"I'll give you two twenties for it," he told me.
"Sold!" I said, and I helped him load the heavy desk into the back of his pickup truck.
Excited and with money in my pocket, I walked down to the diner for a feast. Merl's diner was hopping with patrons. The clink of dishes being washed could be heard in the background as the low mumble of many conversations played out around me. A perky young waitress walked out to greet me and take my order -- her eyes a deep blue with blonde hair pulled into a bun on the back of her head.
"What 'cha havin' honey?" she asked with a heavy southern drawl and a pad and pencil in hand.
"The breakfast special. Scrambled," I replied.
Soon, a plate piled high with breakfast foods sat in front of me and I dug in. I especially enjoyed the buttery grits and crumbled my crisp bacon into it for extra texture and flavor.
I paid for my meal and then walked across the highway to sit on the bench by the railyard. I pulled a Model Railroader magazine out of my backpack and read for the longest time as I smoked cigarillos and drank my to-go cup of coffee. I turned to look at one point as a big CSX freight went roaring by on the tracks. "I want to model that someday," I thought to myself, engrossed in all things trains. It was such a fine morning filled with things I so enjoy.
I then left the tracks and walked up to the shopping center. Big S was already sitting out front with his hands folded over his protruding belly, looking like some African American Buddha. We talked for a moment about George and Clara.
"He finally quit drinking," Big S told me. "He's in the early stages of cirrhosis."
I was sad to hear that about my old friend. George's doctor had warned him countless times though.
"Where's Clara been?" Big S then asked me.
"She is living in section 8 housing down in Columbus," I replied. "She called me the other night. She is going through an outpatient program for alcoholics. She's got a job at a thrift store."
"I never thought she would get her act straightened out," Big S said with a chuckle.
"Me neither," I replied. "I am proud of her. She sounded so well the other night."
I then left Big S to walk on home. I had grown cold and the temperature was still hovering around freezing. Maggie greeted me as if I had been gone for years as I opened my front door and peeled off several layers of clothes. Home Sweet Home. It is going to be a grand day!