I probably should go back to making jewelry between jobs. With winter coming on, we weren’t going to be prospecting. We might squeeze in one more trip before next spring, I thought. We did have a few more weeks of good weather, so I planned to fly every day till the weather went to shit.
Since it was well after lunch Wilson and I went fishing, when we got back to the barge. “You know maybe I’m wrong about the dam,” Wilson said.
“So what. I am wrong a heck of a lot more than I’m right,” I said while moving my line.
“Speaking of which, what about the warehouse?” he asked.
“I called this morning from the airport on my cell phone. I’m going to rent out a part of it to the woodworkers,” I said.
“Now I’m sure that will turn a big profit,” he said with a laugh.
“You have just pissed me off, so I’m going to rent a part of it to myself. I’m going to move my jewelry business down here from County Seat,” I said.
“Can we at least talk about that?” Wilson asked.
“So talk, you have a captive audience,” I replied.
“Well, if I were you I wouldn’t move the equipment from County Seat. I would just buy new stuff. There have been all kinds of new computerized devices. There are laser engravers now. The ones I have seen make tags for dog collars but I’m sure they can be adapted to do design work. It won’t be cheap but you can afford it easily,” he said.
“What are you calling easily afford it?” I asked.
“I haven’t checked but probably under $5,000 to engrave alum or silver no larger than you would want for one of a kind jewelry,” he said. Then you would need a good grinder vice and soldering equipment. Probably for no more than $10,000 you could go into it with state of the art equipment,” he said.
“But you know we are all about doing things the historical way,” I said.
“Now don’t get offended but Sylvia you just aren’t that artistic,” Wilson said. “You have great vision but the execution is pretty awful sometimes.”
I thought back over the jewelry I had made. I did better assembling, restoring and repairing other people’s designs than I did with my original pieces. It was something to think about for sure.
“Okay Wilson start looking into the equipment while you search for the second dam,” I said.
“When I find it we may have to move quickly,” he said.
“I promise it won’t be another Railroad Hotel type thing,” I said with a smile.
“Alright, while I’m doing all this research for you, what exactly are you going to be doing?” he asked.
“No idea, but I will think of something I’m sure,” I said at least smiling again. Wilson and I were finding places to fish. It was enjoyable. I was really learning how to relax for the first time in a long time. Problem was, it gave me too much time to think about Liam and his watery grave.
I was a little depressed. I knew it, but I wasn’t planning to give in to it. So Wilson and I went out that evening to see what the fancy lounges of Jefferson Island were like. The night life left something to be desired, if one weren’t on vacation. Maybe Wilson didn’t notice but everyone we met seemed almost desperate to have a good time as if they were dancing as fast as they could, trying to feel that they weren’t wasting their time and money on the vacation. Instead of cheering me up, I found they depressed even more.
For several day’s Wilson did research on laser engravers and other odds and ends. One of the odd ends was he found the dam. It was owned by a man who had passed away and his estate was being settled. I had him contact the Executor to try to make an offer on just the dam portion of the estate.
The counter offer was a 12 acre undeveloped parcel including the old river property for 20,000. We countered with an offer. They countered and we settled at eighteen. “Well Wilson this is another fine mess you got me into. I now own 12 acres of land good for only one thing, holding the earth together,” I said.
During that downtime I helped the old men move the Tool Box and wooden toy factory into the building behind the railroad hotel. I noticed a construction company’s sign. My guess was that the new owners were planning to whore it up somehow. A few days later when the old men started production again, I stopped by to help out with the back orders. That’s when I noticed the ‘coming soon’ sign.
I walked over to look at it. The sign said the owner was accepting inquires about his new luxury condominium units. The railroad hotel would allow the purchaser to choose their own design and finishes, it stated. My little factory building was going to fuck up his view and I didn’t give a crap. Someone had pirated my idea, well one of them anyway. I never did finalize my plans for the old hotel.
I looked at the hotel and then at the warehouse where the old men had finally started to fill the back orders. I wondered between the two of them, what effect they would have on the downtown. I wondered what it would look like in ten years. That’s when I decided I needed to step up and get involved. I didn’t like the idea of the town whored up.
I made that decision just about the time my jewelry making tools started to arrive. “So Wilson, you have purchased me a laser engraver and cutter, and one heck of a lot of working stock. You trying to get my mind off something?” I asked.
“Not really, you just need something to keep you busy,” he suggested.
“On my best day in the jewelry design business, I was never busy. I have to run it as one part of ten other things to stay busy,” I admitted.
“Well do what you want, you will have a first class jewelry design center soon so you can design jewelry or let it collect dust. It makes no difference to either of us,” he said.
“The same is true with your gold mining,” I said with a smile.
“True, but the next time I’m going to be taking a lot of new toys. We will be real miners. Though it will be a small one. What kind of mine has only two employees?” he asked.
As for me I continued to fly the canary and tried to think of something I could do for the town. Something that in the end would not cost too much, and would help the town grow as well. Sometimes when you least expect it, something just lands in you lap. Such was the case with my next call from Colonel Martin.
“Silvia do you have any really good restaurants down there?” he asked.
“Nothing open after five in New Wales, we got all kinds of tourist crap on Jefferson Island,” I suggested.
“Would you take care of Melody if I send her to you,” Martin asked.
“Why would she need me taking care off her? She has a couple of hundred brothers,” I suggested.
“She is having a hard time getting past Andrew. He told her he would like to be alone. He didn’t want her tied to a cripple the rest of her life,” Martin said.
Andrew always was like that. “Send her on down, I will find someway to keep her busy,” I suggested.
“She will be on the way tomorrow. She is going to drive down. I don’t know if she can find your marina,” Martin said.
“Give her my number and have her call me when she is here. I’ll come find her,” I said.
“Yeah, I was hoping you would say that,” Martin said.
“Well I can find her a place to live and try to get her into something down here,” I said.
Wilson overheard me talking to Martin. “So who is Melody and what are we going to do for her?” he asked.
“She is a chef who my friends who don’t exist helped out. She needs a change of scenery, so we are going to give it to her. While I am at it, I will try to suggest she open a real restaurant, not one of those plastic things,” I said.
I spent some time in an adult chatroom that night. That’s when I knew I was getting better. I had to admit I was a very sexual person. It was the first time I had even thought of sex since I returned from Bolivia. Maybe it was just because I had something real to do. Something I didn’t feel like was just marking time. Maybe it was knowing there was someone even more depressed than me. Then again maybe enough time had passed.
I spoke to Wilson through the door before he went to bed. “I’m going to take the plane up in the morning, if melody calls, tell her I’ll be back by ten and meet her on the pier on Jefferson Island. That is easiest spot to find. She knows what I look like. If she gets in really early, you go meet her Wilson, then just have her follow you here. We will figure out something to do with her. I don’t know if she will want to be alone, or be with people.
“We will figure it out as we go. I’m not even going to ask what this is all about,” Wilson commented.
“Don’t, unless she wants to talk. I’m not going to either. When she needs to talk, she will,” I said.
“Is that how it’s going to happen with you,” he asked.
“Most likely I will just go all to pieces, then you’ll have to lie and get me committed,” I said.
“Why not, I hear they have the best drugs,” he said.
After my visit to the chatroom I masturbated. Because of it I slept better than I had in weeks. When I awoke, Wilson was still sleeping. I took my cell phone and made sure it was turned on. I rode the trike out to the airstrip. The grass probably would need cutting in a couple of days, but it seemed okay for at least that day.
I towed the canary, till it was headed into the wind. I ran the short checklist, then started the engine. After I let it warm up I started the canary rolling. I was always amazed at how easy the yellow bird was to fly. She climbed like a mountain goat reaching the cruising altitude in a very few minutes.
That morning I flew the bird inland toward the Swamp Dog compound, but I didn’t overfly it. I had no idea what kind of greetings they might have prepared for stray aircraft. I didn’t really want to know. I flew an hour out and an hour back just like always.
When I got back to the grass strip I buzzed it since the judge was warming up his plane. I took a chance and brought the canary in before he headed off. “Where you off to?” I asked when I stopped the plane.
“I’m flying today, just because I can,” he said. “I’m not really going anywhere in particular. I think I will head out over the Atlantic,” he suggested.
“Well good luck and be careful. I don’t want to get a new hanger that way,” I said.
“Thanks, but I don’t plan to donate it this soon,” he laughed as he got into the plane and headed off into the wind.” I rolled the canary to the hanger, then folded the wings back before I rolled her into the house type garage. After I put the canary to bed I put the lawn mower in a corner so it wouldn’t be in the way. Then I rode off on my tricycle.
Edited by Walt