Every morning, I look at the clock and wait for an appropriate time to gulp down a Diet Pepsi. According to a book I’m reading, Diet Pepsi has been linked to cancer and something else horrible, maybe scurvy. But damn you, Diet Pepsi. I just can’t quit you. Somehow it’s perfectly acceptable to gulp down a coffee at 8am, but pop open a DP and your husband raises his eyebrow at you and says, “A little early, isn’t it?” as though you are an alcoholic. There would be a lot less judging if I were a coffee drinker.
We’ve recently acquired an extra refrigerator- now permanently situated in the garage- which my husband promptly filled with root beer, Diet Pepsi, beer, and a large bottle of nearly empty lemonade/iced tea that had been taking up a lot of room in our regular kitchen fridge. In the freezer there are about 100 freeze pops I’ve been doling out to all of the children in the neighborhood, who have all heard about our new fridge and the wonders inside it. Which brings me to our other recent acquisition: a child named David.
My kids have come of the age where they go out to ride their bikes around the neighborhood and return with hanger-ons who want to climb our front pine tree and eat freeze-pops in the garage.
I won’t let them in the house.
David arrives at the front door promptly at 9 and stays until about 4. He is perfectly comfortable peering into my house and asking for a drink.
“Mrs. Jennings, are you drinking a Diet Pepsi? It’s not even 10 o’clock yet!”
I resist the urge to tell him he’s a leech and to get lost. I'm short-tempered due to lack of sleep. We've been watching episodes of The Walking Dead before bedtime. This is an apocalyptic show about zombies who roam the streets looking for things to eat, acting much like elementary school kids during long, hazy summer days. “I want a snack,” they tell me, in monotone voices with hungry eyes. I chase them away with a garden rake.
Two nights ago, something woke me up in the middle of the night. It was in my bath tub, it was staring at me, and I was pretty sure it wanted to eat my brains. Turned out it was Kiah the Wonder Dog, who is absolutely infatuated with the cool acrylic surface of the bathtub. She was reluctant to go back downstairs. I was very put out and, thanks to the initial fright, my heart was beating rapidly.
“My heart is beating so fast,” I told John.
“Oh baby,” he mumbled, and turned over in the bed.
“It’s probably all the caffeine you’ve been drinking during the day!” David called from down the street.
It’s going to be a long summer.