Friday, January 22, 2016

Severance (Pickers Picking)


(Pickers Picking)

            Mabel Severance took two chairs (a pair) back home with her from her mother’s house in 1974.  She kept the chairs thereafter.  After a few decades, her daughter became part of that too; the ‘kept the chairs thereafter’.  Last weekend I heard that she (the daughter) plans to ‘have a sale’.  What kind of sale, where, what’s in the sale, how, why and are the two chairs (a pair) that Mabel took back home so long ago part of the this sale.  Concerns me.
            Concerns is not the right word.  Pisses me off would be better words.  Not that I’m gonna wait around mixing my words over what Mabel’s daughter is gonna do at ANY SALE ANYWHERE EVER including IF there’s gonna be any damn pair of her grandmother’s great-grandmother’s chairs in that sale.  In that damn sale.  I say.

            I’m not even gonna go to her damn sale you’d like it to be said about me and about this; that pair of chairs.  But your not even gonna notice this; any of this.  WHY?  Because your too damn caught up in your paper toweling off of your life to even know that there are chairs at a sale.  That’s right.  You’s going around with spray bottle of window cleaner and a scrunched handful of paper towels wiping your damn dog’s nose marks off the bottom glass of kitchen side door.  Constantly.
            You’ve turned that into a damn ART FORM; wiping your dog’s NOSE.  I won’t talk about the warm plastic bags of dog poop everyone in the neighborhood sees you pickup and put in your pocket.  Everyday.  Them HAND WARMERS ain’t they when you’s poop-pick’en.  Anyway:  Your too right out straight occupied to be busied with Mabel Severance’s old pair of chairs.

            So I get that all sort of to myself.  Don’t I.  Assuming she’s stupid enough to sell the damn chairs at her damn sale they say she’s having.  And she IS that stupid.  And I don’t need to pick up dog poop to say that.  If I come over to your place and go in through that kitchen door I WILL point out that ‘you missed one’; a nose mark from your damn dog.  Out will come the spray bottle of window cleaner and paper towels.  Right while I stand there.  All I want is the damn information.  HOW do you know Mabel’s daughter is ‘having a sale’?  HUH?  What sale?  WHEN and WHAT’S IN IT.  You can just stay HOME after that.

            Betty Ann Thomas (“Bet”) is gonna be at that sale.  I can BET on that.  Old bitch.  She wouldn’t know about the pair of chairs.  But she’d know they’re GOOD chairs if she saw them.  She wouldn’t know HOW good they are.  If she saw them.  IF someone lined ‘em right up in front of her; she couldn’t tell HOW GOOD that specific PAIR of chairs is.  But that don’t stop her.  No.  She’d stay on ‘em.  Especially if she knows I’m on ‘em.
            She worked as a barmaid nights down in Portland after the (Vietnam) War.  That’s BEFORE anyone wanted to work down there as a barmaid.  She shoveled roof with her husband.  Used to.  I don’t know if she still does that work.  Too fat now.  She’s got a dog that sits on the sofa and watches TV with her.  And EATS with her.  Puts a blanket over the dog to make it “COZY” she says.  She wouldn’t know how damn good a chair was until her ASS sent her a TXT MESSAGE from sitting on it (the chair AND her ass).  She can be pretty nice sometimes; funny.  She don’t keep BOUNDARIES of what a person can talk about.  Maybe I should call her and say “Bet I got me some trouble”.  She’s gonna be there anyway if there is gonna be some sort of sale.

            Probably... I better find out if them damn chairs are gonna be in there; in the sale.  Some how.  I guess... go at it... with that stupid daughter.  Maybe... best.  If you know; YOU KNOW.  I know that.  I know you.  Just pull into the yard and ASK if she’s PARTING with them chairs.  That’s the word:  Parting.  Rhymes with FARTING so it can’t be TOO far off.  Right?  Course... she may not even KNOW them chairs.  Or forgot about ‘em.  She must have been TOLD.  You know... BACK ALONG.  I mean... I’ve been trying to buy them chairs since NIXON was president.  Of course these days that means that’s ALL gone to pot.  None of the idiots know CHAIRS.  But they know warm poop in a plastic bag don’t they.  And washing their car.  And not being able to parallel park their damn car.  They’d NEVER parallel park that pair of chairs.  You watch me:  I’ll do it.  Right in front of you.  I’ll parallel park those chair right into the back of my truck.

            Rolls up the cuffs of her blue jeans; that’s what the daughter does.  Best.  What she wearing blue jeans for anyway.  Work’en?  Jesus.  I parked and out she come.  They put a yard stick up against her ass recently?  “I got one in the truck” I said
            “What?” she said.
            “Yard stick.”
            “Might need it.”
            “Need it?”
            “To measure somethin”.
            “Harold Roberts used it last FALL to measure that pumpkin he grew.”
            “I’m not growing any PUMPKIN”.
            “What ever you say, De-ah”.

            Friggen bitch had a cold.  I said that:  You gotta COLD.  She did.  I don’t want it I said.  Come by to SEE about a SALE.  Nope, she said, not until SPRING.  What spring I say.  She don’t like me.  Okay.  What about your mother I ask her.  She’s back home for the winter she says.  Her house I say.  Yes and you be leaving her alone she tells me.  Do you think I’m gonna listen that that kind crap from some fat ass idiot with a cold?  So I went by... on my way by.

            Oh she talked to me about her damn ankles.  She got them tiny feet in tiny shoes.  Wearing these little SNEAKERS.  Anyway.  I fumbled us along.  Toward getting to a point.  Yeah I be your so smart you can figure out what POINT that was.  I look around everything too.  You know; get right up and walk around.  She come along.  Not like its the first time we done this:  “Come on CANDY:  Trick or Treat”.  You know what I mean.  So does she.  That old girl would rather talk to me anyway.  I know how to talk.  Told her about BET.  And the sale.  She likes Bet.  She don’t care about any sale.  YOU DON’T GOT YOUR CHAIRS in that SALE do you.  I say.  See:  Like I said.  Parallel Park ‘em; those chairs.  No she says she got them still.  Hid I say.  No there past the dresser in the bed room.  Go in and see ‘em if you like.  I did.  They’s just fine.  Hadn’t been touched.  Since I last seen ‘em.  You sell’en ‘em to Bet I say.  NO she say where’d you hear that.  I just thought so I say.  Oh she say.  Then she sits down there.  I’m standing.

            “I don’t” she says “Seem to want them along.  Anymore.” She says.
            “What about daughter?” I say.
            “That too.” she say.  I know what that means.  You don’t?  Back wiping the dog’s nose?  This is where what I do gets real interesting.  Stand right, like I’m standing here, you can see a whole world pass right in front of you.  Just like that.  Of course, you have to know them chairs is that good.  That’s where the world is ROUND in this.  If you don’t know them chairs.  Is that good.  At a glance.  Then the world is flat.

            “Cash or check”.
            “I can’t be bothered with a check”.
            I know that and I know why:  Daughter.  Business.
            That’s that.
            “Everything will be okay?” I say
            “She wouldn’t even notice”.
            I go out to the truck and dig around for enough cash.  These ain’t cheap chairs and they’re none of your damn business too.  I come back inside.
            “Severance.” she says.
            “Oh for that money someone’s always gonna be watching out for ‘em”.
            “I know that.  It’s still severance”
            “Better you do it yourself”.
            “I know that.  And I know you know that too.”

1 comment:

  1. There are mixed emotions when that time comes, yet the sense of relief of ownership responsibilities (whether real or imagined or fabricated)is right up front.