Rick got up at about ten-thirty the following morning. He awoke, got himself a coffee and decided he’d smoke a Cameo menthol cigarette this morning. As Rick hadn’t been smoking very long he sometimes found that regular cigarettes gave him a sore throat in the mornings. Menthol cigarettes seemed to sooth his throat. He looked out the living room window and could see that the weather was bright and sunny. His mother was already busy in the kitchen making breakfast. She was a tall middle aged woman who was still quite attractive. This morning she didn’t look it though. She was still in her house coat and slippers and her hair was a mess. “ Are you ready for some pancakes , Rick?” she asked.
“Sure Mom, but I’ll just have two,” answered Rick. Rick was trying to lose a bit of weight. He was probably been between ten and twenty pounds overweight.
In spite of all the exercise Rick got playing goal in hockey he had a stocky build and if he wasn’t careful he could easily become fat. Rick was determined to watch what he ate this summer. For exercise he planned to ride his ten speed bike to Assiniboine Park every day and to work out with his free weights in the basement.
Rick sat down at the kitchen table and his mother put two pancakes on his plate. “Well, tell us about your evening Rick?”
His father had just joined them at the table. His mother poured his dad a cup of steaming hot black coffee. His dad immediately lit up a Sportsman cigarette.
“So did you meet a girl?” Rick’s father asked. His dad had a way of getting straight to the point.
“Yeah, how did you know Dad?” asked Rick with a surprised look on his face.
“I was young once too, Rick,” his father answered.
“How did you meet her?,” asked her mother.
“I was just coming out of the record store and there she was. She asked me if she could bum a smoke.”
“You work fast, Rick,” said his father grinning as his wife placed four pancakes on his dish. Rick’s dad also struggled with his weight but at this point in his life he had almost given up the battle. He had resigned himself to the fact that he would always be a big guy.
“Thanks, Dad,” Rick said smiling.
“I’m not sure that your father meant that as a compliment Rick. It sounds like you took up with a totally strange woman. Is she a hippie?” queried his mother with a tone of concern in her voice.
“Well, she looks like one. She’s a very nice girl though,” Rick replied taking a sip of his coffee.
“Did you have sex with her?” asked his dad as he cut up a large pancake on his plate.
“You don’t beat around the bush, do you Dad?” Rick laughed. Rick and his father had a very good relationship even during his teenage years.
“No, we didn’t have sex, Dad. We went to see a band at River Heights Community Center,” answered Rick finishing off his second pancake.
“Are you seeing her again today, Rick?” asked his mom.
“Yes, I’m going to meet Arwen at Memorial Park at noon. Lloyd and Misty will be picking us up there and will be taking us to the rock festival at Lake Mariposa,” answered Rick putting one of his cameo cigarettes in his mouth.
“Well, it sounds like you have another fun day ahead of you. If anything develops Rick make sure you use protection,” Rick’s dad advised. Rick’s father could still recall his teenage years very vividly.
“Of course, Dad. I’ll put my jock strap on before I leave,” said Rick lighting up his smoke with a lighter that had a picture of Marilyn Monroe on it. Rick’s dad burst out laughing when he heard Rick’s answer.
At around 11:30 A.M., Rick started his walk to Memorial Park. He always took the route over the Norwood Bridge and down Mayfair until he arrived downtown. Rick was almost bouncing as he thought of Arwen and the great memories he had of last night. Maybe this summer would be the big one thought Rick. Most of his other summers had been pretty boring if his parents didn’t take them on vacation. If there wasn’t a summer road trip to look forward to Rick would often spend his summer afternoons playing touch football with his friends. He was starting to dislike playing football as last summer Rick had developed a condition where he perspired profusely. Several of his peers mocked him for this and Rick felt humiliated. This summer he had taken to wearing black tank tops and this helped to keep the excessive perspiration problem hidden. Rick knew that if he gave up drinking coffee this would probably help but Rick was like his father. He felt that the coffee and cigarettes helped to wake hm up and give him energy throughout the day.