A Day At The Park

“Over here!” A strawberry blond boy yells, flailing his arms to attract his quarterback’s attention.

The other boys stood in slack jawed awe as the football spiraled across the park to the blond boy. Silence propelled by the shock swept both teams, interrupted by a rubbery thunk echoing through the boys. The football bounced to the feet of a nearby observer, and the blond boy hit the ground like a sack of potatoes.

The old man stumbled over the football in a mad dash to get to the boy. He checked his breathing, then shook his shoulders gently.

“You alright in there?” he asked.

“Yeah, I think so.” he mumbled, his body curled into the fetal position.

“I guess the guys thought it was a gas.” he added dryly as laughter fluttered through the gathered mob of boys.  

The old man shook his head in disapproval, sympathy overtaken with momentary disgust.

“It’s alright,” the boy shrugged, “Don’t be so glum, Mister Jacob.”

Jacob shook his shiny, slightly spotted head to clear the fog of his mind and helped the boy up with his wrinkly arms.

“Why don’t you play with the girls?” he suggested, “Take it easy for a little, I’m sure they would enjoy your company.”

He ran back to the football game, diving for the ball almost immediately. Jacob sighed and returned to his post on the wrought iron bench. A few stray crows pecked the ground around him. The songs of a few girls carried through the flowers and trees.

Jacob exhaled and leaned to the side. The children reminded him of himself. Of his youth. Of the children he never had. For all the years that he’d spent in that park, the playful noises of children in the afternoon almost never changed. After retiring from the elementary school, this was the therapy he had to keep him young. To renew his zest for life.

The children coughed and hacked intermittently, dropping passes and interrupting songs. The boys playing football slowed to a crawl, the girl’s song mellowed to a halfhearted hum. One by one they laid down in the grass.

Jacob’s zest faded once again. Retirement was just a cover. The ragged newspaper next to him reminded him of that. Negligence, bold front and center. His eyes were heavy with tears that he refused to let go, his shoulders weighed down by all twenty of them.

A firm tug at the knee of Jacob’s slacks brought his attention back to the park. The blond boy looked up, his eyes greying.

“It’s okay to let us go, Mister Jacob.” he said with an approving nod.

“We know you didn’t mean for the gas leak.”

One after another they faded from sight. Once the last little girl was gone, Jacob let his tears flow. He would be back tomorrow, and so would they.

An Accident Left Me Blind

“Good news, Mr. Miska! I believe you are a good match for our first trial!” Dr. Vijay said excitedly, “If successful, your vision will be completely restored.”

“If it isn’t successful?”

“You’re already blind, would no eyes make it any worse?”

“I guess not.” I resigned, “Where’d you get the eyes for a transplant?”

“A fellow researcher is dying. It’s nothing he can pass to you, but in the interest of progress he’s elected to donate his eyes in the name of progress.”

Continue reading “An Accident Left Me Blind”

Grandpa Tended Flowers

People wait for upwards of a decade to see the titan arum bloom. For me, the event lined up with some much needed extra credit for my botany course. Everyone was gathered around the bucket sized pod, waiting for it’s arrival nine years in the making.

Like watching a rhino ballet dance the large petal gracefully unfurled. It had a certain regality to it. The green outside curled back to reveal a meaty dark burgundy. The perfume wafted through the green house. Some spectators had to leave, unable to cope with the smell. All I could do is think of the flowers my grandpa grew in his basement.

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I hate the roller grill

I work for a nation wide gas station chain. We have a fair share of weirdos, like the people who eat exclusively off of the roller grill, or people who seem to stop in specifically to hit on any woman that walks by.
Then there’s dudes like Norm. This motherfucker, for starters, has never purchased a goddamn thing from us. He just hangs out by the roller grill. Why does he hang out by the roller grill? He likes to flop his Johnsonville(™) on it and see if an unsuspecting patron grabs it with the tongs. I swear to god one time, an older woman thought it was just stuck to the grill and he finished. Baked on jizz is not easy to clean off.
I noticed him loitering farther back today, over by the slushie machines. I was checking out a lady who had a hotdog shorter and thinner than what we usually sell. Before I could investigate, a woman screams over at the roller grill. Norm has a mile wide grin, though considerably more pale than usual. I run over to see what it is. Fingers rolling on the greased metal poles.
And Norms dick in her tongs.

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