It's fiction dontcha know. If you've made it this far, you were probably invited. Enjoy the writing process with me and feel free to leave feedback.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Rounded The Driveway

just as Jess’s bus groaned its brakes and flapped its doors open. My little Jess bounced down the big bus stairs, backpack in one hand, a partially rumpled school paper in the other. She made for the front door, pig-tails bouncing.

“Hi Mommy! Did you and Chloe go for a walk?”

“Yes, we sure did! How was your day?” I said unlocking the front door.

“Pretty fine. I made you something, and we had the fire truck at school, and Miss Bernstein showed us a lizard, Sam Bellows throwed up on the playground, and I ate chicken nuggets, and I got two stars, and—I’m hungry! What can I have to eat? Is there any apples?” she said incindentally poking the two-starred school paper into my hand as she made for the door.

“Sorry, Sweet-ums. Mommy’s out of apples. I’ll get you a whole bag at the grocery store tomorrow morning, ok? I have some fruit cocktail in the fridge if you want that!” I said with as much mommy-enthusiasm as I could feign.

“Yummy!” she said dropping her school luggage. She was hopping around like a top, holding both hands tight to her zipper area. “I have to go potty now!” she announced galloping off into the house through the living room toward the bathroom.

I unbuckled Chloe from the stroller and clicked PBS on again. I picked up the phone and dialed The Genius.


“Hey, it’s me. You need to come back over here in an hour and pick up the kids. I think you should manage to get them some dinner over there.” I said hating to concede to his earlier dinner plans.

“Are you coming over too because I have so much work to do I can’t watch them you know.”

“Just get over here in an hour so they don’t have to notice we’re--” the phone squealed in my ear and then went quiet. I closed my eyes in a counting-to-ten-Serenity-Now kind of way. The phone rang in my hand.

“What was that?” I snarked.

“Whell, I dunno, Little Lady.” It was either Tom Newman or Foghorn Leghorn answering back and I was only dodging calls from the former.

“Mr. Newman! I’m sorry! I thought you were Byron calling right back.”

“Whell, ain’t that a co-incidence. I’ve been tryin’ to get aholda that boy all week. Tell you what, why don’tcha just give me that number he’s at and I’ll ring his dinger myself and save you the trouble of passin’ on the message.”

“Uhm, well, alright, give me just ooone moment and--” he cut me off.

“Now don’t you go tellin’ me you have to fish around for that number, Darlin’. I just need to give that ol’boy a holler because I have Father Schmidling crawlin’ up my derrière about his project and parishioners threatenin’ me with everything short of a torch carryin’ lynch mob. The Catholics ain’t like the Baptists y’know.”

The call-waiting beeped.

“Mr. Newman, I think that’s Byron calling me on the other line. Just give me one moment.” I said without giving him an opportunity to protest.


“The fucking phone fell in the hot tub. My dad is going to be so pissed. So, what was the plan?”

“The hot tub?! What the hell are you talking about? Hot tub? Are you freakin’ out of your ever-loving tree?! I have Tom Newman on the other line asking for this phone number and--”

“For your information, I was testing the chemicals in the pool and the hot tub for my dad. He called and asked me if I could go out there and take care of it real quick. You know, it’s the least I can do, this is his house you know. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a place to work and our kids wouldn’t be eating dinner tonight so you can just knock it off with the smart-assed attitude.”

“Byron, you little bastard! This here’s Tom Newman, pardon my French. Your Little Woman was kind enough to patch me through.”

Ohp! I’d hit “3-way” instead of “flash”.

“W-what?” Byron scrambled.

“Glad to hear you’re alive but it ain’t gonna be for long if we can’t get this project finished. If these people don’t get their windows scheduled to install by June 15th that Father Schmidling is calling his diocese to black ball my ass. So, look’a here Boy, if I don’t have Jesus feedin’ the multitudes on my workbench by this time next week, I’m sendin’ you down the river, y’hear? Them sonsabitches ain’t playing around. I thought I hired a painter and I got a pool boy. I gotta business to run here and the train ain’t waitin’, pardon my French.”

“Mr. Newman, I am just putting the finishing touches on the Jesus’ robe. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I just can’t wait for you to see it. I’ve just been so buried in this project I’ve been a little out of touch with everyone. Don’t worry about a thing. Would you like me to give Father Schmidling a call personally?” Byron said swimming in bullshit.

“Well, now I don’t know if that’s all necessary, I think we’ll just call it on time. Listen, Son, we got to keep some communication flowin’ back’n forth. You’re about to drive me to drinkin’, Son.” Newman said sounding like he was exhaling a belly full of cigar smoke.

“No problem. Thank you, Sir!” Byron quipped.

Newman hung up, but I wanted to make double sure.

“Mr. Newman?” no answer.

“Are you happy now? I got my ass chewed off by Boss Hog. That was really shitty CeCe. Now I’ve got three weeks of work to do in 7 days. Thanks a lot.” Byron scolded.

I was tongue tied with fury. I just could not believe his nerve. It must be his only survival instinct. Audacious nerve and indignant inconsideration. He was a walking blaspheme. I must have been turning red starting from my feet moving straight up my body. My soul became possessed by Yosemite Sam. I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t have a brain aneurism right there in the kitchen.

The toilet flushed and Jess came bounding out of the bathroom. The door bounced when it hit the springy door stop and Jess’s hands were still dripping water from washing her hands.


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