THE RIDE TO SEA
Like a child waiting for his school bus, Papa sits on a large rock outside his small house. His eyes look at the sea and then down the dirt road. Mama is in the kitchen staring at him through the open window. The coffee mess on the table is her reminder of him. She will leave it that way for a while. Looking out, she sees her other half and thinks of all the joy they have brought to each other - lamenting that it will end soon.
Suddenly she realizes he is gone and that in the dark early morning hours the truck had taken Papa from the rock to go to sea. She puts her soapy hand to her mouth and takes a quick gentle gasp. Her eyes fill. Papa rides to sea and, as it has for their eternity - the day continues and Mama turns to her inside chores. In that blinking of an eye, the dark green pick-up truck quietly rolled up by the large stone in front of the old man’s home. Its’ silent arrival attributed mostly to the mounds of grease packed into every crevice and joint of the old vehicle. The small engine purred faithfully beyond its’ many years of expected service. Why it still ran, was a mystery. It just did, that was enough. No one but a fool will question a miracle. And so, the truck left the small cunucu house in the same manner it arrived, in the dark, like a friendly thief who came to steal Papa from Mama. As it left, the only hint of its’ existence was the wispy blue trail of smoke that briefly lingered. In moments, the morning breeze swept away even this trace. The thief had committed another perfect crime.
Off to the side, the skinny dusty dog stood briefly as the truck passed. With an arched back, he paced his familiar small circle cocking his head upwards so as to smell the morning air and the blue truck smoke. He settled back into his dusty bed and closed his eyes. At that same instant, an awl off to the side and next to a rock, slowly opened one of his. As the truck passed, his head turned while his small body held motionlessly still. When the truck had passed and was no longer a threat, the owl returned to his original position and closed his opened eye. The dog let out a long thin groan.
The soft ocean breeze blew the dust away, all was as it had been before. The day continued as it has forever - unhindered.
The truck moves noiselessly off into the darkness. The bandit has left with Papa. Its’ ‘headlight eyes’ shining and ‘radiator mouth ’ grinning.
The passengers don’t talk much. What new things could they say? In the drivers side of the cab sat Winchi, its’ owner. He didn't speak while Papa entered the passenger’s side door. He moved an old bible, placing it atop a box of cheap Dutch cigars. The two acknowledged each other by closing their eyes and nodding slightly. They were both eighty-two years old and born only two months apart. Of the two, Winchi was the elder. They grew up in homes that were a ten minutes walk from each other and were the only true friends each had ever known. In fact, they had been friends for eighty-two years, minus the incoherent infancy period.
In the back of the pick-up truck bed were makeshift wooden seat benches worn smooth round at the edges. The flat areas seem to be polished smooth from years of use. There, on the wooded benches, sat two other fishing cronies. These four men had known each other for over half a century. The fishing partners riding in the back bed of the truck, were both five years younger than Papa and Winchi, and referred to their seniors as “the old boys.” Papa and Winchi referred to the backside riders as “the kids.” Time stood still in this relationship.
The green pick-up purred along the dark dusty road on way to the shore, and to the shack where the boats were kept. The old timers, Papa and Winchi sat in the front, nursing coffee while the kids rode silently in the back with their chins dug deeply into their chests. They were catching final moments of jostled sleep. One of the boys, ‘Booboochi’, drooled while he slept. The other, “Denchi” kept one eye mysteriously open staring at the point of his nose.
As they head towards their destination, Winchi looks in the rear view mirror from time to time and sees the bobbing heads of Denchi and Booboochi.
Nothing has changed over these many years. How comforting.
The coffee is good.
The pick up murmurs.
The day - it is eternal.
Last edited by charles; 08-08-2014 at 10:37 AM.
Reason: putting in full story