Stewart sat at his desk finishing up the outline that he would use for his dad’s eulogy. He hadn’t moved much in the last hour or so. After emailing various family members and friends with an update on the impending funeral arrangements, Stewart closed his laptop and leaned back in his chair. Arching his back he let out a long boisterous yawn. His stomach growled as he began to consider his culinary options. He had a refrigerator full of get slender quick shakes. Today that would not suffice. Stewart,
had remained alone for the last several years since his divorce, and being as he now enjoyed the freedom of doing whatever; he did little to nothing.
Oh, he ran to L.A. or Las Vegas once in a blue moon, just to make it like look like he had moved on in his life. The truth of the matter is that he failed his wife, and he knew it. The one thing he thought he would be good at; and it blew up in his damn face. Moreover, Stewart was still bitter about the way things had ended for him, and his ex wife Angelina. They had been married for five years when things began to go awry. Angelina was from Indonesia. In the Indonesian culture, family gatherings were a mainstay, almost a requirement. In truth, Stewart envied his Indonesian in laws. They genuinely enjoyed each others collective company. For Stewart, growing up in his dysfunctional world; he wasn’t cut from that same family cloth to follow such a culturally dictated lifestyle, and he was too much of a control freak to consider another course. The friction between the two began slowly. When Stewart continued to balk about attending another family get together, Angelina gave him the silent treatment. Over time, friday became their ritualistic blame game routine in order to set up the fight for saturday night; which would in turn become the sadly comical routine in which both parties knew ahead of time; would result in Angelina getting all made up to go clubbing with her single girlfriends.
Stewart had begun to suspect something wasn’t right but had chosen to close his eyes to the truth. Not that Stewart was free
of blame. He had a lot of head knowledge, but he lacked in emotional attachment. In a woman’s lucidity of what a relationship should include, emotional attachment is the glue, the anchor of their essence. It is what enables them, what drives them; in order to accomplish much in the family unit. Stewart had not received much in the way of training from either of his parents. His father had physically, and emotionally manhandled him so viciously that he stuttered throughout his childhood, and into his adulthood as well. This was usually brought on when he got into an emotionally charged, and or uncomfortable situation. His mother in some respects was a much more cruel person at heart. There were so many awful memories in young Stewarts life. There was the time that Stewart had helped his mom bake an apple pie. Like all little boys, patience had not taken root quite yet. He had opened the oven door, once then twice. His mothers patience grew oddly thin, and she snapped at him without warning. It startled him, but Wanda somehow caught her self, and quickly salvaged the moment with a fictious smile. Stewart sniffled for a minute, and in an instant it was forgiven, and forgotten. Wanda was putting away some dishes when she heard the sound of the oven door open again for the third time. She whirled around, with a full clip of anger at the ready. Stewart saw the look in his mother’s eyes. He tried to close the oven door quickly, but his tiny four year old hands were caught, wedged in the oven door.
“Mommy, help me, mommy I’m stuck, it burns mommy, mommy help!!” Wanda stood there with her arms crossed. She had an odd, derisive look on her face. She had the big 1960’s eyebrows, that seemed like an extra set of eyes to little Stewart. “Didn’t I tell you not to touch that oven door?” “I’m sorry mommy help me mommy, my fingers are stuck mommy, I won’t touch it no more mommy, promise mommy, mommy, mommy!!!”
“That will teach you Stewart.
Your just like your father as soon as I turn my back…” Wanda stormed out of the kitchen, arms crossed,
a taunting, far away look in her eyes. She would return moments later to free her young son; but the damage was done. Those seeds of anger and distrust would take root in all the offspring of the Willetto clan. And so it goes.