Lost Eccentricity Part 2 of 4

By mgaft1 | Short Stories | 22 Sep 2019


To read part 1 click here


 

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Margaret picked him up at the airport. “Why are you so gloomy? Aren’t you happy to be home?”

Wilfred smirked. “Yeah, hon, I am.”

“Did something happened Philadelphia you are not telling me about?”

“No, but…”

“But what?”

Wilfred made a nervous movement with his head “I think someone’s following me.”

“Following you?” Margaret laughed, “What? Really, darling, you are taking yourself too seriously. By the way, if this is an attempt to wiggle your way out of going to Green’s anniversary tomorrow, then it didn’t fly.”

“What anniversary? I’m tired and completely don’t feel like going anywhere.”

“Go rest. It won’t be today.”

‘I don’t want to see them tomorrow either’ he wanted to say, but only rolled his eyes and shook his head in disappointment.

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“Are they going to graft it?” Wilfred almost screamed in his phone.

“What?”

“Graft it! Put some extra bone in your jaw to host the implants.”

“Ah... yeah.” His mom finally understood, “They are going to put a pig bone in me.”

“Why a pig?”

“I don’t know. They say that this donor tissue will work in my case.”

“When will the surgery be?”

“Next Thursday, at 10 AM.”

“I hope it will go well.”

“Aren’t you going to come to support me?”

“No mom, you know I am working at this time. But I will come later on.”

“Excuses, excuses.” Wilfred exhaled and recorded this date on his calendar.

“I hope you’ll get the best pig, mama.”

Wilfred’s son Jeremy who listened to the conversation at this point intervened “Dad, that pig that grandma will use, are they gonna kill it first?”

“Jeremy, I am kind of tired today. Let’ talk about it tomorrow.” And added to himself ‘Oh’ brother.’

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“You never feel like going anywhere! Just looking into your computer like a crazy man.” Margaret rolled her lips after smudging it with lipstick, making her last preparation in front of the mirror.

“It’s Green’s 10nth anniversary. All you have to do is to sit tight, smile and maintain small talk.” Already dressed, Wilfred sat on a chair with his head looking down and his hands hanging between his legs.

“I know you don’t especially like them,” she continued, “but it’s not about you. They are good and useful people, and we need to support them this day.” Wilfred took a deep breath and exhaled. When they came, the evening just started. Margaret exchanged pleasantries with the guests while Wilfred looked at the dining room where the hired catering service was serving dinner.

“I’ll go to wash my hands,” he whispered into Margaret’s ear and moved toward the bathroom. As he was passing the kitchen, he ran across several members of the Green’s family, who worked through some domestic issues. It was a confrontation between the husband and the mother in law and had to do with some food that she brought from home to put it on the table for the guests, while he insisted that her cooking was not good enough for the event of such magnitude. Although the principals tried to keep their voices down, it was clear to Wilfred that the overall temperature of the standoff was high, as it’s been built up too much. Almost on his tiptoes, Wilfred passed them by, trying not to contaminate the scene with his presence.

Later when everybody sat at the table, and the first toasts were drunk in the health of the hosts, other people started to stand and pronounce other toasts. The neighbor to Will’s left raised his glass in the name of children. He started to talk about how we all love children, and how children are flowers of our life and that they are the meaning of human life. Everybody at the table smiled, murmured approvingly and drank, except for Wilfred, at that moment silently chewed his feed.

“You seem to have a different opinion Will?” his neighbor asked. Will shuddered.

“What difference does it mean what I think and why do you care anyway?”

“Everybody,” Wilfred’s neighbor raised his voice, “Will here wants to add something to my toast.”

“No. no.” Wilfred wanted to refuse. “I really don’t like to say toasts.”

“Come on Will. It’s your turn to speak up. Why are you always stonewalling?” Wilfred had to stand up.

“The purpose of life?” he started unsurely, “I don’t think life has any purpose. It’s just is… and as far as children are concerned…” his voice started to strengthen as he got more and more abstracted from the place and time where he was, “…they have so little in common with us. We are simply vessels for the production of their genetic code. In relation to them, we act on instinct, like animals. If they were not our children… and we meet with them, not knowing they are related to us, who know how this meeting ended up?” At this moment, Wilfred separate himself from his thoughts and said: “Let’s drink to that!”

The guests at the table got quiet for instance.

“I would have to disagree,” his neighbor to the left said.

“You always trying to be original, Will…,” the lady to the right of Margaret said.

Wilfred, who already sat down only responded “Not really. I just said what I thought.”

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“You are such a dummy! Why did you tell Jim that he is of no interest to you?”

“I did not say that. I only said that the topic he was discussing was not interesting…to me. Think to yourself, how can this be interesting? He told me for half an hour how he avoided the tax inspector's scrutiny and how and where in his garage he kept all the receipts for the previous seven years.”

“By the way, it wouldn’t hurt if you were to learn from him. We pay so much to Uncle Sam. Smart people earn more and pay less.”

“Well, I don’t mind if he’d say a few words on the topic, but he talked for a half an hour! It was a nightmare! He simply raped me.”

“Ha...ha. Not funny. You could have just pretended that you were interested in. Instead, you’ve ... offended a good, and a useful person. What if a roof will leak or a pipe will burst. Who am I supposed to call? All you do is cause harm!” Another one, still fresh squabble with his wife, hung in Wilfred's head, while he went out into the fresh air to ventilate. Although calling the surrounding atmosphere "Fresh air" was somewhat a stretch. It was six o'clock in the evening and the narrow, in this place, Melrose Street was overflowing with cars going in both directions, filling the atmosphere with exhaust gases of exhaust pipes.

"Why the hell everything is always going awry? Why are all these useful people are so boring as are their conversations about mortgages, money, elite children's schools, complaints about taxes, fines, asshole bosses and bastards clients, hints of their big connections, gossip about the love affair of acquaintances ... Why am I fitting so poorly into all this? Why do I always being picked off in the crowd at the customs of any country? Why was I born somehow as such an oddball? Stranger? At work, in the family, even with children. Why, why, why? I wish I’d get the hell out of here, somewhere ... far ... far away ... to another, fucking, planet ..."

Wilfred waited at traffic lights and crossed to the south side of the street, where the large and beautiful houses of Hancock Park were located. Here the streets were wider and almost desolate. Turning into one of the side streets, near the sign "the left turn is forbidden from 5 to 8 pm," Wilfred almost witnessed an accident.

A speeding Integra almost ran into the last of a series of cars, standing in line, preparing for the left turn. There was a rattle of brake pads and a squeal of tires on the sidewalk. The driver of the Integra pressed on the brakes too late, and the length of the braking distance was too short to prevent a collision. However, the driver of the last car reacted extraordinarily quickly, jerked the car to the left, across the double yellow line, and entered the alley along which Wilfred passed.

"Wow," Wilfred raised his eyebrows and shook his head. "Where is police when you need it?" Then looking down the side street, he noticed at the end of it how two police officers stopped the driver, the one who just escaped a collision. The officers stood there at this time of the day, searching for the offenders. Wilfred got angry. "You cannot find them when the real incidents happen, but they are always there if a ticket needs to be written out!" He cursed, spat, and when he got to the car, he went around the car and stood next to the officer when he towered over the driver's window, writing the driver a fine.

“Officer, you shouldn’t write a ticket to this driver. He is not an offender.” The officer cast a wary look at Wilfred. “And who are you?”

"I'm a witness."

"A witness of what? This driver has neglected a special sign. Look,” The officer waved his hand towards the sign, which forbids the left turn.

“But in this case, officer, the driver broke the rule under the extraordinary circumstances. Another car was approaching at a high speed and almost crashed into his car. Should the driver not taken this quick turn, the ambulance would have already taken, at least, two people to the hospital. Didn’t you heard the rattle?”

"I did not hear anything."

"It's because you are standing here to collect money from loyal citizens rather than where your presence can potentially be useful" The officer again looked at Wilfred with displeasure.

"Do you know each other?" Wilfred glanced at the driver.

“No, I’ve never seen him before.” ‘I would have remembered a guy with such an appearance,’ flashed through his mind, ‘A strange mixture.’ "… and I warn you, officer, if you write him a fine, I'll go to court as a witness.” This Wilfred said in the heat of a battle, crossing his gaze with the look of a policeman, who, assessing the situation, mentally swore.

"You see, officer, this guy also confirmed my version," said the driver.

"Damn it," the officer snatched the top sheet from the tablet and crumpled it in his hand. “Drive on.”

“Thank you, buddy.” The driver smiled at Wilfred. "This redneck would have definitely nailed me." ‘He's got a strange accent too,’ Wilfred thought. He had never heard it. “Never mind,” Wilfred shook his head, "Anyone could get caught like this. I'm glad I happened to be there and saw everything.”

“Where are you going, buddy? Do you want a lift?”

“No, thanks. Just went out to get some air. My wife, you know, really got to me. Dammit.”

‘Why am I telling him this?’ Wilfred had never before had the habit of complaining about his wife or even complaining about life in general to a stranger. In his heart of hearts, he believed that this wasn’t manly. Yet, for some reason, now a fuse in him blew.

“You know what?” the driver kept on smiling, “There is a good place nearby. We'll chat there.” Not knowing why… Wilfred agreed. Maybe wanted to chat with a friendly person.

"Do they have a good beer there?"

“Sure thing, buddy.”

"Not Budweiser. I hate that shit."

“Where we go, the beer is good.”

 

To be continued ...

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mgaft1
mgaft1

How do you know that you know what are you doing? By not doing what you don't know how to do. )


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