Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 198

shirt, shoes and shorts and held tight to the railing as he navigated the steps, one at a time, down to the marble foyer. He wobbled through the cluttered kitchen out to the flagstone patio where Mandy applied sun screen. Lou opened the garage door and slipped into his black BMW, nearly passing out.

On his way to the hospital, Louis flashed back to the accident. The last thing he recalled was hosing down the patio furniture. He must have backed himself into the pool. ‘What a dolt,’ he told himself. X-rays were taken and, indeed, Louis had fractured his skull, badly. He remained in the hospital for several days and recovered at home. He felt nauseous much of the time and the headaches persisted as if someone were pounding spikes into his head.

Mandy popped out of his life. Lou was no longer amusing.

Several months later the headaches simply stopped. Everything felt different for Lou, as though his entire brain had been rebooted and refreshed. He exhibited no interest whatsoever in dogs, classic cars, or 7 Card Stud. He covered the swimming pool for the season. Louis showed up in flamboyant Hawaiian shirts and leather sandals. He enrolled in a French cooking class where he was known as the master of soufflés. He booked a cruise to Antarctica with a bunch of hydrologists and fed his banana labels to the shredder. The mustache vanished. At sixty-five, Lou joined the Montgomery County Senior Softball League where his batting average remained well above expectations. He played third base and left field as if he’d always known how. This was Lou, version 2.0, and he loved it.