Home from a long day at the job.
NOT MY FAULT! Not at all my damn fault. I don’t make the parts. All I can do is place my order.
“My car has been here for two days already. What do you mean they haven’t sent the necessary parts?”
“I apologize but all I can do is place my order.”
“NO! You can go look for the damn parts! I need my car!”
It plays back in his head over and over as he pours himself a drink. Baileys Irish creme in a cup full of ice. Doesn’t matter how everyone else drinks it. It’s how the love of his life drinks it and it’s delicious.
Hope I get the parts. I know she’ll show again tomorrow.
Clicks his TV on and sits in front of it. Nothing interesting. Cancelled his cable. Bored to sleep.
The alarm rings and after two snoozes he sits up, eyes still closed, stretches his arms out then rotates them up. “It’s nice out.”
Full cup of Baileys greets him before the Sun does. He fell asleep after only two sips.
He looks down the hall at the bathroom door. There’s a trail on the floor. He counts 3 shirts and seven scattered socks. After the last of his Baleys, “I have to clean.”
Today after work.
The door was open, no cowbells. The electronic sensor has not worked in years.
“Hi. Your parts are here.”
“About time! Now what, how long is it going to take?”
“Considering the possibility that something can go wrong I’m say about two hours.”
“Okay. I’ll be back Jacky!”
Please. “It’s just Jack.”
Everything goes well. One hour and seventeen minutes. Parts replaced, her car is ready for pick-up.
“Time for my sandwich.” Packs his lunch everyday.
What else can I do? He thinks. There has to be something I’m good at that won’t take chunks out of my Spirit.
“Damn, I make a good sandwich.”
I can draw a bit. I can try painting. Or I can get my hands on some clay again.
“Yes.” Jack walks out of the office wiping mustard off the corners of his mouth.
“My car is ready?” Her head tilted downward facing the counter but her eyes looking straight ahead.
“No. They sent the wrong parts, they should arrive in a few days.”
“A FEW DAYS? I need my car now!”
“Just kidding. Your car is ready. Here.”
He holds his arm out handing her her car keys. Not happy with his prank she snatches them and says to Jack “you’re an asshole.”
“Have a great day mam.”
Kept my cool. Good job he says to himself.
Facing the garages he yells out “Hey! Going to lunch.”
An “Okay!” comes from underneath a truck.
Jack grabs his lunch bag and leavrs the office. What the hell. Why is she still here?
“Let me buy you lunch.” She says.
Jack works for a lot less than he should. Always on a budget, he accepts.
A year passes then they get married. Lot’s of ups and a whole lot of downs.
On his favorite chair in the office chewing the last mouthful of his home cooked lunch “I need change.” He does.
After an hour he steps away from his current car. Looks at it from front to back then at the engine. “I need change.”
He leaves a note on the on the windshield. “I quit. Don’t call me. Mail my last check stub to the address on file. Thanks.”
She applauds him.
A year has passed. He looks out at the crowd of people roaming the gallery, he sees her, his wife. She’s talking to a small group of strangers, three woman and two men. Possible buyers. She’s really good at spotting them.
A tap on his shoulder. “Can I call you Jack?” Still with the image of his wife mingling, he grins and nods, yes.
“I love your work. Can I buy you a drink?”
At this gallery only the wine is free.
Jack turns in the direction of his wife. Looks back at the gentleman “You can buy me two.”