Sheriff Porter 124
After I spoke to Osborn I was no longer in the ‘man hungry’ mood. I drove back to the barge in the candy colored pickup truck. The truck made it into the parking lot but was moving at a crawl. It was also rattling and shuddering. About a second later a very large cloud of steam rose from under the hood. It was after midnight, so I just kicked hell out of a tire and went inside. I plopped my ass down on the bed. I removed my clothes and fell asleep.
Well I did go to the bathroom in my panties and tee shirt. Then I fell asleep. Life is a bitch when you have a female bladder. Even after going before bedtime I would still be in the bathroom again, at least once, before 6 AM.
At 6 AM there wasn’t much I could do about the truck so I took the trike out to the airstrip. When I opened the garage, I found the riding mower where I had left it. I checked before I hooked the canary to it and it would not start. Why it wouldn’t I had no idea. There were so many things that would cause it I just said to myself screw it.
I put in a call to EZ’s small engine man. “Sylvia what is it now?” he asked.
“The riding mower I use to tow the plane from the hanger won’t start. I need you to stop by and work on it for me,” I said. He caught the frustration in my voice.
“Is that all,” he said laughing.
“My fucking truck is on the verge of seizing as well. This is just one screwed up day,” I said.
“Well the mower probably isn’t as bad as your truck. Go home call your friend EZ to tow it to a repair shop. I wish I could say take to my place, but I don’t work on cars and trucks,” he said.
“You do what you do very well, so just stay with it. Call when you finish then come by the marina and I’ll pay you,” I said.
I had planned to deliver a present in the plane, but I could do it in the Honda. When I got back to the Barge I found some odds and ends in the shed I was pretty sure I had seen earlier. For one thing Wilson and I had a small tool kit. Neither of us pretending to know shit about repairing a car or our barge but some times we needed to hang a picture or tighten a screw. From the tiny tool kit I took what would have been called a tack hammer by the old men. I also found a half used box of aluminum roofing nails a half inch long. I thought that would be perfect.
“Wilson are you going to bring the Honda back today?” I asked his voice mail.
Then I called EZ. “Hey EZ, I know it’s early but I need you to pick up my truck for me. It’s broke, I think,” I said.
Nothing was going to happen for at least an hour, so I got on the bicycle and rode it into town for breakfast/brunch. I hate that word it sounds so pretentious. MrBJ’s was anything but pretentious. It was in need of an oil change on the walls, but the food was exceptional. I ate my biscuit with sweet iced tea chaser on one of his stone tables. Using a concrete picnic table might not be the most clean looking thing, but it sure cut down on thefts. I mean one of them had to weight at least three hundred pounds.
Once back at the barge I took a shower and waited for something to happen. First EZ showed up. He quickly loaded up the truck and left for a repair garage he knew. He was gently flirting with me again. He had gotten over being hurt that I thought he might be a rapist. Not only didn’t it bother him, he seemed to decide that it played into his bad boy persona. He must have thought that was a good thing, because all seemed to have been forgiven, not that I cared.
About an hour later Wilson came home. “You are going to have to take your car, if you go anywhere. I have to make a trip,” I said to him. He nodded as though it was no big deal. “Oh yeah the truck is in the shop.”
I caught Mel alone. I’m headed for the Swamp, do you want to go?” I asked.
“There is nothing for me there. Andrew is in rehab. He wouldn’t want to see me, even if he was there,” she said sounding more sad than angry.
“Okay well I’ll be back late, if I get back at all tonight,” I explained to Wilson as I went out the door.
It was a three hour drive the way I drove. The purpose for the trip cast a pale over the otherwise pleasant drive. Wilson kept the Honda immaculate so it was a pleasure to get it dirty. I have no idea why I took a perverse pleasure in making his life just a little more difficult than necessary. Probably because I envy his ability to live without the rush. I had a lot of thoughts running through my head during that drive. They helped to distract me. If I had dwelled on my own loss, I might have gone mad.
It was after 4 PM when I pulled into the parking lot by the dining hall and administration building. I went through the door to the dinning room. I carried what the old men called a tack hammer and two aluminum 1/2“ roofing nails. I didn’t say a word to anyone and no one said a word to me. I went to the wooden post in the dead center of the dinning hall. I used my hammer and nail to attach the medallion I had made on the laser engraver. The engraving showed a picture of Dog wet and frazzled but alert. You could sense that he was sniffing the air. There was no caption on the medallion. If you needed a caption, you wouldn’t get it anyway. It had the name Liam Logan around the circular edge. It also had scalloped cut edges.
I nailed it in place stepped back three feet looked around the few men present. “Tell the Colonel and the Sergeant Major, that Porter said, ‘if anyone takes that down as long as I’m alive, I’ll cut his fucking heart out’”. I turned and walked back to my car and drove away.
It was getting dark when I returned home to the barge. I had thought I might stay, but I had no interest in it whatsoever. It was like going back to your old high school. It’s just smaller than you remember and a little disappointing. And the really handsome, to the point of being pretty, male English teacher you found to be gay.
I went into the house to heat a frozen dinner in the microwave. I ate the dinner then went outside to sit on the deck and look at the lights from the boats on the river. The glow from the solar lights on the pier were also nice. There were a few bugs but I had an orange bug light going as well as a zapper. I was into my third drink when my two roommates came home.
“When did you get back?” Wilson asked.
“Around eight don’t worry you were cool, it was after office hours,” I said.
“I know, I didn’t take Mel to dinner till seven. We just got a pizza on the Island after we ate we came on back.” He took a good look at me and then asked, “Are you okay?”
“Never better,” I said taking a long pull on the drink in my hand.
“EZ’s friend called to give you the estimate on the truck,” he said. “You have really driven it hard this last year.”
“Yeah I know, so what is it gonna take to fix it?” I asked.
“He didn’t want to tell me but he finally said it would be over a thousand. You drove it home and warped the head or something. He said you also bent some valves. He claims you should have stopped when it got hot,” Wilson said.
“Wilson I don’t give a crap about the damage. Just tell them to fix it if I’m not here when he calls back,” I said.
“You know you could buy a new one? The repair is going to cost more than the bluebook value is gonna show for it. You know that don’t you?” Wilson asked.
“Then go down tomorrow and get our shit out of it. Sell it to the junk yard or to the mechanic to repair and sell. Wilson I just don’t give damn,” I said emptying the drink in one long pull. “Why don’t you go do whatever you were going to do, if I weren’t here. I’ll do what I was going to do, if you didn’t come home. That’s get drunk.”
I had too more very strong drinks then I planned to go to bed. Of course I had to struggle down the circular stairs first. I was a little surprised to hear Mel moaning, but not all that much either. She seemed to have a knack for landing on someone’s ass. I laughed at the thought.
I should have called Andrew to see how he was doing. Then again he should have called me once or twice over the last couple of years. Fuck it, he would bounce back. Andrew is a real badass, I thought.
I could see clearly through all the booze. Martin had sent me Mel because she was a real ding a ling, and I dumped her on Wilson. Hell, Wilson was tougher than any of us in his own way. I decided right there to stop worrying about him.
I returned to the deck instead of bed. On the deck I had one more drink as I thought about all the people I had killed. Son of a bitch I was probably a serial killer, I thought. After that realization, and that last drink I stumbled into bed. An hour later I had to pee so I struggled up the stairs and into the bathroom. Sitting on the toilet trying to control my nausea I had a stray thought about my life, but it slipped away. I giggled like a school girl as I moved back down the stairs. My grand life plan slipping away while I sat on the toilet. There was something poetic in that.
The black just closed over me. The next thing I knew it was 7 AM. I rode the trike out to the strip to check on the mower. I found it torn all to hell. Obviously it needed a major repair. I was tempted to push the canary outside myself. I worried about damaging it though. Things being what they were I called the small engine mechanic.
“So what did you find?” I asked.
“It the Magneto. I’m going to get one this morning. I’ll have it going by noon,” he said.
“If you need to test it, you can cut the grass for me,” I suggested.
“Fifty bucks an hour, sure why not,” he laughed.
“I think I’ll wait and do it myself,” I said.
I road the trike back to the house with the electric motor pulling. It worked fine for a mile or two but I wasn’t sure I would want to ride it to town on the motor. When I got back to the Barge I could ride the bike into town. The purpose would be to check on the truck. There were many places I couldn’t reach on the bike, I thought.
Edited by Walt