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Friday, September 26, 2014

A Conversation with Jim

My cell phone rang.  It was Jim.

“Hello.  Is this Jeff?  Hey, Jeff, how are you?”  He was already off and running with the conversation and I hadn’t said anything yet.  “I was hoping you could run me up to the garden this afternoon if you got some time later today, I don’t want to bug you or anything, but the cucumbers and the squash are ready to be picked.  I drove by there this morning on my bike to check them, but I couldn’t pick any up then, not on my bike. I can’t carry very much of anything on the motorcycle.”  This is how conversations go with Jim; they tend to be rather one-sided.

“I got my bike running again, put a couple of gallons of gas in the tank.  Still got the problem with the tail light, though… Can you do that, Jeff? Can you take me over there, say around 4:30?”

“Yeah, Jim,” I said. “I can do that,” but he was already talking again.

“Can you?  At 4:30?  5 o’clock, when the sun’s gone down a little and it’s not so hot.

I don’t want to bother you or anything.  I can give you some money, I get paid later this week, and want to get a gallon of milk at Speedway; I was going to get some corned beef at Fareway too, but the prices keep going up.  I had some stamps and coins I was going to get this week too, but that will probably have to wait.”

“So, I’ll see you at 4:30?” I said, trying to get back into the conversation; it’s a bit like jumping through the gaps between cars on a moving train.

“I bought some duck stamps last week.  I’ll bring them to church on Sunday to show you. You and your kids.  And your wife.  She’s nice.”

“Yes, I think so.  Do you want me to pick you up at 4:30, then?”

“4:30, yeah.  If you can.  The squash and cucumbers are ready to be picked and the tomatoes probably are, too, if the deer haven’t been eating them.  Okay, then. I’ll see you at 4:30.  Have a good day.  Bye.”

“Bye, Jim,” I said, but he’d already hung up.

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Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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