A Speck Of Green Part 2 (From Steve’s Window)

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(Continued from yesterday.)

“Nobody ever comes down here,” Larry said. “It gets kind of lonely. Why don’t ya come over to my place. I got a couple of cold ones. Have a beer before you leave.”

“Sure,” Steve said. “I’m not having very much luck.”

“Maybe ya need to rest a bit and look for it with fresh eyes,” Larry said.

“That’s mighty nice of ya,” Steve said.

“Like I said I don’t get much company out here,” Larry chuckled. “Me and old SparkI scare a lot of people off.”

“I appreciate you letting me snoop around,” Steve said.

“Well,” Larry said. “Nothing is worth getting shot over, but you’ve worked for over an hour and come up with nothing’. Most people would have just looked around and left. That bench must be pretty important to you.”

“Just me and my dad,” Steve said.

“That’s important.,” Larry said. “It’s very important.”

The man ushered Steve to his back patio. On a small round glass patio table was an assortment of soft drinks and beer in cans.

“Pick your poison,” Larry said.

Steve picked up a beer and pulled the tab. “Thanks,” and took a drink.

“Have a seat,” Larry said. “I want to hear about your dad.”

Steve started to sit.

“No,” Larry said grinning widely. “Not there. Over there.” He pointed to the edge of the patio. There was the bench amidst and arrangement of plants.

Steve smiled. “That’s it isn‘t it?”

“Yeah,” Larry said. “That’s it. Have a seat.”

Steve sat and ran his hand over the pitted cement. He closed his eyes for a moment and he was there with his father. When Steve’s eyes opened it let go of a tear. Looking at the seat of the bench he was drawn to one particular pit in the cement that harbored a spec of green. He leaned close and blew away small particles of cement. He allowed his thoughts to escape the present and latch hold of the time he and his dad inadvertently placed that green speck on the bench.

“What is it?” Larry said.

“A speck of green paint,” Steve said. “On the day I remember my father and I sitting on this bench we had taken apart a toy jeep in order to paint it.”

“And green was the color,” Larry said.

“Yes,” Steve said.

They talked for a while: stories about Steve’s dad and the way things used to be when he was a boy.

Steve finished the beer. “I want to thank you for letting me sit here. It means a lot.”

“I’d invite you back,” Larry said. “But there will be no reason for you to come back. I’m giving the bench to you.”

“I’m not refusing,” Steve said. “But I owe you something.”

“I almost bulldozed that bench under,” Larry said. “And for some strange reason I kept it. I don’t mean to insult what it means to you, but I hate it. You’d be doing me a favor by taking it.”

“It’s a done deal,” Steve said.

Larry helped Steve load the bench into his truck and he drove away. In the review mirror was the leveled rubble of what used to be. In the bed of his truck was the pleasant reminder of a warm and pleasant summer day when there was nothing else to do, but for a father and son take part in a meaningless project.

Today Steve looks out his window and there is a bench that might appear out of place to the erudite observer. But to Steve it’s where it needs to be. It is the only place in the world for it.

(Posted as a Daily Prompt)

 (Posted as a 365 Writing Prompt)

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24 comments

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I like seeing you and your Dad in those good times. I have a few good memories with my Dad. When I reflect on them, they were always on his terms. Nevertheless, I cherish them. We got to sing a Hank Williams, Jr song together once. Thankfully, I refused to adopt the same path. Thanks for sharing those times that I would have otherwise missed.

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