The next fifteen seconds, usually an awkward mini-moment in domestic antiquarian commercial relations due to a sort of ‘whose on first?’ space gasp (black hole type vacuum that includes human breathing efforts and their noises) that rocket sled G-forces WITHOUT anyone on board ...a transaction... purposed... to its ...final exit. HERE, I altered that antiquarian requiem for myself by ...turning my thoughts inward first and then; second, coming out the other end of this micro time gap... with an unexpected slice of human salvation.
My turned thoughts were an inner time travel back along the time line of ‘the chair’ and I. True I had just been ‘in face’ WITH my own Mr. Wallet about this chair but THAT does not mean I am ‘totally there’ with the ‘the chair’ ‘yet’. Face it; over the decades I ‘see’ MOUNDS of ‘chairs’ ‘show you’ ‘MINE’, etc. ETC. Remembrance IS NOT REQUIRED. BUT: Remembrance DOES TAKE PLACE... especially if the chair is both ‘good’ and ‘nice’. And that foggy “SHOW YOU” is able to be retrieved by my mind’s data base CASCADE down the mountain avalanche style “huh” of inner thought. UPON that cascade I here traveled in the skipping fifteen seconds. The data retrieval read:
A ‘years ago’... I was OUTSIDE by the truck finishing (Mr.) Melbourne’s estate on ***** street RIGHT NEXT to the church when she (the dinged sister) came on foot to the truck and TOLD OF... (not told about)...(‘I’ve HEARD about this?’) ‘a chair’ she ...something... bugged me... left... CAME BACK... because she lived down the street... WITH a chair (now the chair) I SEE IT’S OK... as I’d heard... yak, yak wouldn’t shut-up told her what it was she yak, yak, blank, blank looks OK WORTH ONE HUNDRED twenty-five dollars maybe “REALLY THAT MUCH!” yak, yak about getting it from house cleaning lady job “NEAT FIND HONEY YEAH, YEAH... NO: JUST A SO WHAT chair REALLY (you can bank me I promise) then on to the cleaning lady jobs people ‘giving her stuff’ WANT TO SELL THAT STUFF SOMETIME MAYBE IF ITS THAT GOOD but doesn’t “KNOW” “I DON’T KNOW?” What it is? SO cannot take good stuff but ...is... ‘WHAT IT IS’ not what it is but WHAT IT’S WORTH? Yeah that too but AFTER what it is so you GET GOOD STUFF ...blank, blank to big black hole blank of... what it’s worth... is...the... WHAT IT IS ... school of decorative arts comprehension. “I GOT YOU ON THAT IF I EVER want to SELL THE CHAIR I WILL CALL YOU”. ‘OK THANKS” she leaves I go back to cleaning out Mr. Melbourne’s estate and never see her or chair again (but do HEAR about it) until RIGHT NOW and... I haven’t actually even seen the chair again but.... I...
On the kitchen counter top ...to the left... of ‘us’; MRS. and I ending the darkness of the silent seconds passing. My leftward glance is copied by her rightward glance. Four more seconds of silence pass as we, together, embrace the ...fresh baked and counter top sitting... IN THE FARM HOUSE KITCHEN WINDOW SUNLIGHT golden with congealed rhubarb pink (a known Maine color) oozed juice ‘jail bird’ (the lattice crust) pie.
MY eyes stay put as MRS. RECOVERS her poise in TOTAL to raise her head toward me and say “DIDN’T YOU SAY YOU’D PAY one hundred FIFTY DOLLARS for her OLD CHAIR I THOUGHT YOU SAID THAT”
Up come my eyes to lock and load on her eyes and click-bang back “NooO; ONE twenty-FIVE and I DON’T WANT to PAY THAT.”
“I JUST WASN’T SURE I remember RIGHT.”
“I do and that’s TOO MUCH for that old chair and you’ve DRAGGED IT AROUND enough to KNOW THAT and I KNOW THAT TOO.”
Back in her woodchuck hole she’s going and most do except a ‘tough one’ so she BACK FLIPS on to her feet again with a “I GUESS that will HAVE TO DO but I KNOW YOUR DOING JUST FINE at THAT PRICE.”
“I’m doing JUST FINE WITHOUT that chair RIGHT NOW and to PAY OUT THAT (the $125.00) for THAT CHAIR... PAINS ME”. ( I’ll say right here one wouldn’t think it gets like this; a forest fire fight, but it does and when it starts to burn... I burn back at it... to put it out.)
“DON’T YOU THINK...” She starts to say and I CUT with
“I SHOULDN’T have to PAY THAT MUCH? Absolutely I AGREE. HOW about FIFTY dollars?”
“WELL I’M NOT GOING BY ME: YOU SAID ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE SHE ALWAYS SAID”.
“WITH a piece of PIE.”
“Peach pie. He said.”. I SAID... gesturing to MR. who’d remained a SHADOW until this MOMENT.
“I. PIE? SAID? I?” he says
“My PIECE of PIE.” I say.
“OH STOP IT YOU TWO!” MRS. says with her returning glance to me after her sliced glance at MR.
“He told me the whole DAMN STORY of the PEACHES”.
“THEY’RE GOOD PEACHES” says MR.
“GOOD PIE TOO I see.” I say
“NOW... OK.” She says and turns to open the cupboard behind her and lifts out a small plate. She pulls the pie towards her and picks up an old bread knife sized ...but not a bread knife; it is actually a general service old style (not ‘stainless steel) (with an old oak wood handle) kitchen slicing knife that she was about to use to cut the cabbage in half... and... slice, slice, turn the blade on its side and slip in under... then LIFT a peach pie slice up out of the circular golden crust covered glowing pink tinted goo... ON TO the little plate and push... while still holding the slice knife in her hand... the plate AT me (not ‘toward me’) “THERE.”
“I...” I start to say.
“GIVE SOME TO YOUR WIFE DON’T BRING THAT PLATE BACK”.
“For ME? The PIE?” I say entertaining an inner notion of humility.
“THIS PIE’S STILL HOT”. She says turning her hand up to view the peach goo smeared the length of her little finger. “THEN I’ll HAVE HIM bring YOU the CHAIR. He’ll SEE YOU GO BY. PAY HIM. DON’T STOP HERE when SHE’S HERE. I’ll TELL HER HE’S TAKING IT TO YOU. HE’LL HOLD THE MONEY” she finalizes at him and then slashes her glance back at on me. “I’m getting my money THIS TIME.”
“I can stop tomorrow. I’ll be up there another day.” I say .
“No: I want her OUT of my YARD TODAY too.” She says.
“I’ll watch for him. Good.” I say and ...pick up MY PIECE OF PIE... on the “don’t bring back” plate.
MR., after looking at the pie slice, turns and we both go out the kitchen side door. Together we cross the yard to my truck in the shade under the maple trees by the roadside. Mildred, the goose, is there too. She sees us. As we approach she retreats back up the street toward ‘the wet spot’. At the roadside and in the shade I reach for the door handle. MR. says to me “You kept her PENNED UP and got PIE to PROVE IT.”