Against my better judgment, I picked up the phone. It was a blocked call.
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude.’ It was Martin, his voice sounded flat, monotone. I didn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say. There was a pause.
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude,’ Martin said it again in the same banausic tone. Still, I had no idea what to say. Again a pause.
‘Hello? You there man?’ A light wind through the screen door blew a couple of fur balls across the Pergo flooring.
‘Yeah man, I’m here.’ The furballs tumbled and settled by the dog’s water bowl. Maybe I should buy a broom?
‘I wrote a piece of fiction dude?” Now his statement was in the form of a question.
I realized that buying a broom would be the obvious choice. But I had a vacuum. It was an old Hoover upright.
It developed a bushing or gear problem though; as a result, it made a sound that I imagined a blender on high-speed that was filled with hex nuts might produce. It had no suction problems though. It worked just as well as the day I rolled it off the ‘Sears Home’ showroom floor. I wore ear protection and even put the dog outside when I used it, because he literally tried to cover his ears with his paws and forearms, or forelegs as it were. It was a lot of pre-production to vacuum. It had been a while since I geared up to do it, and as a result the fur balls tumbled to and fro depending on the direction cross breeze. I’ll get to it. It might be a while, I was single, and it didn’t bother me. The dishes, the laundry, and the dog shit piled up. It didn’t matter.
“Do you want to hear it?” He asked.
“Hear what?’ Occasionally my mother visits and she will clean and do laundry and even pick up the dog shit. But I realized I felt no different either way.
“I wrote a piece of fiction dude,” now his voice sounded stressed and desperate.
“Sure man, read it.” I pondered the whole bachelor thing. Fuck it. I tried. I guess I’m not a relationship person.
“Chapter One, the deputy loaded his gun, it was going to be a hot sweltering summer day of crime on the streets of Chicago…”
My mother and father weren’t relationship people either, 11 marriages and or partners between them. Subsequently they gave birth to the same, it doesn’t take Dr. Phil to figure that out, so no mystery there. He continued,
“…Smithers was a veteran of the Chi Town P.D. He had 40 days and a wake up to a beautiful retirement in Tempe Arizona…”
Maybe just a select few can actually really pull of the relationship game. I mean really pull it off, you know?
I mean like love cherish respect, death do us part, type of deal.
“…his wife had begged for the house in Tempe for health reasons, but Smithers had an autistic brother…how do you like my piece of fiction dude?” I didn’t answer, Martin continued reading.