The Perils of Louella:

Chapter 185: Louella Gets Discouraged

by A.C. Cherbonnier
     LOUELLA's mother shuffled about the sunny kitchen in her chenille slippers, banging pots as she began to make a sausage-and-egg Sunday breakfast.
      "Mom, when are you going to stop eating this stuff?" asked Louella "It's going to block your arteries, give you a stroke!"
      "Well, we're not dead yet, are we?" asked her mother, brushing thinning gray hair from her face with a plump hand. "Eating is one of the few pleasures we've got left, your Dad and me. I mean, look-- he's been out of work so long now he's like a piece of furniture in the living room! I swear, I used to live to get out and work at the counter at Woolworth's. But now that's gone too. Nothing's the same any more, nothirig. And we're only in our fifties! We could have thirty more years of this, just hanging on. So don't give me any lip about eating sausage, okay?'
      “You're right, Mom. It's none of my business. I just want you to stay healthy is all."
      "Well, we could use a little more understanding from all of you," said her mother, too energetically stirring the scrambled eggs. "I mean, it's disappointment after disappointment fot us. Look at Candy. She's a barmaid, and has that phone sex thing going. Think we're proud of that? And Mason! Our only grandchild a drug dealer! We're so ashamed!"
      What about me? Don’t I make you proud? Louella wanted to ask. Instead, she tried to cheer her mother up. "Well, at least you've got a terrific great-granddaughter! Isn't she the cutest thing?'
      “Well, we hardly get to see her any more, now that Angie's left Mason and gone back to live with her folks. And then those people next door--well, they’re nice enough, but they're not our kind. Like I say, nothing’s the way it was. I tell you, Lou, it's a good thing we at least have sausage and eggs, that's all I can say.”
      “Yeah, I understand, Mom. Things have been pretty rotten for me lately too. That robbery at work and then finding out somebody stole those checks out of my purse--it's been real discouraging. I wish I had something like sausage to get my mind off it."
      “How much will you lose from those checks?"
      "Don't know yet. The bank says whoever cashes them on a forged endorsement will eventually have to eat the money, but it's out of my account in the meantime. But now I can't trust people at work, and I have to close the account and open another one, and pay for new checks. It all just adds up and up."
      “See what I mean? That's howit is for your Dad and me. It just keeps adding up, and no end in sight."
      “Hey, Mom! Cheer up! It’s not all that bad! Your house is pald for, you have the old Winnebago to travel in, and you've got cable!”
      "But I get the feeling life has passed me by, like nothing significant's gonna happen to me."
      "I know the feeling," said Louella, sipping the black coffee that constituted her entire breakfast. “Tell you the truth, I'm bored being a supermarket cashier, me with a master’s degree and all. So you know what, Mom? You've helped me decide! I'm going to do something big!"
      "Like what?"
      “I'm going to run for Mayor!"


Recent Chapters:

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on June 3, 1999.