I paid a yard service today to come and pick up all my many leaves from this week’s storm. George got angry with me when I told him about it.
“Why didn’t you come and get me?” He asked. “I would have cleaned up your yard for some money.”
Somehow, I just didn’t see George raking leaves all day in what took the yard service to do in an hour with an industrial sized mower.
“Where are you headed?” George asked me as I stepped inside to put on my Kelty pack and then headed out the door.
“I am going on my daily hike and am going to stop by to see Ferret if he is at his camp,” I replied. “I have something to give him.”
“I am coming with you,” George replied.
“I doubt you can walk that far,” I said dubiously.
I and George walked over the river next to Big John’s package store. George rushed inside to buy a bottle of bourbon. I sat outside on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette. George came walking back out to walk around the side of the building to take a couple of stiff drinks.
“Don’t you ever get tired of drinking so much?” I asked him as I stepped around the corner as well. “You have got to feel like shit all the time.”
George had a deer in the headlights look upon his face as I confronted him.
“I can’t help it,” George said as he laughed nervously. “I am a drunk.”
“Well, at least you are honest about it,” I muttered to myself as I then headed towards Ferret’s camp at a brisk pace. George followed right behind me almost giving out several times.
We found Ferret sitting next to a roaring fire smoking a cigarette. It was a raw, cold, and blustery day. Ferret shook my hand and then looked at George warily.
“You brought the drunk,” Ferret said and it pissed George off.
“Yes, I brought the drunk,” I replied looking at George sternly trying to dissuade him from drinking around Ferret.
George sat to the side drinking his bourbon and smoking a cigar as Ferret threw another couple of logs on the fire.
“I’ve got you something,” I told Ferret as I pulled off my backpack and opened its top.
“What is it?” He asked excitedly.
I pulled out a Nintendo Game Boy Advance with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past cartridge and handed it to him.
“I thought some video games would help pass the time,” I replied. “The batteries in it are still fresh.”
Ferret shook my hand vigorously and turned on the little video game machine to the clang of the Nintendo logo sounding.
“I bet I can beat this game in a matter of hours,” Ferret told me.
“Hell, it took me weeks to beat it playing off and on. I hope it gives you more time than just a matter of hours.”
I and Ferret were sitting by his fire as he played the game when we heard a loud thumping and rustling noise. I looked over to find George had passed out on his side from drinking a whole bottle of bourbon in a matter of an hour.
“Motherfucker,” I said as I walked over to George to try and shake him awake.
Ferret shook his head in disgust.
“I used to be like him,” He said. “Now, I can’t stand being around drunks.”
“Watch him while I go get my car,” I replied.
I walked the thirty minutes home and drove back down to the pulpwood yard and helped George to my car. He was totally shit faced after drinking a fifth of bourbon. I got him in the passenger’s side and buckled him up and drove him on home to his mother’s house. She was none too thrilled when I helped him walk inside. George will probably sleep for the rest of the day.