Jimmy Bones stumbled through the front door of his mother’s apartment. With a hand on the wall to guide him, he slowly made his way to the kitchen to get a drink of anything that didn’t contain alcohol. It had been a long night. Nine Toes Jenny had an appetite for trouble and Jimmy couldn’t help but follow along. Maybe one day he would learn that she wasn’t worth the trouble. Maybe.
He paused as he reached the edge of the kitchen table. Something was off, but the booze, pills, and God knows what else he had ingested over the last 24 hours were preventing his few remaining brain cells from connecting immediately. On the other side of the over-sized kitchen table sat an old, chipped side plate with a half-finished cigarette hanging on the rim. Lazy smoke drifted up to the ceiling undisturbed. A single high back chair sat at an odd angle away from the table. Looking down he saw his mother’s bare feet, cracked and calloused, sticking out from underneath the table.
Jimmy ran around the kitchen table to see his mother sprawled out on the floor. Her tattered floral night gown covered her like a drop sheet at a crime scene. Her eyes fluttered in an attempt to regain consciousness.
“Jesus Ma, ya fainted again dint ya.”
Jimmy’s mother muttered something unintelligible among the shuffling and scraping as Jimmy fought to haul her frail body upright.
“Come on, let’s get ya to the window, the fresh air’ll be good for ya.”
Suddenly Jimmy’s mother spun away from him, back toward her spot at the table.
“I need my smoke boy!”
“Ma, ya need to get some air!”
“Dammit, I ain’t gonna faint no more, let me get my smoke.”
Supporting herself on the table while Jimmy held her under one arm, she snatched the lit cigarette from the plate and quickly set it in the corner of her mouth.
“Alright, let’s get me some air then.”