[novel in progress]
Chapter Three : I don’t know Jack
Benny and Jack are similar in many ways. They don’t look alike, but they’re close in age. Benny is as skinny as I was once and has the full head of dark hair I used to have, but thankfully he got his mother’s good looks. Jack is all muscle, thicker set, broad-faced, with sand colored hair cut within a quarter-inch of his scalp so at a distance it looks like he’s bald. Like a Marine. Benny did his own turn in the Army.
I know Jack played football in college because he’s mentioned it. Benny was a runner. Benny always has a story ready to tell. Jack must be coaxed. But they both talk too fast. I often miss tidbits of detail I wish I understood but have to keep from asking about so as not to interrupt some narrative, and then later, when I inquire, I see the impatient turn in the eye. I notice that Ardis has slowed her speech down quite a bit since she’s come to work at the shop. That, I believe, is just an effort to communicate with me. But the biggest difference is that Jack will stand and listen when I dilate on one thing or another myself. And Ardis often will, as well. It’s a strange thing and took some getting used to. None of my own kids ever seemed as willing to hear me out. Not Benny or the girls. Continue Reading →