Saturday, July 8, 2017

Captain Bluelight

Jim always started his day with his motorized chair. It let everyone know he was coming. He was ninety four and had quit using the stairs five years before. Then he went left and picked up his ears. He put on the headphones and sat in his chair. It was his chair. No one else sat in it. He then fired up his forty eight inch plasma and began watching. It didn't really matter to Jim what was on as long as someone was talking to him. He had favorites but they were too hard to find a lot of the times. As long as he had his ears then he was good.

He would get up for meals unless his son brought them to him. He had moved in ten years before and Jim got the feeling he was waiting for him to kick the bucket. His will would pay off like a jackpot and his son had been unemployed for ten years. But he sat in the chair until ten at night sometimes until midnight. His son figured he averaged twelve hours a day in front of the blue light. Maybe more. Once Jim heard his son mumble something about captain bluelight. Jim wondered if it was a new show.

They found him there dead.  The plasma played on. At the funeral his son talked to the few people who came to see his father. One man shook his head. I heard all he did was watch television at the end. His son said it was terrible he had lost the ability to communicate. The man stared at him.  Jim never gave a fuck about talking to anyone even when he was young. He was kind of an asshole. Jim's son forgave the man. He was old. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Early Riser

We always saw Kathy leaving early. She would be walking down the sidewalk at five AM. She was German and made sure everyone went to church every Sunday. They had a nanny who watched her two boys and Kathy always said Gert, that was really her name, was great. When Kathy became a partner in the firm she stayed late at work and sometimes worked through the weekends. She made senior partner and nobody saw her for a while. Then we moved.

My boys hate me. That's what she said when we got together years later. Her boys both went off to college on the West coast and rarely came back. What do you mean I asked. They hate me. They do. They tell me that all the time. Kathy and John seemed to have it all. They both were successful lawyers and still lived in the city. We had moved to the far suburbs and were always broke but our kids didn't hate us.

Then we heard John had an affair. He left for a woman who looked  just like Kathy. The story was he did it over pizza one Friday night. Kathy moved to the city in a condo that looked over the lake. Her boys didn't come home for mothers day and my wife said they didn't even send a card. Maybe they did hate her.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Empty Nesters

Jan and Rob always worked on their home. When we moved in Rob helped me with the swing set. That was twelve years ago. We didn't talk much after that but we didn't talk to many our neighbors. Rob was a dentist and always worked in his yard on Thursdays. I would see him out there on his tractor and Jan would be bent over some plant. They had the nicest yard and the nicest house and they always worked don it twenty four seven. Then one day a For Sale sign appeared.

I bet something happened my wife said. It took about a year before they sold their house. Every Thursday rob would cut his grass but he was getting skinnier. his bony knees stuck up and now he had a jaw line. We figured something happened and that made them want to sell. But then i saw Jan. Oh no we just got tired of working on the house she said. We want to move in closer to the city where we can walk to coffee shops. We all wanted that.

So anyway, they moved. I kind of miss Rob on his tractor on Thursdays. My swing set is old and probably should be burned now. Kids are gone. Last I heard,  Rob died of leukemia. a year after he moved. I don't know, maybe he got to walk to a coffee shop a couple of times.

william hazelgrove