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Monday, January 28, 2008

Long Days Comin'

“Blair, hello. This is Elmer, those damn squirrels are in the attic.” He hangs up the phone and goes back to the breakfast table, it’s a slow journey but the distance isn’t too great. Tuesday will be a long one so he makes sure to eat the crusts of his wheat toast for sustenance. He thinks about how he likes eggs and his new sailboat bobbing out at boey three. He wonders if the dockhand tied the proper knot or if it will be resting on the rocks like another famous arc. All that aside, leaving a message for your exterminator on the wrong persons phone was a good way to start the day.

October will mark his ninety third year, at work in a tiny shack he schedules in pencil, appointments for boat rentals. This business only takes cash and has a rotary phone, green and heavy. Two boys walk across the yard toward the dock, they are late to start the morning. “Oh, look at these two dopers.” They laugh and fall asleep in the pontoon boat, out of sight. There aren’t many customers this morning, Elmer thinks he wants to get some ice cream.

“Ya remember me Elmer? Donny Smith, Jake and Wendy’s son, I used to tie boats out on pier three.” He may or may not remember but he says he does, grinning with corn kernel teeth beneath his old panama fedora. Donny smith leans against the side of the shack much like he did thirty years ago, he watches the young boys jump off the bow of the new schooner, he sighs. The two old friend walk across the street to the diner, this is the third time today Elmer has been treated to lunch by someone he may or may not remember.

Being the summer in Lake Geneva the sun hangs out for a little longer today, with the help of his cane Elmer stares out at the lake. He thinks about every day he’s spent in this exact spot without getting specific, he ponders all of it without judging, he wonders how he is still alive. He remembers its all the vitamin K. Its time to pack up on a day much like all the others. When you get to a certain age days mean a lot less than the events you can take from them. Tuesday for instance is chicken night.

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