- Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 pm
The days that followed were all more or less the same: cooking and cleaning and listening to the same fucking news stories blaring out of the television every hour on the hour.
Early to bed.
Early to rise.
Every so often the Old Man would get stuck in a loop and ask me the same question over and over and over again.
One day his caretaker had something he needed to take care of in town and told my father that he'd be back at around 2:00 PM.
At 1:00 PM the Old Man opened his eyes and yelled, "What time is it?"
"Caretaker should be back soon. Too early for a drink I guess."
And as soon as those words left his lips, he'd be out.
For the next hour he asked me the same goddamned question every ten minutes or so, and every time I told him the time he'd respond with, "Caretaker should be back soon. Too early for a drink I guess."
At 2:05 PM he opened his eyes and yelled, "What time is it?"
"A little after two."
"Caretaker should have been back by now. Did you hear him come in?"
The caretaker didn't come back until 4:30.
It was a long afternoon.
I'd often look outside at the dogs and think, "I wish I had your patience."
Little things started getting to me, like the stacks of mail scattered all over the kitchen table.
Towards the end of the week the weather warmed up, and the Old Man took to sitting outside. That gave me the opportunity to go through his mail, pull out all the letters, and pile up all the unread magazines on the counter.
One of the letters was from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
When 4:00 PM rolled around, he came into the kitchen and said, "It's four o'clock. Make me a drink."
I filled a tumbler with ice, topped it with brandy, and placed it in front of him.
While he was taking his first sip I said, "There's a letter here from the DMV. Looks like a registration form for the Jeep."
"Throw it in the burn box."
"Because I'm not paying it."
"Because the Jeep doesn't run anymore."
"Well then you need to tell them that. Otherwise they're just going to keep sending you letters."
"I don't need to tell them shit. Fuck them. Write on there 'Go suck shit' and I'll have the caretaker mail it the next time he's in town."
After he went to bed that night I put the letter and the rest of his mail in my bag so my mother could sort through it once we got home.
As the week progressed I took the Winchester on longer and more frequent walks, and found more to admire and appreciate than downed trees.
On one of my walks, I stumbled across this.
In the 80's my father and I threw this thing on the back of his truck and lived in it while we attempted to reach Alaska. That journey deserves a story of its own, so I won't share it here, but seeing it again brought back a lot of memories.
Friday night after dinner the Old Man said, "Tomorrow we go home."
"No, we're going home on Sunday."
"I'm ready to go home now."
"That may be so, but Mom is not well enough to take care of you. We're going home on Sunday."
"OK. Well then tomorrow night we'll go to the steakhouse for dinner, so you'll know what a good meal tastes like."
(To be continued.)