice that he’s got like this weird look on his face, like a really emotional look but I can’t for the life of me figure out why. He sees me looking and I lift one eyebrow in an unspoken question. He shakes his head which either means that he doesn’t want to talk about it, it isn’t anything to begin with, he doesn’t want to talk about it in front of Jase or god only know what the fuck else.

Finally Jase skips off to the safety of Alan’s big green paws and I turn to Pete.
“ You okay?”

 

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