Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Coffee Talk


"I don't have a dog in this fight."

"Listen, Belinda--it's not a question of 'if,' it's 'when.' What is it gonna take for you to wake up and see reality?"

"This is my front porch you're sittin' on and that's my coffee you're drinkin'. You can either be civil or leave both right now."

"OK, OK. But I mean what I say. You've got a decision to make and it's gotta be soon."

"Just because Preistly is giving you a hard time doesn't mean I have to jump when she says jump."

Oscar ran an oil-stained hand through his thinning hair. Belinda could be the stubbornest ***** in Macon when she wanted to be. He wondered what her problem was today. Bills in the mail? Someone hit her dog? Air conditioner broke? Menopause? Whatever it was, he'd picked the wrong morning to knock on her door. "It's urgent, or I wouldn't be here at this hour. Now I'm already late for work, but you've gotta hear what I'm sayin'."

"I hear you, believe me, and I think the rest of the neighborhood has got a pretty good earful too. I will consider what you've said, but I'm not rushin' into anything."

What to say to that? "OK, ma'am."

Belinda Shay watched the aging mechanic walk jerkily across her porch and jolt down the steps, favoring his left leg. Gosh, he seemed so old. She would have to be old too then, because she remembered Oscar Wyller from grade school. What a pain he'd been. Still a pain, even after his son married her daughter. He'd half-adopted Preistly, and always taken her side when she disagreed with Mother. Now he was badgering her about this business with Michael.

She sipped her coffee, still hot and steaming, as the sun began to scorch bright patches of the yard. An empty school bus trundled by, and Mr. Ferguson dashed out his front door, necktie in a wad, slamming into his eco-friendly car and screeching out driveway. 

Why is it so easy to forget the nasty things in this world? So easy to wrap up in gardening, lemonade pie, school board meetings, baby showers, dinner guests, and broken screen doors. Easy to push out the news, the gossip, the worry...until someone like Oscar Wyller sits down on your front porch to cram it down your throat.

Photo: Porch by Riveredger

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