Its quitting time and I know I shouldn’t do it, shouldn’t have even brought it with me but I did so that’s that, that part of it is that. I keep it stowed away in this special little flap I rigged in there to hide it. And when I say it I really just mean one. Because when I say one I mean it, especially this time. It’s tough to stop all at once. So as I sit under the small oak tree outside on a really warm afternoon in early May waiting on my ride I think about how much I have learned, forgotten and know. Then think about all I have to learn again. I wonder when I will forget it; where will I be, when will it be, and who will I be? I look around and notice nobody’s car’s left in the parking lot who’d probably say anything as even though we leave out early Fridays most of the guys in the corner offices are long gone by now anyway. I’ve been here about six months and it’s all right, I show up which seems to be the prerequisite for at least getting a chance these days. I still have a ways to go and wonder why I want to risk it. But I do. I open the little cooler I use for a lunch box and pull out the can and pop the top and it’s like something settles in my chest before I even smell it let alone taste it. I check my watch and wait for Amanda. We get about two hours alone together every Friday afternoon until she gets her grandson Jacob. Jake. She won’t be here for another fifteen minutes or so, till then…
Everyone made fun of Donnie and I guess that’s why I was attracted to him, not out of pity mind you, but maybe compassion. He was a good enough guy bad teeth and all. God they were ragged. But he just seemed upbeat and I liked that. Of course he was a little drunk but so was I. Not enough to not know what I was doing thank God.
Grandma Miss Amanda and Mr. Donnie are nice. Their trailer has a dog next door named Roofs. I eat marshmallow and peanut butter sandwiches there. A lot of them. One time me and Mr. Donnie were sitting out back behind the trailer listening to birds shooting a pellet rifle at squirrels not to kill them but chase them away from all the feeders Mr. Donnie has up and he said to me in his funny voice he says to me I ain’t your grandpa but you can call me that if you want. I have to remember to call him that next time there. Which is tomorrow I think.
I finish just as Amanda pulls up and regret it. Then I look up and don’t see any birds in the trees and wonder where they all went.