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Just One of Those Things
Just One of Those Things

Just One of Those Things

JPYoungJPYoung

Joey’s life was one of continual bliss; that Monday was no exception. He unlocked his legal office just before 8 a.m. then put on his coveralls to clean the rooms. Just before nine he removed them, put his suit coat back on and opened the office. The morning flew by with his legal clerking and trips to the Post Office and courthouse.

Restricted to working half-days, he lunched and clowned around at Rico’s with Ray and Stash as well as Rico and Angie.

A topic would come out of nowhere. Joey expressed his wonder and told things he heard on TV, Stash related facts from his reading, Ray imparted information from conversations, Rico gave his opinion, Ray claimed Angie ‘filled in the gaps between the sense’. All cracked jokes.

The final point was how lucky Joey was to have every afternoon off and do something memorable with his envied time. When they met again in the later afternoon, they quizzed him on his activities and vicariously enjoyed them.

Joey farewelled his gang, then made his afternoon plans.

The gang spent Saturday down by the harbour, where they had coffee with the fishermen at Morstadt’s, then sauntered out on the breakwater to the white lighthouse at its end to watch the whitecapped waves, seagulls and sailboats coming and going on the Eastern horizon where the sea met the sky. On their return they watched the EJ&E freight train and the yellow and green C&NW double-decker trains. The males took their small wonders in silence with each contemplating them in their own way, for someday they would be anecdotes or fond memories on gloomy days. The gang concluded their outdoor adventures as they trudged back up the steep hill to the library. Therefore, the harbour and library were not on today’s agenda.

He wouldn’t see Maynor, as the gang had spent Sunday afternoon with him and Miss Mac. Maynor prepared a delicious chicken and Spanish rice lunch, then they played croquet in the back garden and concluded with afternoon tea. Afterwards, the gang returned to join their parents for the rest of the day.

Today his mother was away playing cards with her friends. A baseball game replaced the afternoon movie. Just as well, it was a lovely afternoon that would be a shame to waste. It would be an outdoor activity, definitely!

Joey decided the afternoon would be exploring the green forested areas. After changing out of his suit, he walked down the ancient steps to the ravine that passed through several parks. Joey carried a bag to pick up litter, for he believed in making the world a better place.

As usual, he was the only one in the woods. He felt as if he was trailblazing a wonderous unknown land like his heroes Davy Crockett and Jungle Jim. It wouldn’t be long before school broke for summer and the schoolboys would be in the ravines living their own adventures.

Ray and Stash loved the ravine as much as he did. Conversely, Angie loudly demonstrated she hated it by going on and on like a broken record.

‘Why don’t you shut up?’

‘Why should I, Ray-bees?’

‘The less women have to say, the more they talk’, Ray philosophised.

‘We love the quiet.’

‘Quiet is boring, Stash!’

‘Boring is when you open your mouth, Angie’, Ray countered.

‘We can’t hear ourselves think’, Stash added.

‘I don’t think!’

The gang didn’t say anything, she picked up their looks and stormed back up the stairs to her home. As usual, she had ‘last bark’ from the top of the steps.

‘Were yuh raised by chipmunks in the woods? There’s nothing there!’

Joey had no idea what Angie was talking about; everything was there. There were the sounds of the birds, the wind in the leaves, and burbling rapids in the creek, especially after a good rain. In the wintertime there was an intense silence.

Bright sunlight made the wooden rail fence glow and reflected a sparkling light show on the water as the banks reflected dappled light dancing in the shadows.

Over half the year featured beautiful red cardinals, blue jays, yellow orioles, red-winged blackbirds and red-breasted robins. Joey always greeted every squirrel, rabbit and groundhog and believed they responded to him. He would never mention it to the gang as they’d make jokes, not because they were cruel, but they’d quip first and think about hurt feelings later, if at all. As both his late Dad and Rico said,

‘It’s just one of those things.’

After Angie’s outburst the woods became a gentleman’s club. The lawyers Joey worked with explained that the reason men belonged to clubs was to get away from their wives. As the membership was limited to men only, the wives were content to let them join.

‘Hello.’

Joey heard the voice in his head, not his ears, in the same manner he heard the animals. There was a smiling man who looked like he was in his early 30s.

‘It’s a beautiful day.’

It is a beautiful world…may I walk with you, Joey?

Pathfinder Joey led the way in silence as he did with his gang, every bird and animal came out to closely look at Joey’s companion.

They reached the edge of the woods where a stone bridge started the large green grasses of Powell Park and its hills they sledded down in the winter.

‘This is as far as I go.’

‘Then let’s go back the way we came!’

Joey’s new friend led the way beyond the stairs to the other end of the woods with Washington Street’s traffic above the hill.

The pair automatically returned to their starting place.

‘I haven’t seen you here before.’

Few see me, but here I amI am always here, Joey…’

At the wooden bridge at the base of the steps, Joey turned,

‘Would you like to meet my friends?’

His companion was gone.

Joey mused,

‘It’s just one of those things…’

FIN

Author Notes: Happy Easter!

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JPYoung
JPYoung
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Posted
20 Mar, 2024
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