Alligators Episodes 5 and 6

Episode Five

Joel Jenkins was not having a very good day. The morning started off badly when Joel first opened his eyes. The first thing that he saw was that his alarm clock radio read 7:50 AM. Joel was supposed to start his new job at 7:00 AM. Arriving late on his first day on the job was not going to make a good impression on Joel’s new employer. Joel was very fortunate to have been hired for this job. Ian, his sponsor in NA got him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Sam Bradley was also being sponsored by Ian. This was not an opportunity the Joel didn’t wanted to lose.

Joel was given the alarm clock by Ian as a gift when his sponsor informed him that he was able to get him the job at Sam’s Salvage Services. Joel thought that he had set the alarm clock correctly the night before. Obviously, he had not. The alarm clock was a newer, state-of-the-art timekeeper that included all the latest bells and whistles. He could even set it to wake him up to the sound of his favourite CD. The problem was that Joel had a difficult time with modern technology, mostly because he didn’t own any modern technology. At present, Joel didn’t even own a PC, a laptop, a cell phone or even a tablet. For the last three years Joel had spent all his money on drugs. He’d been clean for almost six months but couldn’t apply for work until he had completed both his detox and rehabilitation programs. He was fired from his last job when his substance abuse severely affected his job performance and on numerous occasions his ability to show up for work at all.

Joel had to come up with a damage control plan fast. Ian had given Joel, Sam’s cell phone number. Joel called Sam right away to let him know what was up. He let Sam know that he was going to be late and was calling a taxi to take him to work. Sam told Joel that he was presently driving a truck in downtown Manhattan and due to the heavy traffic would probably be stuck in that location for likely up to half an hour. Sam told Joel to have the cab drop him off near the First National Bank.

Sam Bradley was a bit of an entrepreneur. He got into the salvage business after his brother-in-law agreed to let him have his old Ford pickup truck if Sam agreed to pay him $200 as soon as he made some money in his new enterprise.

Sam had a very checkered job history with a backlog of bad references from past employers. This being the case, Sam felt he had no choice but to become self-employed entrepreneur.

Sam Bradley was a very creative man. He was an artist with a broad range of interests. He loved the arts and had taken a stab at most forms of artistic expression including outdoor photography, sculpture and pottery. He found out that he was not particularly talented in all his artistic pursuits, but Sam had the attitude the one didn’t know if they had an aptitude for something unless they had given it an honest concerted effort.

Through his efforts Sam discovered that he was more than skillful in the areas of writing and music. He became skilled enough on guitar to play in a local band called Rocky Raccoon. That’s where his problem with addictions began.

Episode Six

Sam had been burning the candle at both ends. His ambition to write novels was almost equal to his desire to become a great lead guitarist. To date, he had self published two science fiction novels. He used the Amazon platform to sell his books and was enjoying moderately good sales. Unfortunately, he required other sources of revenue to pay his bills. He acquired a part-time job teaching creative writing one night a week at a local community college. The rest of his income came from his cut of his band’s performances at various bars in Manhattan. With these three streams of income, Sam could usually just squeak by paying his monthly bills.

Sam Bradley lived in a small bachelor’s apartment in East Manhattan. He had been fortunate to find an apartment complex that had rent control. Even with this advantage, Sam was often hard-pressed to stay afloat financially and because of this, he was almost constantly stressed out.

Sam worked hard at all his endeavours. He was not a naturally gifted musician, so he practised his guitar playing daily for at least two hours. He applied an equal amount of dedication to his writing and did an admirable amount of preparation for his creative writing classes.

To add to his issues with stress and anxiety, Sam was becoming chronically fatigued. One night during one of the Raccoons’ breaks, Sam told his bass player Glenn Williams about his exhaustion. Glenn was very willing to help as they were also close friends. Glenn offered Sam a couple of little white pills. Sam asked what they are and Glenn informed him that they were Dexedrine tablets.

Glenn Williams also had to work hard as he had to pay his ex-wife a hefty amount of alimony and child support. He had to hold down a full-time job is IT technician. The small amount of money he made as the bass player for the Raccoons allowed him a little bit of spending money for himself.

Two months ago, Glenn went to see his family doctor and complained about excessive daytime sleepiness. His doctor recommended that Glenn try taking Dexedrine to see if that would help boost his energy levels. It worked like a charm and within a couple of days Glenn was totally dependent on stimulants to get him through his long days and evenings.

The Rocky Raccoons basically played classic rock and as they worked hard as a unit over the last few years, they had become a very good band. The Raccoons were well known in the bars of East Manhattan. They knew their audiences well and what music they wanted to hear.

What was popular varied somewhat depending upon which bar they were working, but they had built up a standard set of universal favourites. The Rocky Raccoons found they could never go wrong with songs like You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. Other sure crowd pleasers included songs such as American Woman by the Guess Who and Taking Care of Business by Bachman Turner Overdrive. They learned these two songs from their rhythm guitar player, Kevin Watts who was a transplanted Canadian born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Sam and Kevin would sit down and write some original material whenever they got the chance and sometimes the band performed a couple of the original compositions during their performances.

The Rocky Raccoons were so popular that they had a group of fans who followed the band from bar to bar across East Manhattan. The Raccoons’ followers where nowhere near the size of the Grateful Dead’s famous Deadheads, but for a local band they had an impressive number of followers, both male and female. A couple of their female fans were groupies. The Raccoons’ groupies besides providing the band with the obvious favours and benefits were valuable for another reason. Two of their groupies also serviced the famous bands when they played concerts in New York.

Alicia and Trixie would always put in a plug for the Rocky Raccoons when they talked to the famous musicians and bands. They would also speak with the band’s managers and promoters and encourage them to book the Raccoons as an opening act on the band’s concert tours.

Occasionally, a well-known manager or promoter would drop by a local New York bar to see if the Rocky Raccoons were as good as Alicia and Trixie made alligators 9

Alligators in the Sewers Episode 4

alligator 4

Episode Four

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Mark Kennedy woke up to the sound of his parents having an animated conversation about Donald Trump. Mark’s father, Michael Kennedy was a die- hard supporter of the controversial Republican candidate. He was an obese, but physically strong construction worker. He had been the shop steward for his union local for a long time, but over the past two years he had become disheartened with the lack of power of his local union to improve the wages and working conditions of his fellow construction workers. At the last local union meeting that he attended, the workers national representative was pushing hard to encourage the union’s local membership to vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election. Not all workers, including Mark Kennedy were impressed with Hillary. Several members had taken notice of the recent campaign speeches by Donald Trump and were beginning to think of him as the politician most likely to aid their cause.

His wife, Laura Kennedy was a strong woman. Some may even have described her as being a fierce woman. Laura hated Donald Trump’s guts and her perception of how the Republican presidential candidate mistreated women. As Mark was in the process of greeting the morning, he overheard the heated political discussion going on between his parents.

Mark could care less about politics, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. He needed to call his friends right after breakfast as Mark wanted to invite his buddies out for a game of touch football. Mark was a big fan of the Oakland Raiders and his favorite player was the Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. Mark usually played quarterback during Saturday’s traditional touch football game. When he was making a long pass mark Mark would imagine that he was the real Derek Carr in the process of leading his team to a fourth-quarter comeback.

Mark joined his family for a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.

“So, what are you going to do today?” his father asked.

“After breakfast I’m going to call up some of my friends to organize a touch football game,” Mark answered.

“Are you going to play quarterback this week?” Michael Kennedy asked.

“That’s my plan,” Mark replied.

“Can you throw passes like Brett Favre?” his father asked.

“No. Brett Favre is retired. I want to play like Derek Carr,” Mark answered.

“That’s okay. That Raider kid is pretty good. I’ve got admit,” Mark’s dad responded.

After he helped his mother do the dishes Mark went to his room and started making the necessary phone calls.

After his father gave Mark a ride to the local school grounds that included a football field complete with two sets of both goal posts at each end zone. After he got out of the car Mark saw to his two best friends, Curly and Red throwing a football around.

Both Curly and Red came by their nicknames honestly. Curly was obese but his long thick brown curly hair was his most prominent feature. Red was a tall, skinny kid who suffered from a serious case of acne. He was glad that his nickname, Red, a description of his mullet styled, shoulder length, fiery red hair. Red’s family ancestry was Irish. When he got old enough to grow a beard it was almost certainly going to be a flaming red color that would complement the hair on his head.

Within the next ten minutes, nine other boys arrived. These kids were all grade six students at Birchwood Elementary. Once the members of the two teams were selected, Mark’s team won the coin toss and elected to be the receiving team for the first half of the game. Mark was unanimously chosen to be the starting quarterback for his squad.

The first play that Mark called in the huddle was a down and out pass pattern to the right. Red was lined up as a tight end on the right side of the line of scrimmage.

It had rained heavily the night before and the field was still damp and slippery. As Mark backpedalled and tried to get himself into a comfortable throwing stance, he slipped on the wet grass just as he let go of the football. He was attempting to pass to his intended receiver, Red.

The football floated high over Red’s head and landed somewhere in a bushy area to the right of the football field. Red volunteered to search for the football in the brush. He was starting to get all scratched up from the thorn bushes that were prevalent in the bushy outskirts on the right side of the football field. A few feet away Red could see the overthrown football. It was neatly enmeshed in the grasp of a thick, thorny bush.

As Red took a few steps in the direction of the object of the search, he also spotted what appeared to be part of an animal’s leg protruding from the thicket. The part of the leg that was visible was pearly white in color, approximately a foot-long and looked bumpy and scaly. This sight of this frightening apparition almost instantly froze the blood in Red’s veins. He was unable to move even though he desperately wanted to run away as far as possible from the object that was causing him this terror was burning inside him.

After a few minutes, he heard Mark calling for him.

“Red, are you okay in there? Did you find the football?”

There wasn’t any response to Mark’s questions. Curly came up behind Mark.

“Ah, Red’s probably just taking a leak in the bushes,” Curly said.

“No. I don’t think so,” Mark responded. “Red’s been in there too long and it’s getting me worried. I’m going in. Are you coming with me, Curly?”

“Why not? Red’s probably just hasn’t found the football yet,” he answered.

A few other boys overheard Curly and Mark talking and offered their assistance to find out what was going on with Red. As soon as the boys pushed through the thorn bushes, they were stopped in their tracks. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They saw Red crying

Revised Version of Alligators in the Sewers eps. 1, 2 and 3

Alligators in the Sewers A Novel by Ken David Stewart

Russ Bridges was enjoying a long, restful nap on his new black leather couch. He was startled out of a deep sleep when he heard a loud pounding on his front door. Russ had just turned sixty-six was enjoying his first year of retirement as the former superintendent of sewers for the city of New York. It was 2:05 PM on June 11, 2020. He had been reading the novel It by Stephen King. It was not unusual for Russ to fall asleep on his couch while reading in the mid-afternoon. Stephen King was Russ’s favorite author and It was his favorite novel by the most popular horror writer of the century. This was usually how people defined Stephen King as a writer, but the author hated this limited, restrictive view of his writing.

As the pounding on his door became louder, Russ managed to lift his substantial bulk off the couch. When Russ opened his front door he saw Sean Webb, the new superintendent of sewers. Sean took over Russ’s position when he retired. Sean looked very anxious when Russ opened the door for him. “Can I smoke in your house, Russ? I’m all stressed out and I need to talk to you.”

“Sure. Come on in, Sean. Yeah, you can smoke in my house. I gave up smoking about ten years ago.

“Thanks for seeing me on such short notice or rather no notice should say,” Sean said as his trembling hand reached into the front pocket of his shirt for his pack of Marlborough Reds cigarettes.

“I have a serious problem at work and I really need your advice, Russ. Have you ever heard or seen anything to do with alligators in the New York sewer system?”

“Yeah, I know quite a bit about the problem, but I haven’t told anybody about it. Before I retired from your job, I had to sign a bunch of documents swearing me to secrecy concerning that topic,” Russ answered.

Episode Two

“Why don’t you find a place to park yourself in my living room, Sean?”

“Where did you find an orange easy chair, Russ?

“On eBay. It’s a rare color for an easy chair but don’t ask me how much I paid for it. Would you like some coffee to go with your cigarette?”

Russ reached over to his fireplace mantel and took a very weird looking ashtray from the top of it. The ashtray was a beige color shaped like an alligator. Russ placed it on the glass coffee table in front of Sean’s chair.

“You are starting to freak me out Russ. This ashtray looks a lot like a white albino alligator. This is like a foreboding symbol of why I’m here to meet with you,” Sean said.

“What do you like in your coffee?

“Some coffee creamer and Sugar Twin would be great if you have it.”

“You’re in luck. That’s exactly what I put in my coffee. My favorite flavor is hazelnut. What’s yours?”

Sean managed a nervous laugh. “What a coincidence. That’s my favorite too.”

“My wife gets on my back quite a bit about using Sugar Twin. Ruth’s a nurse and she never fails to tell me that artificial sweeteners cause cancer. I told her that I don’t worry about that because I want to die before she does. I’m being serious, too. I don’t know how I would manage without my wife.”

Russ hated the aging process. He didn’t like the fact that he could not do all the things that he was able to do at age forty. Russ had been somewhat of a high-energy freak of nature when he was younger. He was still trying to make a difficult adjustment to his new life as a senior citizen. This was not an easy transition for him. Since his retirement he had put on about twenty pounds that he did not need that were causing him to slow down in his daily life activities. Russ found that with each passing year he seemed to either reduce or had to eliminate one of the activities that he had enjoyed doing the year before. Life isn’t fair. A man of Russ’s intellect and drive could not understand or accept the inevitable fact that he was being forced to slow down in his senior years.

Russ wasn’t very happy with his life now that he was retired. It bothered him that he no longer knew how much time he had to live. His father had passed away at age forty-two after suffering a massive heart attack. This really shook Russ up, and he started thinking about his own longevity.

Russ had a lot of regrets even when he was in his prime. He had a poor self-image. He knew that he had excelled in his work for the city of New York, but felt that, in most areas of his life, he had been a failure.

Sean’s hand was still shaking as he took a long way drag from his Marlboro cigarette. “I’d sure like to hear any information you have, Russ. I feel like I’m going crazy. Sure, I heard some stories about alligators in our sewer system, but I thought it was just an urban legend. So did most of my coworkers until they started claiming they actually saw alligators while they were performing their sewer maintenance duties. At first, I didn’t believe them when a couple of my staff told me about their encounters with these reptiles. I just figured that seeing that I was their new supervisor they decided to tell me these stories as a sort of an initiation prank.”

 

Episode Three:

Joshua Jacobson could best be summed up as being a nerd. He was seventeen years old and attended Manhattan Central High School. Joshua’s level of intelligence would be close to the genius level. He excelled in all his grade twelve subjects, but he liked his math and science classes the most. Joshua was an intellectual in every sense of the word. Although his great desire was to be a famous scientist one day, he was also a voracious reader with interests in a wide variety of subjects.

Joshua read nearly everything he could get his hands on. Although his parents were on the lower strata of the annual income spectrum, and neither one had earned a high school diploma, they were very aware and were very proud of Josh’s intellectual accomplishments. From an early age they had a sense that God had given their son and amazing brain for a reason. Although Josh’s parents were poor, they used what little extra money they had to further Josh’s ambitions. As Josh enjoyed reading and conducting research so much, his parents paid for his monthly subscriptions to Audible Audiobooks, so that their son could choose a new  audiobook to listen to each month. They also invested in a subscription to Scribd, a website service that allows its subscribers to read an unlimited number of books on a wide variety of topics. Science fiction books had always been Josh’s favorites.

Attending high school was at times pure hell for Josh. Senior years schools have long been known for bullying students that did not fit the predetermined criteria of what was considered normal. The social aspect of high school was based on cliques. Every high school student ended up in a clique that was defined by possessing certain, identifiable physical and mental attributes.

There was some overlap, but generally all high school students received a mandatory designation that they were in some group or clique. There was sometimes some overlap, but rarely was a student integrated into more than one or two defining groups.

The first category was known as the brains. This entity consisted of all kinds of all the students that were known for getting the highest marks in all subjects on the secondary education curriculum. The brains were usually not very popular with the rest of the student body. These academic high achievers were either disdained, ignored or were used by their peers. The brains could be helpful to their less academically gifted counterparts in certain situations. Brains came in handy when one needed to cheat on a test or exam or copy yesterday’s homework assignments. The trade-off or you can say. the upside for the brains was that some of their fellow students who required their services offered the brains protection from other students who would bully them, steal from them or threaten to beat them up.

The second clique was known as the jocks. This group consisted of all the star athletes in the school. A third group was labelled as the stoners. This group of students were known for regularly ingesting a wide variety of both prescription and illegal drugs. The brains and the jocks rarely had anything to do with the stoners. Stoners were not known for doing well in their academic studies because they were, as their name implied, usually flying high on some psychoactive substance that would interfere with their cerebral ability to concentrate on their schoolwork.

There was a subgroup of students within the stoners who were talented musicians. The ones that played in a band were generally held in high regard by almost all the student body. The jocks envied the artistic talents of the musically gifted stoners and were very pissed off by the fact that student musicians who played in local bands often had more groupies than the jocks. The jocks could never conceive how these scrawny, dope smoking rockers didn’t need to have any respectable physique to attract females. The jocks never grasped the concept that these musically gifted stoners needed to practice their guitar licks just as long and hard as the football team had to practice their passing, blocking and running drills.

The last high school clique were the most unfortunate ones. This group was cruelly referred to as the nerds. The nerds presented in all shapes and sizes, but their most prominent distinction was that they all presented as being weird in some way or another. Some were morbidly obese, some were tall and lanky and had faces that were crated like the surface of the moon with acne. Many of them offended their peers and teachers because of their strong repulsive body odor.

The nerds were mostly shunned by the vast majority of the student body and faculty. On rare occasions, a student that was considered normal would attempt to befriend them or at the very least try to strike up a conversation with them. Those few nerds that received these acts of kindness were often forever grateful for even the slightest sign of attention and acceptance. The few students who displayed this kind of compassion often found that the result would be that the few grateful nerds would cling to them and wouldn’t leave them alone for at least a semester.

 

green reptile

Street Dreams Episode 48

Episode forty-eight of Street Dreams 

When Herby Schultz awoke on the morning after the jukebox party at Harold Peyton’s house, he felt an emotion that he had rarely experienced in his life. It was somewhat like joy or even euphoria. Being an analytical person, Herby was grateful for this positive feeling, but was also worried and confused. The more that Herby sat up on his bed and thought about it, the more Herby became concerned that he was feeling a sense of hope. 

Herby could hardly think of a time in his life when he was where a feeling even slightly optimistic about his future. For so much of his life, Herby Schultz felt only an enormous, overpowering sense of heaviness as if he was carrying a thousand pounds of concrete around with him. 

He felt lighter today. Some of that heaviness started to lift. Herby concluded that his new state of mind was largely due to last evening’s visit at Harold Peyton’s house. There were such a sense of peace in Harold’s home and Herby marvelled at the apparent ease with which Harold had turned a potentially situation filled with negativity and even ugliness into a time of calmness and joy. 

Herby did not have any close friends other than Tony Barrows and he certainly did not have a father figure in his life. There’s just something about the charismatic personality of Harold Peyton. 

Herby had learned to be very sceptical of adults, but there was something genuine about Harold. Due to his low self-esteem, he had a difficult time imagining why any adult would accept him at face value and even take a sincere interest in him. 

Harold had displayed a very sincere form of interest in listening to Herby. Harold was not just not being polite, he was truly interested in what Herby had to say at the party last night. 

If one looked at Herby’s time spent with Harold, superficially, one could reasonably ask what was so special about the jukebox party. Harold and his very young guests had simply had fun playing a game and later listen to each other’s share their stories. 

Herby became accepting of the fact that whenever he went somewhere with Tony there would certainly be alcohol and drugs involved. Perhaps, some illicit sexual activity and an almost inevitable physical fight would be on the agenda of the evening’s activities. There’d been none of that at Mr. Peyton’s house yesterday evening. Herby thought this was the only time in his life that he’d experience what was known as good clean fun. Like a very addictive drug, Herby now craved more of this positive experience. Did he dare phone Harold to see if they could get together for a one on one conversation? Herby did not want to impose on Mr. Peyton today. He would wait another day to see if he could get the courage to call this elderly charismatic man. 

 

 ogopogo-33

episode 47 of street dreams

anoiher landEpisode 47 of Street Dreams
It was the morning after the jukebox party at Harold Peyton’s house. Herbie Schultz’s eyes opened to see an acrylic painting that he had been working on. It was only about two -thirds finished. A few days ago Herbie was browsing through a local thrift shop when he decided to check out the store’s used music collection. Sometimes, if one was very fortunate they might stumble upon an old LP that was a real gem, but was presently out-of-print. This rare find occurred to Herbie on very rare occasions, but like an eager fisherman, he enjoyed the hunt. Some of these albums and CDs that were available for sale on Amazon.com or on eBay, but usually had ridiculously expensive asking prices. For example one might find an out-of-print Larry Norman LP in near mint condition selling for $700. If the collector was able to find the same record in a thrift shop or at a flea market, they might be able to buy the item for two dollars or less. Therefore the excitement of the hunt.
Last Monday afternoon while Herbie was searching through a pile of LPs, he was shocked to see an album cover that Christian rock artist Larry Norman wearing what appeared to be a skin tight lion print body suit.
Herbie was not a Christian, but he once had a young male roommate who was a believer. His friend often played Christian rock records and CDs for Herbie. Herbie’s roommate had a few modern Christian praise and worship records, but most of his collection consisted of rock ’n’ roll. His friend’s favourite Christian rock ’n’ roll artist was the founder of Christian rock, Larry Norman.
Herbie didn’t realize that there was a sub genre of rock ’n’ roll music known as Christian rock. He discovered that he really liked a lot of the records that his roommate, Peter Edwards, played. Herbie was soon asking Peter many questions about the music and artists they listened to.
One afternoon, Herbie asked Peter about Larry Norman, “Hey Peter, what’s the story on this guy, Larry Norman. His music is really good so why haven’t I heard of him before?”
Peter was pleasantly surprised by Herbie’s question. He turned towards his nonbeliever friend and said, “The reason that you haven’t heard of Larry Norman before this is that his albums rarely gets any radio play and you won’t find his songs or his videos on Much Music. Larry Norman is rock ’n’ roll, but he’s also a Christian who is not shy about sharing his faith. I don’t think that a lot of secular radio stations are even allowed to play Christian music, with the exception of a few Christmas carols.”
There are, of course, several Christian radio stations, but they tend to play music by artists that they consider safe. They don’t want to upset their Christian listeners with songs that will make them think,” Peter answered.
“I think I’m beginning to understand,” Herbie said. “When I start thinking about the lyrics on some of Larry songs, they appear to challenge some of the practices of the church. Norman songs often are very political as well,” Peter added.
“You know something Peter? God has blessed me with a very sharp roommate,” Herbie said.
“Thank you. Now, answer another one of my questions, if you don’t mind. Why don’t Christians like rock ‘n’ roll music?” Peter asked.
“There are likely several reasons. They may sincerely believe that rock ’n’ roll corrupts young people’s minds and puts sin into their hearts.”
“What kinds of sin are we talking about here?” Peter asked his roommate.
“Good question, Peter. They think that rock ’n’ roll promotes sins such as sexual immorality, the use of illegal drugs and the loss of respect for authority figures. Some of them honestly believe tht listening to Christian rock music and being a follower of Jesus is an impossible contradiction,” Herbie answered. Peter left the kitchen table to make some coffee. He turned his head toward Herbie and said, “Here is my next question . I’ve listened to several of your Christian albums, but I have yet to hear any lyrics that encourage any of these sins,” Peter stated.
Herbie laughed, I didn’t know that you paid that much attention to the content of the lyrics on my albums. You are right. There are many older Christians that have great problems with the musical sounds produced by rock music. These people believe that there is evil in the loud,pounding drumbeats, the thundering baselines and screeching lead guitar solos,” Herbie answered.

Episode 45 of Street Dreams/Tony Spills His Guts

Episode 45 of Street Dreams 

When Tony and Harold had brought their refreshments from the kitchen and placed them on Harold’s glass coffee table, Harold settled into his white La-Z-Boy chair and Tony found a place on Harold’s orange and white leather sofa. 

Tony took a few seconds to glance around Harold’s living room. He could see many things that were of interest to him. 

Last night I was having so much fun playing jukebox with you guys that I didn’t pay too much attention to my surroundings. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your possessions?” Tony asked, biting off a sizable chunk of his extra-large oatmeal and raisin cookie. He added a sip from his coffee cup. Harold poured Tony’s coffee into a Motorhead coffee cup. Tony was amazed at how well the coffee and cookie combo tasted. 

Harold also sampled this morning’s culinary delights and experienced the same sense of joy that Tony was experiencing. 

“Wow, I didn’t know how well Whisper could bake cookies,” Tony said. 

Harold looked Tony Barrows straight in the eye. 

“I will gladly answer your questions about my possessions after we have a chat about other things,” Harold answered. 

“When you get to be my age, Tony, I think one becomes much more proficient at reading people. In other words, you become much more observant and skilled at drawing inferences,” Harold said. 

Tony started moving his fingers around in a nervous manner. He was hoping for a conversation about deep things, but he was surprised that Harold delved into that realm this early in the conversation. 

“Tony, which artists created those two pieces of artwork that I’m pointing to on my wall?” Harold asked using his forefinger to point to two different paintings on the wall across from Tony. 

“The one to your immediate right is by Jackson Pollock, the second one is by Picasso and if you’d asked me about the third I would say that it was done by Salvador Dali,” Tony answered with a look of self- satisfaction on his face. 

Harold got caught in the middle of a laughing spell and spewed out a sudden spray of coffee and partially chewed cookie. This incident also caused Tony to laugh and had the effect of putting them more at ease. 

“You just proved my point, son. You’re either self educated, partially educated or have a university degree,” Harold said. 

“I don’t know how you figured that out, but you are right. I spent two years at the University of Manitoba. My major was economics. I also read a lot on my own if that’s what you mean by self educated.” 

“I, too, do a lot of reading on my own, listen to audiobooks, watch Fox News and do a considerable amount of research on the internet. Why haven’t you finished your bachelor’s degree?” Harold asked. 

“That’s kind of a long and sad story. Just after I finished my second year courses, my girlfriend died of a drug overdose. Two weeks later, I get a call telling me that while my uncle and his girlfriend were driving on a trip down the highway, their car got squashed by a semitrailer. My uncle died immediately and his girlfriend was pronounced DOA when an ambulance took her to the closest hospital,” Tony answered. 

“That’s horrible,” Harold said, as a tear slid down his left cheek. 

“Were you close to your uncle?” Harold asked. 

“Yes, very much so. I only lived with him for about a year and a half, but he was the closest thing to a father figure I ever knew. I worked for him as a plumber’s helper any he gave me a love of reading, writing fiction and participating in intellectual discussions. He was the one who inspired me to attend university,” Tony answered. 

“Something here doesn’t add up. Why does a smart young man like yourself end up throwing his girlfriend out of his truck on a cold winter day?” Harold asked. 

Tony’s face reddened and he hung his head towards the ground in shame. 

“Somewhere along the line I didn’t develop a good sense of morals, but I think that I lost my temper and snapped when I decided to push Whisper out of my truck,” Tony explained. 

Do you lose your temper often, Tony?” Harold asked. 

Harold moved from his La-Z-Boy chair over to the white leather sofa and sat right next to Tony. Harold put his arm around Tony’s shoulder.Tony began to weep and tried to stop what was turning into a deluge of tears. 

“I’m sorry, Tony managed to say in between the falling of his tears. I have so much rage inside me that it scares me to death. I’m afraid I’ll kill somebody one of these days if I don’t learn how to control my temper.” 

The two men just sat in silence for close to five minutes while both of them wept. Tony raised his head and looked at Harold. 

“I can’t remember the last time I cried like that,” Tony said as he finally began to regain his composure. My biological father died from cancer when I was just five years old and my mother was an alcoholic who never wanted me. Still, there is no excuse for what I did to Whisper or for the other people I’ve hurt in my life,” Tony said as he gave Harold a quick hug. 

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Episode 43 of Street Dreams/Tony calls Harold

Episode 43 of Street Dream

Whisper borrowed Harold’s car to go and get some groceries and later to visit one of her friends. It was getting close to 10 AM when Harold Peyton heard his phone ring. It took a few seconds for Harold to recognize the voice at the other end of the line.

It was Tony Barrows calling on the morning after the jukebox party at Harold’s house.

Harold said to Tony, “If you’re looking for Whisper, she just left the house about twenty minutes ago. She went out to get us some groceries and I think that she wants to spend most of the day out and about.”

“Do you think that she’ll be out of the house for at least a couple of hours?” Tony asked. It is actually you that I want to talk to today, but I don’t want Whisper to hear our conversation,” Tony stated.

 

“All I think I can say is that Whisper will be out for at least two hours. Probably longer.” Harold answered taking a sip from his coffee mug with the pictures of his two dogs on it.

“That’s good. Can I come over to your house for a chat?” Tony asked.

“This is not like me. I basically hardly know you and yet I’m phoning you right out of the blue,” Tony said trying to make sense of things.

“It’s called intuition, son. The funny thing is that I just had a dream about you and Herbie last night. I dreamed that all three of us went to the Joint coffeehouse,” Harold replied. “How long will it take for you to drive to my house?”

“I can be there in under twenty minutes,” Tony answered.

“Good. I’ll put on a fresh pot of Tim Horton’s coffee. We can eat some of the oatmeal raisin cookies that Whisper baked earlier this morning.”

“Awesome. I’ll see you soon,” Tony said.

Tony pressed the power button on his I Shred cannabis vaporizer five times. This would allow the internal chamber of his vaporizer to heat up and then he would take some more puffs off it. Tony Barrows was very nervous while he made the phone call to Harold. Tony could feel one of his tension migraine headaches coming on. Cannabis would usually lessen his headache pain. Hopefully, it would calm down his nerves too. Tony really didn’t have any idea why he decided to phone Harold Peyton this morning. An internal monologue was travelling at great speed across Tony’s brain. In his head he could see a giant circuit board with brightly coloured knobs intersecting with many glowing strings of wire.

Internal monologue:

“I’ve been looking for an older man that I could talk to, especially about the deep stuff. My biological father passed away from cancer when I was only five years old so I can barely remember him. I had a couple of so-called stepfathers, but they were all losers who didn’t give a damn about me anyway. In other words, I didn’t have a real authentic male role model while I was growing up,” Tony said to himself.

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And so the game begins/Episode 42 of Street Dreams by Ken David Stewart

047“I appreciate your apology Tony, but I’m going to need a little time and space to process it,” Whisper said.
“Yeah, I can accept that. Why don’t you give me a call when you’re ready to talk about our relationship,” Tony said.
I’ve got an idea,” Harold said. He was now comfortably seated in this white Lazy Boy chair.
“Why don’t you and Herbie stay here and join us for a game of Jukebox. “We’re kind of in a party mood tonight I have some potato chips, dip, Pepsi and coffee. Would you guys like to stay and help us party?” Harold asked.
Tony was seated next to Herbie on Harold’s couch. He turned his head towards Herbie to gage his friend’s reaction. Herbie shrugged his shoulders, “I’ve really got nothing pressing to do, if you’d like to stay,Tony” Herbie said.
“I’m in, too,” Tony told Harold.
“What’s your last name, sir?” Tomy asked Harold.
“It’s Peyton. I’m Harold Payton, but just because I’m an old guy I don’t want you guys calling me Sir or Mr. Peyton. Harold, suits me just fine. Whisper, could you find the chips, and the rest of the refreshments and bring them to the coffee table?” Harold asked.
|I’m sorry but I don’t have any alcoholic beverages in the house. Would you guys be okay with a couple of Pepsi’s or Tim Horton’s coffee, let’s say?” His gaze was towards Tony and Herbie.
“That would be just fine with us, sir, Tony answered. Sorry, I meant to say Harold,” Tony said looking a little embarrassed.
Harold laughed and said, “That’s okay. I can see that you’re a fast learner, Tony.”
“Are you good with the Pepsi or coffee too, Herbie? Harold asked.
” A cup of coffee would be great,” Herbie replied. Herbie did not have much in terms of a social life and he was not used to be being treated so well by other people. Harold stood up. “Ricky, could you explain the rules of the game to everybody while I use the washroom?”
When Harold had returned from the bathroom, Whisper had finished dispensing the nights refreshments and Ricky had succinctly explained the rules of the game to Tony and Herbie.
“Before we start our game, I want to ask, “what were you boys doing before you arrived at my house?” Harold asked.
Tony was a little taken aback by Harold’s query, which he started to answer after he popped the tab off his Pepsi can.
“Believe it or not, I was reading a book Harold. I know that I don’t look like the literary type, but I actually read nearly every day. When I’m in a good space I write some of my own fiction, too.”
“What book were you reading this afternoon?” Harold asked.
“The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald,” Tony answered.
Herbie Schultz started to laugh, “I know that my friend kind of looks like a thug, but he’s really smart.”
“That’s one of the things that attracted me to Tony,” Whisper said. “I’ve always liked the bad boys, but it’s not easy finding a tough -looking dude as intellectual as Tony is.”
“We’ve got some things in common, Tony. We both like books, writing and Whisper,” Harold said.
“What about you Herbie? What were you up to earlier today?” Harold asked.
I wasn’t doing much of anything when Tony called. I love music and I spend a lot of time on my Spotify app. Motorhead is one of my favourite rock bands and I was downloading one of their albums called, Aftershock, the Tour Edition,” Herbie answered and reached for a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips.
Harold started to laugh. “I’ve got something in common with you too, Herb. I would say that Motorhead is probably my favourite rock band. I know that it must sound strange to hear a senior citizen say they like Motorhead.”
“No, I don’t think that’s strange. I mean Motorhead hass been around since the 1980s and that was the only era that they had any real commercial success speak of,” Herbie responded.
There was something about Harold that allowed Herbie to be so loquacious this evening. Hw was normally so shy that he would rarely contribute anything to a conversation.
“Herb, I would guess that you are going to be very good at Ricky’s Jukebox game as you appear to have a vast store of knowledge about rock music,” Harold said,” as he took a sip from his Tim Horton’s coffee cup that had an engraved image of a bulldog on it.
“Thank you,” said Herbie. I’ll give it my best shot.” As Herbie’s social anxiety was decreasing rapidly he sunk into a more relaxed posture on Harold’s couch and took a big slug from his can of Mango Pepsi.
“Well, that’s enough chit chat for now. Let;s get the game started. Seeing as I invented Jukebox, I get to choose the first song of the evening. I need the rest of you to go to the kitchen and wait until you hear a song that I am about to play on You Tube.”
Ricky was feeling more happy and confident than was was usual for him. He loved spending time with her stepdad and was amazed by the way that Harold had changed the previously tense atmosphere in the house to one of calm anticipation.
Whisper Tony Harold and Herbie all moved into the kitchen area just a few feet away. They needed to move from the living room so that they could not see the information displayed on Harold’s 42 inch widescreen Samsung TV.
It wasn’t long before Ricky started using the search engine on YouTube to find his first song selection. Ricky liked to play his music loud and in under a minute those assembled in the kitchen could hear the opening chords of the song. Almost immediately Herbie yelled out his answer, “That’s Bang Your Head, otherwise known as Metal Health by Quiet Riot.”
“Bingo!” Ricky yelled back.
“Way to go Herbie!” Whisper said as she patted Herbie on the shoulder.fantasy-23

 

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Episode 41 of Street Dreams/Harold Meets Tony

Episode 41
Tony Barrows was starting to feel lonely. He put down the novel that he had been reading, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He thought to himself and started to laugh,
“Most people think I’m a punk and a loser. Just another greaser high school dropout. That may be true to a certain extent, but how many greasers would be sitting by themselves on a Saturday night reading a classic novel in American literature. Not too many would be my guess,” Tony thought. “Come to think of it, I’m probably the only one.”
Tony now felt restless as well as lonely. He decided that he would give his nerd buddy Herbie Schultz a phone call.
“So what’s happening Herb?” Tony asked while rolling himself an enormous blunt.
“Hey Tony. I’m on my PC right now. I’ve got the Spotify app open and I’m downloading an album by Motorhead,” Herby replied.
“Yeah, which album are you downloading?” Tony asked.
“Aftershock The Tour Edition. I’ll tell you Tony, Motorhead really rocks out on this one.”
“I will have to look up that one myself. I haven’t heard it yet. Remember when we went to see Motorhead a couple years ago?” Tony asked.
“Of course. The concert was awesome. We got really wasted that night. Motorhead played loud enough to make your ears bleed,” Herbie said.
“Louder than everything else, right Herbie. Listen up. I got an idea for tonight. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually miss Whisper. I wouldn’t admit this to anyone else Herb, but you’re my only real friend. How about you and me go for a drive in my truck tonight to look for Whisper?” Tony asked.
“I thought that you didn’t know where she went after you threw her out of your truck,” Herbie said.
“I’ve a strong hunch that I know where she is. As I drove slowly down the street that day I saw an old guy come to his door and ask Whisper if she needed help. Maybe she’s still with him now, Tony said.
|”Sure. I’m not doing anything tonight. Let’s go for a ride.” Herbie said.
Tony had a good memory was able to recall the exact street and house where the old man lived. Tony parked his white Ford 150 in front of Harold’s house. He and Herbie walked up to Harold’s front door and Tony rang the doorbell.
Harold answered the door not recognizing the two young men who were standing at the entrance to his house.
“Hey guys, how can I help you? Are you looking for someone?” Harold asked.He had a weird premonition that he’d seen one of these men before.
“Yeah, I’m looking for my girlfriend, Whisper,” Tony answered.
Harold now realized that the husky young man was the male that pushed Whisper out of his truck and threw her duffle bag on the road.
Whisper overheard Harold and Tony Barrows talking at the front entrance of the house. It was not difficult to decipher Tony’s unique baritone voice. She walked up to the right side of Harold and said,”What do you want Tony? I see that you brought your little buddy Herbie along.”
“I just want to say I’m sorry for pushing you out of my truck I’m sorry about our fight,too. It was all my fault. I was having a really bad day. I had a horrible migraine headache. Still, that’s no excuse for the way I treated you.” Tony said.
Tony put out his right hand and attempted to shake Harold’s hand. Harold reluctantly shook Tony’s hand. He wasn’t sure about Tony’s intentions toward Whisper and wondered how sincere his apology was. Harold was not totally surprised to see Tony. His intuition had told him that Tony would likely come to his house looking for Whisper one day.
Harold looked towards Whisper, “Should I let these guys in so that we can have a chat with them?”
“Yes, I think that would be okay,” Whisper answered.
As soon as Tony and Herbie entered Harold’s living room he asked them to be seated on his couch. Tony looked at Harold and said, “I hope that we’re not interrupting anything sir,” He saw the whiteboard, washable felt markers and felt eraser. Tony chuckled a little and said, “Are you guys in the middle of some kind of class?”
“Oh no. We were just getting things set up for a gamee my son Ricky invented. He’s named the game Jukebox,” Harold answered. Whisper sat on a chair that she brought from the kitchen. She sat across from Herbie and Tony, but was unable look them in the eyes. She felt awkward and uncomfortable, but she was relieved that she was not alone with Tony. She knew her boyfriend well enough to know that he would not get hostile or aggressive in front of Harold and Ricky. She was also not surprised Tony could talk his way into Harold’s home. Tony might be a greaser and a loser, but he could be very charming by acting polite in the presence of people that he didn’t know. It worked in Tony’s favour that Harold was very curious about people and tended to give strangers the benefit of the doubt.
Ricky was not intimidated by Tony and he could easily surmise that Herbie was not a fighter. However, he was quite willing to act as security for Whisper and his dad if Tony tried anything. Tony studied Ricky for a few minutes and he could sense that Ricky was not afraid to go toe to toe with him if the situation went south. That did not mean that Tony was afraid of Ricky. Tony had never lost a physical fight is his life and was certain that he could take Ricky if Ricky wanted to be a hero. Still, he respected a person that did not display any fear of him.
Harold was not easily intimidated either. He had to admit that he was looking forward to the day they would get to meet Whisper’s boyfriend.
“I realize that it may look a little strange having a whiteboard in my living room. To put you guys at ease, I assure you that I’m not going to teach a class this evening even though I am a retired schoolteacher,” Harold said with a mischievious grin on his face.
This caused Herbie Schultz to give off a nervous laugh. He was used to getting into bizarre situations when he went somewhere with Tony Barrows. He realized that life would never be boring as long as Tony was his best friend.fantasy-10

Episode 40 of Street Dreams Novel/Jukebox

Episode 40
Ricky had been living with his stepdad and Whisper for about three weeks now. During this time, the three of them had been getting along well. Harold was overjoyed that Ricky was now living with him. Harold had never felt comfortable living by himself, but now he had both his son and Whisper around to mitigate his loneliness.
Last week Whisper had a You Tube app open on Harold’s Amazon fire stick. She went to the YouTube search engine and typed in Guns N Roses. She found her favourite Guns N Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine and started to play the track. Harold was sitting in his prized, white Lazy Boy chair. He was reading the novel, Cujo by Stephen King. Ricky was sitting on the couch across from his dad. He, too was reading his own paperback copy of the same book about the rabid St. Bernard. A cute little puppy was sitting contentedly on the floor at Ricky’s feet. Ricky had named the dog Buster and about a week ago asked his dad if he could keep the puppy. Buster had been sitting on the back steps of Harold’s house. The little pug was trembling in the cold and was whimpering with anxiety. Ricky had just returned from Pals, the corner convenience store when he saw Buster. In spite of the fact that Ricky had problems with his behavior, he had not lost part of his childhood innocence. Deep down, he was still a sweet kid who loved animals and little children. When Harold and Clarissa were still together, they took in an old stray tomcat that they named Beater. Ricky had loved the big old tomcat who was now staying with his mother, Clarissa. Unfortunately, Ricky had a very strained relationship with his mother and rarely visited her so he didn’t get to see Beater too much now.
Buster, like most puppies, was very lovable and had already grown very attached to Ricky. The dog liked Harold too, but appeared to have established a stronger bond with Ricky. This was likely because Ricky would take him for walks on a daily basis and would also play fetch in the backyard with Buster. Buster was a very cuddly and affectionate puppy would often come to sit in Ricky’s lap and beg to be cuddled. Ricky would often think the dog’s life was much easier and happier than the existence of their human owners. When Ricky petted and stroked Buster he would kind of be in effect be enveloped by a beautiful trancelike state where parents didn’t get divorced and no one had to go to jail.
Ricky turned towards Whisper and asked, “Do you want to play a game?”
“What game?” Whisper asked.
“It’s a game I just invented. I think I’m going to call it Jukebox.
“Howdo you play it?” Whisper asked.
“I’m making up the rules as we go along. You actually gave me the idea for the game, Whisper,” Ricky answered.
“Gee. Could I play too? Do you think I’m too old for this game, Harold asked with a grin on his face.”
“No, of course you can play, Dad. Actually the rules are very simple. One player uses the search engine on YouTube to find either the name of a song or the name of a band. Meanwhile the two other players go to the kitchen and listen to the song that has been selected. The first player to yell out both the name of the song and the name of the artist who performed it wins and is awarded either one or two points. You score one point for the name of the song and one point for the name of the performer. If the player is right on both counts they are awarded two points If you only get one of the answers right the player gets one point. Time is up at the end of the song and no points are scored,” Ricky explained.
“Hey, Ricky, this game sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Harold, I thought I saw a whiteboard in your office downstairs. Can I bring it up to the living room? We could use it to keep score.”
Harold sat up in his lazy boy chair. “Do you mean the whiteboard I used to use when I was active in Amway. I would take the whiteboard with me when we were showing the plan to prospects. Yeah, I believe there is still a pack of erasable coloured markers in my old desk to the left of the whiteboard. If I remember correctly, there is also a whiteboard eraser and cleaning spray in that old desk too. Why don’t you both you guys go downstairs and bring the game equipment up to the living room. In the meantime, I’m going to put a bag of popcorn in the microwave.We’re going to have ourselves a little party this evening,” Harold said.
When Ricky and Whisper brought the whiteboard and the supplies upstairs and got themselves comfortably seated once again, Harold asked another question.
“Can I add a new rule to the Jukebox game?”
“What’s the new rule?” Whisper asked. The sweet aroma of popping kernels was now drifting into the living room.
It’s more like an amendment or a rider placed on the original rules. Here it is. The song that is selected can only be chosen if it falls between the decades of 1950 up to the decade of 2000. You guys probably know a lot of the old songs, but I stopped listening to contemporary music when the Seattle grunge pop era ended sometime during the nineties,” Harold explained
“I think that Whisper and I can agree to that stipulation,” Ricky answered.” She and I discussed our tastes in music one day last week when you were out running errands. The funny thing is that neither of us likes the current music scene either and we both like old-time rock ‘n’ roll music from the 50’s, 60s,70s. 80s and the 90s. We even like several of the same bands such as Led Zeppelin. the Beatles, Motorhead and Bob Dylan. The list goes on and on.”
“Thank you guys. It sounds like we may have a very interesting and competitive game of Jukebox starting shortly. The microwave popcorn should be ready in under a minute,” Harold said.
Both Ricky and Whisper hadn’t seen Harold look so happy in a long time They gave each other the knowing nod.motorhead band picture 2

episode 39 Street Dreams the Proposition

Episode 39 The Proposition

When they arrived Pizza Hut Harold and Whisper were seated by a handsome young waiter. Their table was seated next to a window. The waiter spoke with bit of a stutter,” Are you ready to order?” the waiter asked with a stuttering pattern of speech.
Harold and Whisper both didn’t take long to study their menus and make up their minds as to what they wanted to eat.
” Do you see anything that you would like to order?” Harold asked.
“Yes, I like ham and pineapple pizza,” Whisper said casting somewhat of a flirtatious look towards the waiter.
“And I would like a bacon pepperoni pizza,” Harold said. “Could we order one large pizza with one half being ham and pineapple and the other half bacon and pepperoni?” Harold asked the young man.
“What did you say your name is?” Whisper asked the good-looking waiter.
The young man was still trying to mentally process the look of attraction that Whisper had given him a few seconds ago.
The waiter couldn’t respond to the two questions right away and it took him about twenty seconds before he could utter a coherent response.
“Oh, I’m sorry. My name is Michael and I’m very pleased to be your server this evening, he said with just a trace of a stutter. “What are your names” he asked.
“I’m Whisper and this is my friend, Harold,” Whisper answered.
“I believe, sir, that you asked if you could order a half-and-half ham and pineapple and pepperoni and bacon large pizza.”
“That is correct,” Harold answered. Harold and Whisper then ordered their drinks and handed the large laminated menus back to Michael.
Harold and Whisper sat across from each other at their table. The table was close to the window and displayed the heavy snowfall occurring outside. The decor at the Pizza Hut was fairly classy for a family restaurant. Harold looked out the window and was temporarily blinded by a car with its headlight brights on, that was just entering the parking lot.
Harold said, “I’ve been very curious about something,” Harold asked.
“About what?” Whisper responded.
“Shortly after you started living in my house you suggested that I should use your life story in my next novel,” Harold said a bit nervously. “Were you serious?”
“Absolutely!” Whisper replied. I have a fascinating life story and I would be flattered if you immortalized my character in a book.
Harold laughed, “I’m not exactly a famous author, Whisper, so I wouldn’t count on your story being immortalized. However, I do believe that you’ve led a very interesting life and I would be pleased if you told your story to me. Like I told you before, I’m kind of in the early stage of writer’s block right now and I believe that ghostwriting your biography to help me break out of it,” Harold answered.
“I was hoping that you would say that Harold. Let’s start working at it right now, Whisper said giving her head a shake revealing her beautiful streaked blond hair.”5511bd2993297bf7600bdd76396bb882

Episode 38 Pizza Hut

Episode 38 Pizza Hut
“What should I cook for supper tonight?” Whisper asked Harold.
“Nothing,” Harold replied.
“Aren’t you getting hungry? It’s already after 5 PM,” Whisper asked as she sat up on the couch that was close to Harold’s white lazy boy chair.
“Oh, I’m hungry all right but I’m a little pressed for time this evening. I need to buy a new ice pick at Canadian Tire. I can’t find my old one. I was looking for it in the backyard woodshed, but it was nowhere to be found. Both the front and back steps are getting really icy and I’ll need to break up the ice with a pick. I was thinking about heading out to the Canadian Tire store in Southdale,” Harold said.
“Why do you want to go all the way to St. Vital? There’s Canadian Tire outlet on Regent. That would be your closest one,” Whisper said.
“I know,” Harold replied, but an old friend of mine works the evening shift at the Southdale store. He was my neighbour for a few years but I haven’t talked to him for a while and I want to ask about how his new job is going. His name is James and he’s a nice young man. He was a schoolteacher for a couple of years, but found that he wasn’t cut out for the job. When his second year of teaching was over, he resigned and picked up a manager’s job at Canadian Tire.”
“So what are we going to do for supper? You said that you were hungry,”Whisper said.
“I’ve got that one covered. You’ve cooked a lot of good meals for us during the last two weeks. I think it’s only fair that I treat you to dinner at Pizza Hut tonight. We’ll eat supper before we go to Canadian Tire.
“You mean like a date or something, Harold?”
Harold laughed out loud. “That’s a good one Whisper. I’m 65 and you’re 22. Don’t you think there’s a bit of an age differential at work there?”
“I’m flattered anyway. I would love to go for supper with you.” Whisper said.
“Let’s get going then,” Harold said.
“You might need me to go out and clean the snow off the car. It’s been snowing quite a bit today and there’s probably two or three inches of snow on the roof of the car. Also, I need to shovel around the tires of the car so that we won’t get stuck,” Whisper said.
“You’ve only been staying with me a little while, but I’m now starting to wonder how I ever managed before I met you. I could clear off the snow myself, but I would feel pain every time I moved a muscle. This arthritis is really been giving me grief. The funny thing about osteoarthritis is that it won’t kill you, but it sure can make your life miserable,”Harold said.
Whisper put on her white downfilled parka that Harold bought for her at Hangers. She then started to pull on her new black leather snow boots that were also a present from Harold.
“My God,” Harold thought to himself. “Whisper is beautiful. So was Erica. She had a different kind of beauty. Harold turned on the ignition and started warming up his red Ford Taurus while Whisper brushed off the snow on the roof of the car. Whisper used the rubber broom with the long white handle. It is much easier to take off large clumps of snow with the rubber broom that she found in Harold’s cleaning supplies closet.
“Where did you get this broom Harold? It sure makes brushing the snow off the car much easier,” Whisper noted.
“I’ve had that white broom for ages now. I bought it for myself when I used to be a part-time Amway distributor.”
“What Amway?” Whisper asked.
“I’ll reserve my answer for another time. It’s too long a story,” Harold answered.
Once Whisper had removed all the snow from the car, she threw the rubber broom in the back seat and climbed into the passenger seat in the front close to Harold. As soon as they drove a short distance out of Harold’s driveway, he felt his car shake lightly for a few seconds. There are some wicked patches of ice under the snow,” Harold noted. “Thank goodness my neighbour recommended that I get snow tires installed during the winter season. Before I had winter tires, my car would often fishtail whenever I tried to stop at an intersection.I feel much safer safer now.”
As soon as Whisper climbed onto the passenger seat she automatically fastened her seatbelt. As she turned her head she noticed a zippered red binder in the back seat of the car.
“What’s in the red binder?” Whisper asked.
Some of my favourite CDs. The CD player and the old Taurus is still in good working order,” Harold answered.
“Can I look through it to check what CDs you have?” Whisper asked.
“Sure, but if you’re looking for any contemporary music you won’t find any. I pretty much stopped listening to modern music after the 1990s grunge era.”
“That’s awesome. I love the music from that era. Have you got any Nirvana in your binder?”
“Yes, I do. Nirvana is my favourite Seattle grunge era group,” Harold replied. As Whisper was going through the plastic sleeves in the red binder she found the Nirvana’s Greatest Hits CD.
“Do you mind if I put “Greatest Hits in your CD player?”
“Be my guest. I love Nirvana’s music. I was upset for a long time when I heard the news that Kurt Cobain killed himself,” Harold said.
“Some people don’t believe it was a suicide. They think that maybe Courtney Love was paying someone to put a hit on her husband,” Whisper said.
“Yes, it’s a very controversial topic. Apparently the surviving members of Nirvana don’t believe that Courtney had anything to do with Kurt’s passing.”
“The first track on the CD was You Know You’re Right. Harold and Whisper listened to the whole album with both of them singing along with the choruses on most of the songs.fantasy-201