Saturday, November 16, 2013

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY


                                            



From a Writers' Group Prompt  (post title)

"You know, little girl,"   my grandfather started, in that voice he used when he was about to pontificate on this point or that event.   "We're on this earth for a limited time only."

Grandpa leaned back in his chair, tucked his left thumb under his suspender strap and took his pipe out of his mouth with his other hand.  This would usually have been my cue to invent some task or errand that my mother had set on me that I had, until then, forgotten.  But it was just too darn hot in the middle of this July afternoon to think about moving.

"Yessiree,"   he went on,  "it's easy  for you young folks to think you have all the time in the world ahead of you but let me tell you -- you don't."

Grandpa's pipe must have gone out because he leaned forward in his rocker far enough to tap its side on the old Players Tobacco tin that he kept within arms' reach just for that purpose.  Sometimes when he droned on I would sit in frozen fascination, waiting for the rocker to knock the can over and spill a month's worth of ashes on my mother's Persian rug.   It wasn't really Persian, of course, and had been relegated to the front porch when the tasselled ends became unattractively frayed.   But my mother was the type who liked to elevate the standing of her possessions and mention them regularly in conversation like her one Royal Doulton figurine.

I tuned into Grandpa again when I heard him mention the name 'Jeremy', thinking it was the good looking fellow who delivered our town newspaper twice a week.   I could see his  tanned arms flexing as he tossed the paper in a graceful overhead arc, onto the neighbour's porch, four houses down.

"Jeremy and I spent six weeks in basic training . . ." Grandpa was saying.

Oh.   Another Jeremy.

But Grandpa was right about one thing.  Jeremy, who was new to our neighbourhood having moved here at the end of June would be available for a limited time only, especially to an only medium good looking girl.  Once school started in September at Elmwood High, one of the snooty girls in Eloise's gang would be sure to notice his good looks and consider him a suitable candidate.

I stirred myself when Grandpa paused for breath and got a word in edgewise as a headed down the front steps.

"You're so right, Grandpa.   There's only a limited time."

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