#3 - A Month of Saturdays
Iíve been unemployed since the age of eighteen when I won the lottery with the very first ticket I ever bought.
Iím 25 now, and still a millionaire. It's not because I've invested wisely (I havenít); I just never really spent much of it. I live in a small house in a small little clearing of woods, about 10 minutes outside of town. I drive the car my grandfather left me in his will. An old grey Oldsmobile. I drive in town to pick up my Grandmother and take her to the grocery store every couple of days. I pay for her groceries, and her bills. It's the least I can do. She insists that I not buy her big useless gifts with the money.
Most people in town call me cheap, which is ok by me; I never really listen to what people say anyway. In six years time Iíve been proposed to seven times.
Iím currently single.
The summer air buzzed with an uncomfortable heat. I made my daily trip down the driveway to the mailbox which contained mail that wasnít mine exactly 60% of the time. That is to say that I got mail with someone elseís name on it at least 3 of the 5 mail-receiving days of the week. I always got my mail, and the issue wasnít a tit for tat, but merely too many tits. I couldnít understand the influx of mail with my address, and strangerís names on it. I wondered what the mailman thought as they slid someone elseís mail into my mailbox.
3 bill sized envelopes and 2 flyers that promised me "Summer was Here" and that my "Backyard paradise started with Sears." The first envelope was the light bill, the second was from the bank, and the last one was addressed to "Jacob E. Barrister."
I tucked Jacobís mail back in the box, and started back up the driveway.
I kicked off my sandals and turned on the television. The show was trying to convey how dangerous it was to be a deep-sea fisherman. A man came on the screen; Basically anything out here can kill you, what you really need to watch out for is water coming up over the sides. Fascinating.
The fan I salvaged from the roadside three houses down was turned up all the way. It rattled loudly, and shook its head back and forth disapprovingly. Everywhere I looked there were things I should be doing besides deep sea fishing. I stood up and walked to the kitchen.
Doing the dishes is like jerking off into the McDonalds tang cooler they rent every summer for the community barbeque. Yes, somebodyís got to do it, but when itís all said and done, so what? Whereís the sense of accomplishment? Whereís the pat on the back? Excellent job on the dishes! Next, world domination! I stood in the kitchen for a little while longer weighing the pros and cons before turning and walking back to the living room.
The red light on my answering machine blinked on and off, like an afterhours traffic light. I reached down and pressed play.
"This is your Grandmother; you've forgotten to come pick me up. You said you would, and you haven't. There's a card here from the girl up the street. I opened it. She proposed. You should say yes. I'll be waiting by the window."
I picked up my sweater and went out the door.
"I'll bet Bill Gates' Grandmother never waits."
"Grandma, stop comparing me to Bill Gates."
"Do you know him?"
"No Gram, I don't know Bill Gates"
"I thought all you money people knew each other."
"Have you ever been on his yacht?"
I helped her in the car, and then pulled away, heading for the grocery store.
The one thing me and my Grandmother had in common was we never knew what day it was. She'd been retired for years, and well, so had I. We spent our days in almost identical ways, day in and day out. I found this particularly depressing.
We got to the grocery store, and I picked up a basket.
"You need a basket this week Gram, or are you just planning on stealing everything again?" She glared, and went through the sliding doors.
My Grandmother stole all kinds of things. I knew it, and she knew I knew it, but she would continue to steal them anyway. I had even once tried to talk to her about it. About how I had enough money to buy her the things she wanted, but she refused. She never got caught, or was even suspected of stealing. An elderly Grandmother of a millionaire doesn't steal a block of cheese, after all.
We made our rounds and then headed toward the checkout with the grocery basket, and a cardigan full of food.
My hands started sweating. I knew the girl at the checkout. I saw her every week. Lucy. We'd gone to school together, but hadn't really been in the same group of friends. I loved her. We never spoke more than general weather talk, but I was in love with her. I wanted to buy a jet and take her to Paris. I wanted to find a little cafe in a little square and sip French wine and eat French cheese and whisper romantic love poems. The sun would be setting against the Eifel tower, and we'd name our unborn children together, before promptly going to make them.
"My Grandson knows Bill Gates."
"Oh jeez Grandma, come on."
"Wow, Bill Gates huh?"
Lucy was smiling at me. At me. This wasn't a letter addressed to someone else; this had my name on it. Oh Grandma you beautiful old wretch, you little weaver of miracles, you summoner of dreams.
"Yep, goes on his yacht all the time. He's single too you know."
"Ok Gram, let's get this stuff on the belt here."
She laughed this time, "Wow, yacht rides, sounds pretty nice."
She scanned some orange juice. She scanned some orange juice like a Greek Goddess would scan orange juice. Never has orange juice been scanned so immaculately. I will only drink orange juice for the rest of my living days.
I laughed nervously, "No, not quite I'm afraid."
Although I'm quite the deep sea fisherman. Hardy Har.
"How long have you worked here?" I managed. Good Question. Probably her dream job. Let's concentrate on her minimum wage grocery store employment.
She smiled at me again. I was winning the lottery over and over again. This was better. This smile. It was lightning bugs in the dark. My grandmother's stolen cheese was the jar to catch them with.
"Oh about a year now, it's just temporary, I'm going to school. I want to be a veterinarian."
I need to buy a dog. I need to buy a sick dog, right now.
"Wow that sounds really great."
Maybe a fish instead. No a fish wouldn't really work. Do vet's even check out sick fish? How do you know if a fish is sick? I heard in the news once a lady revived her fish with a bendy straw. Maybe I should buy some bendy straws.
"Alright Gram let's get this stuff in the car."
She smiled again. Winning numbers. Lightning bugs. "You have a nice day M'am." We turned to go and she added, looking at me, "Hopefully I'll see you around again."
"Yes! I mean, yeah, I hope so too. Or I mean. I'll be back."
We left the store.
What the fuck was that? I'll be back?
Yeah, I'll be right back, I'm just going over here to kill the T-1000 then lower myself into a pit of molten metal to save the human race. Jesus.
"That girl likes you."
We were driving home.
"The cashier. The veterinarian. She likes you."
"No way Gram."
"Not like all these other money grubbing, marriage proposing, sluts either."
"I mean it. you should ask her out."
I dropped Gram off at her house.
Maybe my senile Grandmother was right. Maybe I should ask her out. Maybe she would say yes. Maybe I would ask her to go to the community Barbeque with me. We could eat burgers and laugh at the kids who fall in the 3-legged race.
Iíll have to make sure to warn her about the tang.
©2009 Broken Chair