There were red wasps on the rocking chair. In the corner pocket of the the front porch, out the front door, there was a rocking chair. Old cedar redwood, scraped and faded, wore in from hours of rocking and slightly creaky. The perfect rocking chair for your front porch.
Daylight was creeping out of the edges of the horizon. Evening was wearing on and that almost melancholy part of the day was breaking fresh into people's emotional palette. The homefires were being stoked, moms and dads were pulling into the driveway. Ovens were being turned on to preheat for cardboard meals, prepacked, precooked, preloved.
Work shoes taken off, ties loosened and removed. Blouses removed and traded in for tshirts. Families of all sorts settled in for the second part of the day. Preparing dinner, watching favorite tv shows, reading blogs, books and news articles from the days news. Playing with the kids, the dog, the family cat, and if you are a dad who is so lucky, sitting in your favorite chair.
A bulky record player sat on an unused computer desk. Smooth and black wood edges, gilded with smooth plastic edging and a solid, heavy frame. I came in put on the next record on the stack and recognized the long drawn out soulful sounds of Gabriella Climi coming from the player.
Popping some organic peppermint tea in a clean cup I found behind a stack of books I started the water. Sitting down at my work desk I checked my email. Lots of "exclusive deals" for only a few more days, or a few more hours. Buy a few hundred dollars worth of merchandise and get free shipping. Buy fifty dollars worth of pillows and get 10% off...before taxes and shipping of course. A few short notes from old acquaintances asking how I've been and inquiring if I want to meet with up a few old friends and hasn't it been so long and wouldn't it be good to see everybody.
I delete the emails. I'm not interested in any pillows or free shipping. I am even less interested in meeting up with friends I used to be close with over 15 years ago and now have nothing in common with but old stories of how things used to be. Old reminiscing is not something I care about and not something I feel any indulgence for simply for the sake of other people revisiting old times.
The phone clanged on the corner table, a landline, I didn't own a cell phone. I had an old tan phone with no caller id so it was a fresh surprise every time someone called. I cradled the phone against my shoulder, "Hello?".
It was Clarence, the grocery store owner from down the road.
"Leon...sorry to bother you, do you think you could come down and..."
"Sure Clarence, I'll be over in a few."
I hung up the phone and got some jeans and a halfway decent looking pullover to put on. Clarence had, for some reason, taken to asking me to help bag groceries. He just seemed to think I put things together better and he didn't trust the teenagers he hired and so he eventually fired them.