Another day, another… well it was just another day. Time seems to pass and keep on passing as I fill my time with books and writing and video games and helping and entertaining friends and staring at the walls wondering if I was ever worth a damn.
That was just depressing and self serving. I am sorry. I will tone that shit down, keep everything light.
Like the visitor I had today. She was about as light as you can get without floating into the stratosphere and having your head explode from decompression.
I was outside clipping the muscadine vines when she drove up. My mother once said that the muscadines were the best idea that ruined her yard. If you are not aware, the muscadine is a member of the grape family with a tough shell and a sweeter taste, at least ours have always been. Makes a damn good wine, too.
The only problem with the vine is, well, the damn thing grows like a vine. Given a good summer, the vine at our house covered both of the clothes lines, the fence behind them and started making its way up the tree. Damn thing clung like a demented lover to that tree and took some doing to pull it down.
So as I was saying, I was outside standing on a ladder with pruning shears in my hand pulling muscadine vines out of a sweetgum tree when she drove up.
As she walked up, I motioned for her to stay and yelled out for her to hang back a bit.
“Happy Dictionary Day!” she said as she walked up, shielding her eyes from the sun with a book.
“What?” I asked.
“Saw it on the news. But anyway, I just don’t mean to bother you, Evan, but anyway, you see I have this book,” Ms. Lydia Spence said to me from the ground. Her accent always hooked the last words, turning book into a three syllable word.
Ms. Spence, never one to pay me any real attention, stood beneath me holding a threadbare, red book, “Is Louise around? Maybe I could ask you mother,” she said, somehow rhyming“mother” with “spa.”
“If you could just step back a bit, Ms. Lydia so I could drop these shears, I’ll come down and see what’s what.”
She took a step back and I sighed, dropping the shears as close to the ladder as possible. I climbed down and picked up the shears and invited her to the house. I excused myself to clean up a bit and offered her some coffee or tea when I returned. She refused both.
“I was digging through daddy’s old books, he never kept anything in order, but anyway, I wish I had a librarian in the family cause your things are always so orderly, but anyway,” she said, looking around, “So I was going through Daddy’s old things and I found this book. Looked it up on the line and saw that it was worth something and maybe you could tell me someone who could sell it, you know… Like you used to do.”
Ms. Lydia’s parents had passed over a decade ago and ever since she was going through their things and finding old things. The book I held was a biography of Marie Antoniette, a beaten old copy that I can not imagine was worth much, but you never know. I looked at the inside, the pages taking on a yellow, and noticed a portrait with the dates November 2, 1755 - October 16, 1793.
“She died today,” I said.
“Nothing, I can ask around. Let me just jot down the information and I’ll call you if I find someone.”
“Oh, no trouble,” she said, “But anyway, I have to be going. I have to go into town and see sombody about mother’s headstone. Just has ants all over it, but anyway I bet you don’t know anything about that.”
I handed her the book, “Can’t say that I do, Ms. Lydia.”
“Well, tell your mother to call me and I’ll be around.”
And with that she was gone. I watched her leave the driveway, me and the dog, Xena.
“Think she was here to check on me?” I asked the dog.
Xena did not answer.