Empathy No. 042
08/30/02, Roderick bedrm. 4:30 PM (approx)
RODERICK: Someone there? Sorry, come on in.
ELEANOR: I didn't mean to interrupt you-
RODERICK: No, I just couldn't hear. I got this tape from someone at school and I guess I got a little lost.
ELEANOR: Don't worry, it's not an emergency. You got this from a friend?
RODERICK: Kinda. It's a little hard to explain.
ELEANOR: No need to explain, but it's good to know that you're meeting people. So things are going okay?
RODERICK: I guess. So what's up? Do they want me out there?
ELEANOR: No, we were just talking about the long weekend. Some of the families on the block have a get-together on Labor Day. I know Lloyd's going to try to join in, Allison will be there, it sounds like her boyfriend's band is playing for a little bit. I know you don't like these kinds of things-
RODERICK: Mom, it's fine, I'll go.
ELEANOR: I was just about to say that I'm not going to make you go.
ELEANOR: You've been a very good sport about this, and I know you aren't that interested. Of course, you can go if you really want to. You could bring your girlfriend.
RODERICK: What are you talking about?
ELEANOR: One of Allison's friends, right? The girl you went out with?
RODERICK: Carlie isn't my girlfriend, we just hang out at school sometimes. What? Why are you smiling?
ELEANOR: Did she give you the tape?
RODERICK: Yeah, she did. She came over with Allison one afternoon and told me she wanted to show me some new bands.
ELEANOR: Roderick, you might not think of her as your girlfriend, but I bet she thinks of you as her boyfriend.
RODERICK: I think you're wrong.
ELEANOR: I'm just happy that you're making these kinds of connections. But what I was saying was that you don't have to go to the party. In fact, I'm going to have the day off, and I don't have an appointment with Dr. Brawney that day, so I thought we might do something. I don't know though, maybe you don't want to hang out with your mother.
RODERICK: No, that's great. It's a nice change, I remember when you worked through all your days off.
ELEANOR: The bad old days, huh? Well, that's done with. I only wish I could go to part-time schedule so I could spend more time with you and the kids.
RODERICK: Why don't you do that?
ELEANOR: It's not that simple.
RODERICK: Why not? I mean, you kept saying that moving here was about having a better life for both of us, but it's like nothing changed for you.
ELEANOR: What would I even do with all that time every week?
RODERICK: You could work on your drawing again.
ELEANOR: I think it's too late for that.
RODERICK: Why? You used to tell me all the time that if you're good at something, you should do it.
ELEANOR: Am I supposed to go back to school?
RODERICK: I don't know, maybe. You could take some classes or something. You could probably teach classes!
ELEANOR: I'll think about it, okay? I can't believe I'm getting career advice from my sixteen year-old son.
RODERICK: So where are we going on Monday?
ELEANOR: You really want to spend the day with me? Well...we probably do have to go to the party for just a little bit. Just to be seen, say hello to the neighbors. After that, though? I guess we see what's open.
ELEANOR: And you can tell me more about Carlie.
RODERICK: Mom, I'm serious, she's not my girlfriend.
ELEANOR: Whatever you say.
Thanks for reading Empathy: The Remnant Pieces! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.