My Most Prized Possession

My Most Prized Possession

Like the cleanliness of a floor with nothing on it, and as the deep sea’s endless flatness presents to us a peaceful existence when it can, I prefer nothing.  My most prized possession is not having one.  John Lennon mentioned this idea in a song or two; Buddhists consider the notion, too.  Even Christians are against forms of greed, though Satanists enjoy the notion of indulgence.  No one wants to make a mistake… I have goals.  Many people do.  I love to write; being able to is a talent I consider to be somewhat of a possession of mine.

I am new to writing as a craft, compared to what I want to be able to do with it eventually.  I have been able to write well for most of my life; I realize that there are techniques that I still have yet to master.  Anyone can sit and jot some prose without too much difficulty; I am still new enough with writing to be in pursuit of my own style and voice.  I do already have both a voice and a style; you do, too.  Being able to choose your own voice or writing style can be a challenge if you make it hard on yourself.  It will be a worthwhile endeavor, even if we do not find these goals to be easy.  Not for me… natural talent is one thing; I still have some exploration to do in the world of grammar and style.

For the most part, though, I am happy with what I can already do.  My talent is hard for me not to covet; being too proud would certainly have its mindless drawbacks from a secondary perspective.  I love to write.  I plan to.  I like reading others’ writings; I want to do better than most.  I think I can.

So, to be new to an old art is a fun and exciting adventure.  I do not have a lot, worldly possession wise.  I am not overly concerned with the notion.  I will be thrifty or giving when I can – I hope my books sell to millions of readers before  I die.  I have a few projects that I am working on.  Life is not easy for me, for now.  With tentative financial debt and a dedicated quasi-addiction to writing; I do what I can.

Hats off to you though, if you chose a car or house or even a week-willed person.  You can have something and suffer the consequences as a calculated cost.  Praise that idol.  Keep it well.  Let it all go; the choice is indeed yours when you are able… know that I am behind you.  I hope you as the audience enjoy my words.  I, from time to time, put what thought I can into them.  My goals with writing are usually achieved in my opinion.  I have nothing else I want more, and I plan to gain, gain, gain.

I have no possession to covet; my writing is my breath of life.  If you have read this, thank you for your time and more power to you.  Be what you can be.  Choose well, for the future is at hand.

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Specs of Time

Specs of Time

She sat on her porch watching birds and the wind blow the trees.  They swayed to and fro in the early morning, the spring breeze was nice.  Amy awaited the arrival of her grandmother; her wait surely would not take too much time.  At the age of ten, she was always interested in various curiosities.  Of course she had “grown-up” things on her mind; she was dressed and headed for church.  Her new white shoes shined like porcelain; Amy’s Sunday dress was pale in hues and fitting for spring.  She was thinking of the afterlife.  Amy considered the every sermon she heard, each Sunday.

“What are we all, anyway?” thought Amy, “And what will we be if we make it to heaven?”  She thought and pondered for some time, almost fell asleep.  Suddenly a little brown finch dove from its normal flight in the wind and landed on the railing in front of her.  The finch seemed to look right at Amy and then to the porch’s wooden planks.  There was a small bug there.  The bird acknowledged Amy and flew down, snatching up the bug and flying away.

“Surely the small bird could think,” thought Amy, “It looked right at me.  I imagine most other forms of life can, too.”  She thought about it a while longer and decided.  For one, her grandmother was taking forever, and two, we must all be mere specs in time, able to come and go as any form of life as some form of a gift.  We live; we die; and we most probably can be anything or anyone, depending on certain circumstances.

Amy continued to wait, there with her small Bible.  Eventually, her grandmother drove up.  The huge black car probably weighed 8 tons.   It pulled up and Amy got inside.  “Good morning, grandma.”  “Good morning young girl; buckle up properly.  Did you remember to bring your Bible?”  “Yes ma’am.”  Amy secured herself snugly with her seat-belt, and they drove off to church.  Amy’s parents attended a different congregation.  Amy had been to church with them, before, yet she sometimes went with her grandmother, too.

The day was sunny and bright, the breeze gentle and nice.  Amy’s grandmother drove down the dirty old farm road, and Amy took in the scenery as they traveled.  The vast pastures were mostly the same every time Amy got to see them.  Some of them had cows.  One was used for farming wheat, and others were fenced yet not necessarily maintained too often for farming.  This Sunday would certainly be one that Amy would remember for years and years.

A Narrative for Mr. Wise

A Narrative for Mr. Wise (inspired from here)

Dear Grandpa,

          Hi; Ned here.  How are you? I am fine.  I wanted to share the most inspiring thing I observed last week.  As you know, I journal.  In my journal, when mom lets me take walks, I draw sketches of scenery and write descriptions, poetry, and plot ideas.  The other day I was about two blocks from the park and found a large rock, bigger than me, under a tree.

I sat up on the rock thinking I would surely endure something; things happen in nature.  I was guessing I may see a bird fly by; I may have to endure conversation; or maybe traffic would proceed as normal and nothing too exciting would really occur.  Do you want to know what happened?  I got to speak to a police officer.  I was not in trouble; I saw him speaking with a woman across the way and he came and checked on me before he carried on.

“Was that nice lady okay?” I asked him.  I tried to sound intelligent.  I said, “I imagine you guys get called out for the elderly all of the time due to this excruciating heat index commonly over 110° f.”  I was ready to mogate (walk away) if he said it was not okay for me to be on my lovely rock.  Other people had sat there – it was polished.

“The nice old woman across the street is Ms. Feathers,” said the kind officer.

“She has lived there for forty years.  Her children all have jobs out-of-town and her husband died three weeks ago.  She is three months behind on her rent, has been living with no electricity for seven weeks.  It was sad to hear; she knows my grandmother who is ten years older than her and lives in an assisted living facility.  I was called to escort the nice lady to the street due to an eviction notification.  I paid her landlord, and I plan to move Ms. Feathers into where my mother lives if she cannot find work.  She will be able to, though.  I spoke with her.  She did not know about the government programs available for seniors; a buddy of mine can hire her for part-time work at McDonald’s.  I think she can do it; it is not too far from here and she should be fine.  I do not mind helping her out; my grandmother will be happy with me for it.”

“That is very nice of you, sir,” I said.  “I think there is a place in heaven for people like you that can give others a second chance.”  The man said, “I am a blessed man.  I enjoy my job.  Be good when you grow up.”  He then carried on, said he was back to his beat.  I imagine he patrols a few blocks on foot during the evenings.  He saw me with my writing pad.  It was nice of him to explain the story of the lady.  Her house was rather inspiring, too.  I sketched it.  It reminded me of large plantation houses mentioned in history books in the south before the civil war.  Her house has four large columns out front and an old swing; I am sure we can find someone to help her pay and live there, too.  We can ask around for her at her church, maybe.  There is always a way to help others.

I hope she can keep her house.  The government programs added together with something to do for work should at least buy her the time to find something somewhere, even if she has to move.  I was bold; I went and met her.  I asked her if she would like to be a my pen pal, let her know I write as a hobby.  She shared her current address with me, and I found the Classified Ads section of her newspaper for her.  She looked through it and said she may give  a few of the numbers a call, however McDonald’s would probably be a more sound route.  She attends the Presbyterian church on 9th and Rivers St.  Maybe we can go there to check on her, sometime.  I do not think mom would mind.  Do you think there would be any reason not to go?

At any rate, I am glad the old lady did not add to the homeless population.  I hope she does well, that the community gives her some options, somehow.  I know where the soup kitchen is downtown; mom, at times, dislikes it when I go see those people.  At least I eat my vegetables when I do.  I hope all is well with you; I look forward to hearing from you.  I included a brief poem for you and Grandma Wise:

A Noontime Raven,

by Ned

Oh black raven

how are you there?

The sun is up above;

no moon?

The heat is on your back.

Death here soon?

Fly, raven! Fly!

You, too, can

continue to try.

I hope you enjoyed the poem.  I, like many, am a huge E. A. Poe fan.  Ravens usually symbolize death, somehow; I wanted to visualize one during the brightest part of the day to see where it would take me.  I suppose it led to the idea of keeping on.  I can be dedicated to trying to do my best at what I can.  I wrote this letter to you listening to a disco mix.  Well, I am going to do my schoolwork, now; I look forward to seeing you!

Love always,

Ned

Joy in the Night

Joy in the Night

One time their was a young girl and her name was Joy and she was of pale skin and dark black hair; her room was draped with the simple efficiency of common-wealth and clean and mostly white with its pale blue hues from the vast moonlit night.  The night breathed in terror as young Joy could not sleep and opened her sash to let in the cool damp breeze of the night.  In her gown she lay in fright wondering why she felt so alone. Continue reading

Cecilia, Part 5

Cecilia, Part 5

Cecilia enjoyed coaching woman’s basketball almost as much as she enjoyed teaching.  She kept her lesbianism to herself for obvious professional reasons.  Ms. Evans possessed a sincere desire for the furthering of the study of the English language.  She also was a devout thinker in the world of Math.  She kept up with the study of Math and English as a hobby.  She was also able to contribute to the world of art history and its expansion.

Things were going well.  Cecilia and Muria kept the physical side of their relationship completely secret.  They went to the nicest restaurants, as before, and the two lovers only pleased each other sexually on rare occasion.  Cecilia could not complain and Muria did not mind; it worked out.  Muria got along with her husband better, even though they got along fine, anyway.

Cecilia still maintained her contributions to the city.   As a person dedicated to many ideals, one being education, Cecilia made sure to take at least one day off a month to check on her small private school.  One of the school secretaries was not the brightest woman.  Her name was Jena, and everyone loved her.  “There is something I want you to see,” said Jena, one day.  Cecilia was  not really planning on speaking with her, needed to return to the 2A school by noon.  Cecilia had plenty of time.

“What can I do for you?” asked Cecilia.  “We have a lost and found box; it has various things in it that the students or other people leave or find.  I found something in it with your full name on it – a camera,”  said Jena.  “What kind of camera?” asked Cecilia – she possessed a high-end Canon for all of her photography and blogging needs.  As someone who could afford such a toy, she was sure to have the best and use it properly.  “I think it is a metallic, burgundy Nikkon, and it looks like a cheap one,” said Jena.  “I will take a look at it,” said Cecilia, “Thank you, Jena.”

Cecilia brought the camera with her to school and then home.  She chopped up some ingredients from her fridge and tossed them into a big salad.  Cecilia poured salad dressing onto the “thing” and decided to check out the foreign object, or Nikkon.  It had a memory chip in it; she removed it and put it into her computer.  Without too much difficulty, Cecilia was able to pull up four pictures.  Each photograph was of someone burning something late in the night; it was Muria.  The photos were clear enough to tell where she was, as she was in the vicinity of the back of her property.

Cecilia did not really know what to think of it.  She thought about it though.  Thinking – what could it do for her?  The photos were taken the night of Christian’s disappearance.  The next morning was a Saturday; Cecilia woke up and called Muria.  Muria did not mind sharing an early morning coffee with Cecilia; Cecilia enjoyed bringing her favorite coffees to Muria’s house.  This morning it would be the Tropical Maui blend Cecilia had just recently purchased.  It was sure to be a gourmet espresso that would them both well-wired.

They shared coffee and Cecilia showed Muria the pictures.  The coffee was great.  The photos almost freaked Muria out, however she thought about it and realized that she probably did not have too much to consider in the world of worry.  She figured someone had definitely taken pictures of her; that the individual was sure to get the photos to Cecilia, somehow; and that there would not be too much to worry about.

 Someone may have known of the foul play, may have even seen Muria’s actions.  Whoever it was gave up the whole camera – not just copies of their photos.  The person was a probable wealthy neighbor, unwilling to say too much about one thing or another.  Cecilia decided that she was not in too much direct danger, though she was still a little unsettled.

“What were you burning that night?” asked Cecilia.  Muria was far too cunning to be naive or anything other than logically diabolical.  “I remember that night,” said Muria, “I was cleaning out a bunch of old stuff to throw out, and I came upon a painting from my husband’s college art class.  It was of a nude woman; he kept it all these years, though I thought he had thrown it away.  I skipped the book club to burn the old painting.  I did not really know what I was doing; I burned it on the ground with charcoal lighter fluid.”

“Maybe he took the pictures?” asked Cecilia.  “I doubt it,” said Muria, “I think he fell asleep watching television that night; he did not get off the couch until the next morning.”  Cecilia left the small cartridge with the photos on it with Muria and went home.  The two both found it to be odd, however nobody contacted them ever again.  Someone knew Muria started a sizable fire, that was all.

α   β   γ  δ

The Airport Lady

The Airport Lady

Ned was a twelve-year-old novelist.  He spent most of his time reading and writing, was going to fly on a plane to a conference on writing.  Ned had about 40 minutes to board his plane, so he went to check with the flight attendant near the entrance to the big tube that would connect to the flying jumbo-monster.

“Hello,” said Ned, “I have my boarding pass, here.  Do I give it to you now?”  “Keep that with you and we will announce boarding in 32 minutes,” said Wanda, the flight attendant.  Ned felt better, he then knew he was in the right place.  He left the entrance stand to find a place to sit.  Dressed in blue jeans, a tucked-in white t-shirt, and tennis shoes, Ned was dressed casually enough to have a bit of confidence.  He was flying alone; his mother was not too worried.  Airports to them were like shopping malls.

“Where should I sit?” wondered Ned, then he saw her.  The lady he saw was very pretty.  She was wearing an orange dress with navy-blue lines – the dress would have been impossible for other women to sport.  She was reading a magazine; Ned had to sit by her.  Even he did not really know why.  “Is this seat taken?” asked Ned.  “No sir,” said Ms. Flowers.  It seemed as though she was losing interest in her magazine.

“I see I am not the only person waiting to board this plane,” said Ms. Flowers, “Did you find the flight attendant to be somewhat uptight?”  “I think she could crack a glass marble in her… you know,” said Ned; the attendant might as well been a talking pair of starched pants.  Ms. Flowers nodded to agree as she glanced towards the attendant.  The woman in the orange dress looked to the ground.  She was sad about something.

“Is there something you would like to talk about?” asked Ned.  Ms. Flowers looked to Ned and said, “I would love to, you would not understand, though.  How old are you, 12?”  “I happen to be exactly 12!” said Ned, “You are quite the intelligible woman guessing.  Why are you sad?”

“Once a year, for four years in a row, I was able to see an ex-boss.  I currently work in consulting for another firm, however I was using my paid vacations to come and see this man.  He paid me.  I did not need the money; it was nice to see him, though.”

“This arrangement was professional?”

“You seem smart for a 12-year-old.”

“I am a prodigy; I study all sciences.  I write; I publish.”

“Wow, maybe you could give me advice.”

“I always think, ‘Let it go.’  I remember not to dwell on anything that may bring me to an unhealthy frame of mind.  As for you; I am no doctor.  I can relate a few things, albeit.  Do you want to hear these possibilities?” Continue reading

A Letter to Mr. Wise

Dear Grand-Pa Wise,

How are you?  I am well.  I wanted to write you a letter; I am grounded.  The kids at school were making fun of my hair, so I put paste on Sally McFarkle’s long brown hair.  Her friend laughed, so I got in trouble.  I apologized to Sally, still got sent to the office.  Hence, no chess today.  I am supposed to be cleaning my room, right now.  I cleaned it a while ago.

I wanted to write you, however I did not know what to say.  You always answer my questions; for that I am grateful.  I am working on my book, “The Golden Dragon”.  I write about three pages a day before I go to bed.  I would much rather read; I read to write better.  I am describing an adventure of a man sent to slay a terrible man-eating dragon that does not even accept payment for nonviolence.

At any rate, what did I come up with for inspiration?  Was it a photo?  No, it was not a photo… it was page 29 of my spelling dictionary from the Oxford press.  I was going to write you a poem: “About a Beach,”  The wind blew, the woman knew, and the man saw no dead fishes.  “Beach” was the first word I saw.

Another word was more inspirational, however.  Have you ever heard of the word, “Bedeck?”  I had not.  What do you think it means?  Here is a hint; I will use it in a sentence.  The mother of the young prodigy decided to bedeck her Christmas tree.  Here is another one.  The wife from India was bedecked with gold and sapphires.  Here is one last sentence; I think you may have already guessed the meaning of bedeck.  How was the 4th place Olympic Finnish swimmer bedecked?  His team gave him a green honorable mention ribbon.

You may have guessed it, bedeck  means to adorn.  Well, I must conclude this letter.  I am going to do some reading.  I missed seeing you today.  I look forward to our next lesson in chess.  I love you grand-pa; please, tell grand-ma I said, “Hello.”

Love always,

Ned

Cecilia’s Gain, Part 4, Day 13

Cecilia’s Gain, Part 4

Cecilia Evans sure missed her husband, Christian.  She was happy, though.  For one, she was rather wealthy.  She kept to herself, lived modestly.  Her donations to organizations in town did not necessarily make her a known aristocrat; she still thought about teaching.  Ms. Evans was set, mind you; she lived off her investments.  Her residual income paid her bills.  Cecilia treated herself and Muria to a nice meal in an upscale restaurant once every 5 weeks.  They always chased after a new dish or flavor.  Cecilia paid off Muria’s credit cards.

Cecilia’s private school was for children ages 6 or 7 through 11 or 12.  The school employed about 24 workers, the students behaved and learned well.  Her art museum idea was expensive, however other entities helped by investing.  The vast structure was made of polished white marble with cloudy grey lines waving about.  Exhibits included featured artists from all over the world – some artists were still alive and made an appearance.  Others were not there, however lectures on their art and their biographical history were given.

Cecilia eventually began to enjoy life.  She kept to her house immaculate and stayed busy.  “I think I am going to try again with the teaching,” she said to Muria one evening, over dinner.  They split a large bowl of pasta drizzled with a special oil, rare spices, and steamed chicken.  “Where are you going to apply?  Why do you want to do it?  Are you not happy that you are not forced to teach?” asked Muria.  “I am going to speak with the board of a 2-A, ‘smaller’, school on the outskirts of town.  They are ‘The Bandits’ and have a fighting squirrel for their mascot.  I have a decent chance of getting the job; I think I would do best teaching in a smaller school.  I want to do it because I love to teach; I will be happy either way,” said Cecilia.

Cecilia did as she spoke of early Monday morning.  She dressed up nicely and brought  a newly revised resume to the director of the school district, Mr. Huffenpower.  He said they would be hiring three teachers this next year; one would need to be okay with coaching.  Cecilia was glad to meet the nice man.  He was well-educated, had a master’s degree in education.  According to Mr. Huffenpower, his forte was sociological research.

A week or two went by and Cecilia was called in for an interview.  It went well; she would teach Math and English to freshmen.  She would also take on the responsibility of an assistant women’s basketball coach.  She was so excited she called up Muria as soon as she got home.

I got the job!” said Cecilia, “I am going to teach in this town!”  “I am sorry, I cannot talk right now,” said Muria, “Come over, though.”  Not even considering the length of the walk, Cecilia went over to Muria’s.  Muria answered the door saying, “Come on in,” motioned for Cecilia to come on inside.  The two sat on one of Muria’s extravagant couches.  Cecilia told her all about the interview.  She explained how she was going to coach young girls on the basketball court.

“I am really happy for you.”

Muria instinctively placed her hand on Cecilia’s thigh.

Continue reading

A Nice Arrangement

A Nice Arrangement

Once upon a time, there were two people who worked a late night shift.  One of their names was Lucy Thrall.  The other person’s name was Charlie Crown.

The two coincidentally were without work and found work during the holiday season.  A large merchandising store placed an ad in a popular newspaper that said, “Now Hiring Seasonal Workers.”  Lucy and Charlie both worked in shipping, loaded boxes into large trucks for six hours a night.  They worked six days a week.

The two had worked together for three weeks.  Charlie loved Lucy; her husband had left her about a year ago.  Charlie thought, “What happens when this job is over?  How will I still speak with Lucy?”  She still had a lot to talk about; she was not quite through telling Charlie about her personal problems, in Charlie’s guesses.

“What would you think if I bought you dinner sometime?” asked Charlie, one night.  “Are you asking me to go on a date?” asked Lucy.  “No,” said Charlie, “I just thought it might be nice to share dinner with someone – I have not gone out to eat in a nice restaurant in months.”  “Where would we go?” asked Lucy.  “What do you have in mind?” asked Charlie.  “The nice restaurant on 7th and Elk seems interesting.  I hear the food is phenomenal, though it is kind-of expensive,” said Lucy.

“It sounds like a good idea,” said Charlie, “When would be a convenient time to go?”  “I can meet you there on Friday at 6:30 PM,” said Ms. Thrall; “I will be there,” said Mr. Crown.  The two ended their conversation and went back to work.  Their normal hour-long lunch break was over.  They worked through the night.  Charlie was happy that he would see Lucy outside of work.  He wanted what she did; he wanted to make her happy.

Friday came and Charlie dressed to kill.  He shaved his entire body; put on his nicest slacks and a casual business dress shirt; and a minimal splash of cologne and his nicest watch.  With his best shoes on, Mr. Crown walked out of his door in good time.  He got to the restaurant early.  He had made reservations for a table of two, Mr. Crown and Ms. Thrall.  Charlie made it to the restaurant by 6:12 PM.  The host checked his listing and found Charlie and Lucy’s name written down for 6:30 PM.  “Right this way,” said the nicely dressed host.  Charlie followed the host, tried to absorb the atmosphere normally only known of by common aristocrats in the surrounding area.

Charlie was sat down at a nice table towards the back of the restaurant.  The lighting was romantic and the place was clean.  “I hope Lucy enjoys this,” thought Charlie, “It sure is a nice place.”  A server named, Jonah came over to see Charlie.  Jonah was a highly presentable individual – he did not make mistakes.  Jonah was dressed to perfection.  “Hi, my name is Jonah, and I will be your server, tonight,” said Jonah.  “It is nice to meet you,” said Charlie.  Charlie’s eyes were already on the host-stand.  It was not even 6:30 PM, and he was watching for Lucy.

“I am waiting for an acquaintance of mine,” said Charlie, “She should be here any minute.”  “Okay,” said Jonah, “Can I bring you anything?”  “May I have a glass of ice water?” asked Charlie.  “Sure,” said Jonah.  Jonah left and returned with a glass of ice water, tended to his other patrons while keeping Charlie’s presence known.  Charlie watched his watch.  6:30 PM passed and Lucy was not there.  Charlie noticed the nice arrangement of flowers on the table and thought to himself, “That is a lovely arrangement of flowers, there.”  He watched the host’s stand.  There was no Lucy to be seen.

Jonah checked on Charlie at 6:35.  “Do you think she is coming?” asked Jonah, trying to be as nice as possible.  “She may be running late,” said Charlie.  “We both work at night; she may be tired or sleeping,” he thought aloud.  “May I bring you an appetizer while you wait?” asked Jonah.  It was clear that Charlie was not leaving just yet.  “What do you have available?” asked Charlie.  Jonah handed him a menu sheet with the word “Appetizers” on the top of it.  Jonah saw many different treats and good ideas.  He saw one line that advertised a fried escargot basket for 7$.  “What do you think of the fried snails?” asked Charlie.

“I eat them all the time and I think they are great,” said Jonah, “They come with a dipping sauce that is similar to marinara.”  “I guess I will try some of those,” said Charlie, “I hope Lucy is on the way.  This arrangement of flowers is very nice.”  “Thank you,” said Jonah, “One of the cooks and I chose those.  They are combinations of pink, white, and violet orchids.”  “I am impressed,” said Charlie Crown.  Jonah left and returned in 6 minutes with a basket of fried snails and dipping sauce.  “Still no sign of Lucy?” asked Jonah.  “No,” said Charlie, “Thank you for the snails.”

Charlie ate the snails, one by one; the flowers reminded him of florists – they were without flaw.  Half of an hour had gone by, and Lucy had not come into the restaurant.  Jonah came and checked on Charlie a couple of times; they both decided that she might not be coming.  7:30 PM passed by, and Jonah came over to Charlie.  “Would you like to order a meal?” asked Jonah.  “Do you have anything to go?” asked Charlie.  “We have some toasted lunch sandwiches that are pretty good,” said Jonah, “Would you  like to try one of those?”

“How much are they?” asked Charlie, he had planned to pay for two luxurious dinners.  He was not too concerned about the cost of a lunch sandwich.  “My favorite one is a Philly cheese-steak sandwich with mozzarella and little yellow chili peppers,” said Jonah, “It is 7$.”  “That sounds splendid,” said Mr. Crown.  Jonah brought him the sandwich in a Styrofoam to-go container; it was nearing 8 PM.  The server also brought Charlie his check.  “Thank you,” said Charlie, as he looked at the check.  The check had an automatic gratuity on it for 2$.  It totaled 17$, due to 1$ for the cost of the glass of water.  “Can I pay you here?” asked Charlie.  “Sure,” said Jonah.

Mr. Crown handed Jonah 25$ in cash and enjoyed one last gaze upon the pretty orchids.  Ms. Thrall must not have been able to make it, somehow.  He shook Jonah’s hand.  Both said, “Thank you,” and Charlie left to go get ready for work.

Back to the Park, Day 11

Back to the Park

One time, a young boy named Ned enjoyed going to the park to see his grandfather, Mr. Wise.  Ned was happy; he had not played a chess game with Mr. Wise in quite some time… 6 days.  During the last game, Mr. Wise and Ned displayed complicated exchanges on the chess board.  Mr. Wise won.

The two set up the pieces and Ned moved first.  “Grandpa,” asked Ned, “What was your house like when you were 12?”  “Things were much different back then,” said Mr. Wise, “I shared a room with my sister for a while, then we moved into a three-bedroom house before I went to work for the electric company.”

“What did you do for the electric company?” asked Ned; the two began to exchange chess pieces during the early parts of the game.  “I helped them run electricity lines all over the state,” said Mr. Wise.  “Wow,” said Ned.  Ned was commonly impressed with his grandfather.  “Were they the lines like we see high up in the air on the sides of the road today?” asked Ned.  “Yes,” said his grandfather trying to decide where to move.  He had a bishop under attack by a rook.

“These days things are different from how they used to be, in regards to electrical wires,” said Mr. Wise.  “How so?” asked Ned.  “Well,” said Mr. Wise, “A long time ago the wires were just thick enough to work; were not made with newer alloys; and they most certainly could not withstand the storms that the newer lines can.”  “Are the kinds you used still used?” asked Ned.  “That is good question,” said Mr. Wise.  Both chess players were trying to plot and arrange their pieces defensively to organize a checkmate.

“To answer you adequately,” said Mr. Wise, he was impressed with the current display of the chess board and his grandson’s use of it, “The older lines we ran are still up and working fine in places without devastating or even mildly dangerous weather.  When bad weather came over the years, electric companies installed the newer, more durable lines.  “Wow,” said Ned, thinking about his pieces and how they were arranged on the chess board.  The two continued to exchange pieces without wasting too much time in contemplation.

“You said you moved from one house to another one?” asked Ned.  “It was not too big of a deal,” said Mr. Wise, “Our first house was very small.  It had a bathroom, a kitchen, and two bedrooms.  As my little sister grew older, my mom and dad thought she needed her own room.  My father was a plumber.  He did a good enough job for a whole year, one time, and we got a good deal on a small 3-bedroom house that actually had an air conditioner.”  “The other house did not have one?” asked Ned. “No,” said Mr. Wise.  “What did your mom do for work?” asked Ned.  “Most women those days stayed at home.  She was a nurse’s assistant, however.  ‘Dirty jobs pay,’ she used to say,” said Mr. Wise.  Ned somehow felt his grandfather.  Mr. Wise was a hardworking man for most of his life, even after retiring.  He edited/published a hunting periodical.

Ned won the chess game; his mother would be there soon.  “Nice game,” said Ned.  “Sure, sure,” said Mr. Wise, “I almost had you toward the end.”  “I thought I saw what you were up to,” said Ned, “I moved my queen and the knight without too much thought of what you were going to do with your pieces.”

“So, what do you want to do when you grow up?” asked Ned’s grandfather.  “I want to be a writer,” said Ned, “I have already started my first book about a man sent to slay a large golden-scaled, man-eating dragon.  I am pretty sure that I will have to work for the grocery store or a restaurant to go to college, though.”  Ned’s mother was pulling up, and his grandfather was putting away the chess pieces.  “It is like that old saying…” said Mr. Wise, “‘Do not quite your day job!'”  Ned smiled and gave his grandfather a usual hug.  His grandfather waved goodbye .  Ned and his mother drove away.