Monday, May 11, 2015

Slippery Clay

Chong, shaking his head to say no, chose wisely and withheld comment.

I was finishing my coffee when the door flew open and His Favorite Gal stomped in. Figuring my brother was about to follow her in, I was proven wrong when Gal slammed the door. Chong shrugged his shoulders and went looking for another crumb.

“What the hell Gal? Service shouldn’t be done yet. And where’s Clay?”

“What the hell is right, Ain’t it. Clay, as always at church, went to the toilet as offering was taken. Preacher was priming us with a long passage and my man wasn’t back. I had a feelin’ so slid out of the sanctuary and sure enough, my car was gone.”

“Gal, he isn’t allowed to drive. He has a restriction for medical reasons doesn’t he?”

“Not according to his sense of things. Oh well, he’s after somethun and we hafta wait him out, him, the cops, or the hospital. That coffee still hot?” asked Gal, hanging her rosy pink sweater on the back of the chair.

“Fresh. Sit down Gal and I’ll pour you some. Bummer about Clay but I guess we’re used to it.”

Perturbed, Gal thumped the table with her a knuckle and Chong scurried off.

“Open some windows, Migizi. There’s a nice breeze, gonna be a hot one today and I need to cool off. And just cause I’m used to it, well, I’m mad and worried at the same time. It’s awful and I’m danged tired of that feeling.” 

Listening as I filled her cup, I took a cue from Chong and kept silent. After opening several windows I started a new batch of brew and remained standing.

“Can I make you something to eat?” I asked. “Not much here in the way of breakfast food but surely I can toss a few things together.”

“Meegwech but no. I had some pastries at church. I’ll be okay but I still think him goin’ without meds is risky and he was already that way as was.”

The wind picked up and unfurled some curtains. Thrilled, they slapped the walls excitedly. Coming from the Pow-Wow grounds, the breeze carried sounds of the host drum giving four signal beats that grand entry would start soon. Gal and I rarely had any time to talk privately. Despite the situation I saw it as the opportune time to do so.

“When’s the last time you went to Pow-Wow Gal? Let’s leave Clay to his purposes and distract ourselves. I’ll drive. I assume you walked the half mile home from church.”

Standing next to the phone, I jumped when it rang. Those old phones could really sing out. Gal, still frustrated with Clay, stiffened the bird finger of her right hand and motioned for me to answer the call. I wasn’t tickled with the prospect of it being Clay or some authority figure with bad news. 

“Hello, Silver Otter residence.”

“Oh good, it’s you honey,” said my wife. “I’ve been trying to call your cell phone for a couple hours and finally decided to try the house phone.”

“What’s up babe? I asked. “Hold on, let me check my phone. I never heard it and it was near me as I slept. Had it on the charger.”

It was gone, no doubt taken hostage by Clay.

“Dammit all. Clay took my phone and he’s M.I.A. at the moment. So anyway, is everything okay?  You were supposed to be rolling in soon.”

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