Copyright © Teresa Stewart, 2/2011
Zane and Lucinda were both victims of head trauma, Zane’s via a bar fight, and Lucinda’s via an auto accident. Each of their medical diagnosis’ were typical: reduced and limited cognitive reasoning abilities, and extreme short term memory loss. Even though they met each other at a rehab facility, neither felt they had suffered any appreciable brain damage. They often met for lunch at a rambunctious diner near the rehab facility. It was popular with young families that appreciated the cheap prices but tasty food.
After making their matching sandwich selections of corned beef, Zane and Lucinda carried their trays through the crowded seating area searching for a table. They passed a haggard young woman sitting with two toddlers, a boy and a girl. The elder boy was pulling the younger girl’s pigtail. The girl was screaming with tears streaming down her face, but was still actively trying to land a punch to the boy’s face while maintaining her balance on the adult sized chair. The woman passively ignored the chaos with seemingly little effort.
Zane chuckled as they found an empty table facing the trio. Those kids remind me of a good joke. He took a few bites of his food, and started, “Knock, knock.”
“Knock knock what?” Lucinda responded.
Zane raised his palms up toward the ceiling and tried again, now with exasperation in his voice, “Knock, Knock.”
“I said, knock knock what?!”
“You are supposed to say ‘who’s there?’”
“Who’s there? Why would I say who’s there? You’re there! Sitting here, right in front of me. I can see you, hear you, and guess what, smell you!” She pointed to a nearby diner. “He can see you! Are you stupid or something?” She rolled her eyes and took a large bite of her corned beef sandwich.
“That is not the point Lucinda. I’m trying to tell you something. Why would you call me stupid?”
“Because of the who’s there business.”
Zane looked away and continued his meal in silence.
Lucinda tapped him on the arm. “Well then tell me already!”
Zane looked at her blankly.
“Who’s there?” Lucinda asked.
Zane glanced around the cafeteria, and back at Lucinda as she finished her corned beef sandwich. She took a swig of soda, and smiled sweetly. Zane continued to stare at her.
Lucinda asked, “What already? Why are you staring at me?”
He smacked his lips. “That was a great sandwich, as usual.”
They continued to watch the brother/sister escapade playing out in front of them. The girl finally managed to sock her brother, but toppled off her chair onto the floor while doing so. She let out an ear-splitting squall followed by a geyser of tears.
Zane broke out in a chuckle. “Wow, that is loud! Reminds me of a good joke. Knock, knock,” he began…