Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chapter 12

     Phil died at night that cold winter of 62, on our couch in the living room a couple of days ago. I didn’t see him, dead I mean. None of the children did. Edith and Vernon, with the help of a county official, took him away during the early morning. Phil didn’t seem old to me; in fact, he seemed strong, commanding in a room, and mostly really smart. Phil didn’t have knowledge of ways to solve world problems with a narrow comprehension of science or politics, but he had a wide knowledge of everything directly around us in the world – wide, but not deep.
     We didn’t know much about cancer. I was afraid of it because it was fast, after very little time Phil looked double his age and half his size. In the last week of his sickness, when the cancer had spread all through him, he even stopped reading, and that’s the way I knew he must be very ill. I avoided the living room where he was sick, and even after he was gone I was edgy in the living room. I especially avoided the couch. I was told everything was okay, but not to me it wasn’t.
The winter was hard work because of the cold; everything took extra time to finish; a lot of things just didn’t work, and clearing the ice and snow was a bother. I don’t like the winter. I hate the cold, and it seems to be too dark too long!
     One day a Chinook wind, a real ‘snow–eater’ blew in. The piles of snow turned from crunchy frozen to swishy wet, and the icicles were trying to melt before they fell. The sun was so bright it warmed our bodies and shone light into our winter darkened brains.
     With spring our frame of mind improved, and Russell and I worked hard and played hard that spring. We planned and argued about what we were going to do – anticipating the upcoming jackrabbit drives. We also were excited about full time work on Carl’s farm and other jobs for hire Edith would line up for us as soon as school was out.
     “Bootsey Monte Everett Rudd – you kidding me?” Russell was laughing as he asked.
     “Yes, that’s the name of the kid from Boston, ah…um…or somewhere back East. He’s staying at Ted and Amber’s place for a while.” I spoke very slowly and softly.
     “Speak up. Why are you mumbling?” Russ all but shouted.
     “He’s standing right over there!” I whispered stridently. Sure enough, there he was, a skinny, small, freckled–faced, cowlicked boy standing over by the propane tank. He was dressed really strange – no flannel, no overalls, and no work boots! He was adorned eastern style with a neatly pressed button–down shirt tucked into some strange pants that actually had a fold mark down the front with little cuffs at the shoes – actually church shoes. My first thought was that he’d walk right out of them loafers the first time he crossed a mud hole or stepped in a soft cow pie; they would come off with a sucking sound.
     “What’ll we do now?” Russ asked softly. “Do we play with him?”
      “Oh, come on, he’s just another kid.  Let’s talk to him. Who knows, he may have great stories about the big cities we’ll never see,” I said as I took a step in his direction.
      Russell grabbed my arm saying, “This is weird. There’s never been another kid around on this farm – just you and me as long as I can remember, except of course, the other farm kids we know at school and Linda’s ridiculous friend, Sherry.”
     “I know ‘the third wheel gets the grease,’ or is that the squeaky wheel? Oh well let’s just consider him the ‘third man out’” I jerked free from his grip. “Let’s do this.”
     “Hi,” he squeaked.
     “Hi,” Russ and I said at the same time as we stood there a long time. Bootsey Monte Everett Rudd just stared, didn’t move and say nothing after the weak ‘hi’. “Now what do we do,” I thought. 

Related Articles


Post a Comment


Powered by Blogger.