Words will keep us together

Fiction, musings and all things writing by Gregory T. Janetka

Harry

Harry leisurely strolled down toward the end of the street.  Officially, two nights ago had been the full moon, but anyone could have been fooled into thinking it was tonight.  It was the only light he had to illuminate the landscape, what with the streetlamps this far down not being lit for years.  He stood staring at the old Granville Place.

“Sure, why not?” he said to himself, and bent down to search the ground nearby.  Soon he found the perfect rock, quietly nestled next to the twisted root of an old maple tree that had outgrown its allotted space long ago.  He picked the rock up, turning it over several times in order to find the best grip.  Standing on the curb, fist tightly clenching the rock, he closed one eye to pick the best target.  With a wind-up that had not been seen for quite some time, he let it fly toward the upper-right hand window, one of the few with any glass left in it.  As it was released from his hand, he slipped from the curb and fell flat on his face…..

_____________________________________

“Are you alright son?”
All he could see was blackness, but then felt tiny legs crawling over his face.  Harry lifted his head to find himself staring at lush, green grass.
“Yeah, I’m alright,” he heard his voice say.
“You’ve got to watch it all the way into the glove.  It doesn’t matter how fancy the play looks if you don’t catch the ball.”
His father stood about 25 feet away from him, at the other end of the yard.  His hair was beginning to gray, but his smile was larger than ever.

Harry searched the ground nearby for the ball.  As his father began to walk toward him, Harry found  that it had rolled into the small garden they had planted at the beginning of the last spring.  It had found shelter beneath a tomato plant.  “I got it!”

Having not bothered to look where his father had gotten himself to, Harry wound up and launched the ball across the yard, forcing his father to make a mad dash, emitting a loud grunt in the process, which Harry found quite hilarious.  His father was just able to catch the ball, creating an “ice cream cone” with his mitt.
“Oh, so you think that’s funny?”  All Harry could do was laugh.
“Ah, but I caught it didn’t I?  It doesn’t matter how silly I looked, as long as the batter is out, right?”
“Yeah, Dad…but it was still pretty funny!”

Resuming their original positions in the yard, his father closed one eye and threw a strike down the middle of the plate.  Harry caught it in the palm of the mitt, doing his best to not show how much it stung.  He lofted the baseball up high back to his father.  “Hey Daddy?”  “Yes?”  While his father watched it all the way into his mitt, Harry answered with, “Why didn’t you become a singer?”

His father smiled.  “A singer?  Why should I have been a singer?”
“’Cause you do it all the time in the shower, you like it.”
A grounder took a funny hop and Harry had to chase it.
“You can’t always do what you like for a career.”
Catching up with the ball, Harry stopped.  He inquisitively looked at his father, his head turning to the side, and asked with the apparent collective innocence of the world behind him, “Why not?”

Again, his father smiled, and Harry said, “I like your singing.”
“Well,” his father continued, “so does your mother.”
At the mention of her name, Mom looked up from the dishes, able to hear the conversation through the window.  Noting this third party, Father made eye contact with her and informed Harry, “Actually, that was what first attracted her to me, and made her fall in love.”  Knowing this statement to be extremely accurate, Mom rolled her eyes, and laughed.
Harry was not sure if he had been had or not, but decided to call his father out on it.
“That’s not true, is it Dad?”
“Sure it is, go ask your mother!”
Running to pose this question to her at the window, Harry tripped on the sidewalk and fell flat on his face.
“Oh god!  Harry, are you…..”

_____________________________________

“….alright?”
All Harry could see was black, but felt a hand on his shoulder, followed by the sound of glass breaking.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m alright Violet.”
“Well come on then, the game already started!  You missed him catch a fly ball.”
Dusting himself off, Harry looked at her and replied, “No…did I ?”
“Yup, you should’ve seen the smile on his face.  They sent me to try and find you, and here you are on the ground.”
“I’ll take him out for ice cream after the game.”
“Yeah, that would nice of you…maybe he’ll forgive you.  What happened here, anyway?”
After a long pause, Harry answered, “I tried to get fancy.”

– August 2007

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