Time and neighbors short story by Christine Swiderski
Shocking how fast time passes you by, thinking you have 90 years if you are lucky. When you are 20 it seems like eternity, many have no idea what is meant by eternity they count minutes to get out of work, seconds when having sex, or at least you do when you get to be my age.
You know all the sayings in the end you never say “I wish I spent more time at work” you know the list it goes on and on then the list comes up of would have, should have and wish I did.
For me I did all I wanted to do with no regrets at all. Seriously no regrets. In high school I made all the teams I wanted, received good grades easily, married my college sweetheart, and had 5 kids all are doing well. Why am I yammering on and on? Because the only thing I wish I had right now is more time on earth to keep doing what I do best. Be a pain in the ass old fart. You see I do not regret my life I regret those things I allowed others to do, like, my neighbor when he borrowed the lawnmower brought it back a week later. There was no gas and the electric start did not work anymore. I should have told him to either buy me a new one or fix this one. Nope I quietly went about fixing it. When he came to borrow it I told him the charge would be $15 he asked why I said because that is what it cost me to fix it after you borrowed it last time.
I was glad when the neighbor moved that year; he did not speak to me after that incident. I have plenty of stories like this not to my liking as to how people treated me. I always did my best to treat others fairly. Here is my thinking if there are any brownie points for being a good guy I would like to cash mine in and stay on this earth as an old person being nice but gnarly enough to pay back those types who do this to good neighbors or friends.
What do you think Joe is that a good plan?
“Actually I like that plan, but for me it would back fire I am lacking the brownie points cuz I did not do as well as you did. In fact your last 2 kids should actually have my name.”
At that point Marvin lifted his cane and struck down Joe; nurses and aids came running, telling Marvin to put the cane down. Marvin did right alongside of Joes head.
After they took Joe to the emergency room they asked Marvin why he did that?
“I figured those last two kids my wife had were not mine. Those two idiots always broke my stuff and never took the time to learn to fix anything, they had to be Joe's’”
Marvin said to Joe: “It took you 2 weeks Joe to get out of the hospital with a few bruises to show for my trouble and your karma; while you were there I was sent to a hospital for a 72 hour evaluation, the doctor ultimately said that this was out of character for me and he did not feel I posed any real threat to myself or others so back I went to assisted living.”
Its been different after the incident people are real nice to me, asking how I am, could they get anything for me? I play that aspect up seems a long time in coming my way, people ready to help or give to me; don’t you think Joe?
Joe:“I agree you were always the nice guy on the block, many took advantage of so often especially me; let me say I am sorry, but to be honest I do not think I am.”
Marvin:“That’s ok Joe I understand, Joe you do not seem the type to repent so do not waste your breath we can be neighbors of a different sort now that we are both in the same assisted living.”
Joe:“That is true Marvin glad you still have a good attitude about things.”
After that comment one of the aides must have seen Joe and I talking because she came and pulled Joes wheelchair to another location. I just meandered over and started to talk to Prissy; that is my nick name for her. Her given name is Mary but I think Prissy suits her better. She blushes each time I call her that. Prissy and I have known each other since high school, we dated a few times, we are scheduled to go on an outing with the rest of the clowns here and take the facilities clown mobile to hear some guys play music in the park. Prissy has agreed to go arm and arm with me.
As we got on the bus I was sure to sit next to the section for wheel chairs. Prissy sat by the window I sat on the isle. All of us elder clowns settled in for the short ride to the park. When the bus stopped it is always the ones in wheel chairs who get off the clown mobile first. The ramp is automated it went down. Figuring since I am still somewhat able bodied I would give a little helping hand; problem was I must have pushed Joe's wheelchair a little harder than I meant too. Joe went off the ramp too quickly and landed face forward onto the pavement.
No one noticed that I gave his chair a little push; they thought Joe started out on his own to get away from me and miss calculated his exit. Joe was taken to the hospital and Prissy and I enjoyed the music.
Joe came back to the facility with a concussion and a big lump on his head. It could have been worse I suppose. Prissy and I sneak into each others rooms to get what little we can give. It is nice to have a warm body lay against you at any age. I hear that Joe has a sweetheart seems she feels sorry for him and has taken it upon herself to take care of him. Her name is Jeannie. I actually call her Beanie, she does not seem to have any magic like a Jeannie, more like a brain fart using a walker.
One evening when I was walking Prissy back to her room I noticed the light was on in Joes room strange noises were also coming from there. I lingered at Prissy’s for a goodnight kiss. When passing Joe’s room it was quiet and dark. I hear a scuffle and a shuffle coming back my way, it was Joe with a walker instead of his wheelchair. I stopped to ask “Hey Joe you using a walker now?”
“Yes Marvin they wanted me to start walking so I did some rehab work the first time I went to the hospital. After you clobbered me, and the second time I went after I fell out of the senior bus.”
“Well Joe that is great news and how’s that Beanie treating you?”
“Marvin I wish you would not call her that, she is treating me just fine.”
“Well Joe I think that is good news too, you have a good night there Joe.”
“You too Marvin.”
I slept like a baby that night always do when I get lucky. Looking forward to breakfast in the dining room tomorrow they are giving us a choice for a change. Pancakes or waffles with sausage or bacon; pancakes with bacon for me.
Morning came I jumped up out of bed like a new pup, I told Prissy the night before I would come down and walk her to the dining room for breakfast. As Prissy and I were on our way to the dining room Joe was coming out of his room turning to close his door. Somehow when he turned back my cane got snagged on his walker, poor Joe I tried to catch him before he hit the carpet but all I managed to do was turn him so his head hit the wall. I was leaning over him trying to help him up when the aide came and said for me not to worry she will help him up.
Poor Joe missed breakfast that morning he said he had a bad headache.
Joe was at his physical therapy workout, Prissy was with her daughter shopping buying needful things. My son who as it turns out is Joe’s son brought me some cookies I ordered. After he left I went looking for Beannie who is actually Jeannie, well anyways if you were paying attention while I was telling this story you would know that. I found Beannie in the dining room drinking coffee. It really does not pass for coffee but that is all they serve, I sat next to Beannie and said
Marvin:“Good Morning Jeannie, how are you this morning?”
Jeannie:“Oh I am fine Marvin and thank you so much for using my proper name, Joe said he talked to you about it.”
Marvin:“That he did, so as a peace offering I thought I would give you some of these chocolate cookies. You have my permission to tell Joe that they are from you. I know how he likes chocolate.”
Jeannie: “Oh Marvin thank you so very much, I need these as a peace offering, Joe was a bit upset with me when I bought him a shirt and told him he needed something nice to wear. Guess he does not like people buying him clothes.”
“Well feel free to give him the cookies letting him know they are from you, I just think you two are a great couple.”
At that the Beannie blushed. It could have been a brain fart. Her figuring I would give Joe anything, but like I told you her name should be Beannie.
Prissy finally came back in time for dinner a bit late but I waited and we sat alone in the dining room which worked for my benefit because we held hands and did all the quiet cooing to each other. We then went to her room. I was back in my room in time to watch the late news. I heard commotion at the other end of the building. I walked over to where the noise was coming from. I heard loud music the song that was playing was, 'Take a walk on the wild side'. I vaguely remember who sang it some weird o called Lou Reed. That was not what drew the crowd. Joe and Beannie were naked in the hall dancing and what looked like trying to do the nasty at the same time. They were asking everyone watching on to join in. Some did by the way. I waved at Prissy threw her a kiss and meandered back to my room figuring my work is done.
Heard the next morning both of their family members were asked to come in and discuss the behavior of their parents. Joe and Beannie were put on probation with the facility one more outburst they will be kicked out.
Lucky for me Beannie could not remember where she got the cookies. From the gossip she actually highly recommended them to all who were present at the disciplinary meeting.
Every year at this time the facility puts on a Sadie Hawkins dance. The girls are supposed to ask the guys to the dance. Prissy made sure she asked me to go I giggled like a school boy and said yes. She loves it when I play things up like that.
What surprised me was, when I was sitting outside enjoying a warm autumn day, Beannie came and sat next to me. I looked at her; she was squirming, so I asked her “What’s going on Jeannie you seem uncomfortable?” I noticed out of my peripheral Joe stepped out the door. Beannie was oblivious to this when she answered me “I was wondering if you would go to the Sadie Hawkins dance with me?”
Joe froze in place my answer was “Sorry Jeannie, Prissy has already asked me and to be honest I am a one woman kind of guy. Unlike your Joe, it seems while he was married to his wife, he had an affair with mine. Recently he told me my last two kids should have his last name.”
She was appalled at that information, as Joe was hearing his Jeannie asking me out on a date; it was like the Detroit Tigers winning the Pennant for me.
Jeannie turned around and seen Joe standing there. She stood up faced him and asked “Are you being faithful to me?”
He said “Look who’s talking you just asked this asshole to go to the dance with you.”
She said “That is because you said no, you do not like dances!”
He said “Oh, I guess that is true, and no I learned my lesson I am a one woman man.”
I answered “Not quite sure, Jeannie is accusing Joe of cheating”
Glenn was the guy asking “Oh then she found out about Mildred.”
Holy crap he is cheating, I cracked the door open and said “Hey Jeannie ask him about Mildred.”
Joe took in a deep breath turned around and mouthed the F U word. Jeannie took the opportunity raised her walker and shoved Joe through the glass door. This time I cannot be blamed for it. This time Joe did not recover, shard of glass went through his carotid artery.
Jeannie was moved to another facility. Prissy and I went to the dance and had a grand time.
Been quite around here since Joe passed and they moved Beannie to another facility. Usually this facility takes a week to repaint, re-carpet rooms. The rooms go fast; there is a waiting list for this place. Out of all the places I visited before choosing this one I know with all my complaints this is the best of the best. I wonder who will move into Joe’s room and Beanie’s room. They built another addition down at that end of Joe’s corridor just beyond Prissy’s room. 8 more rooms were added. I call them rooms but they are mini apartments with stoves and refrigerators, microwaves. You can make your own meals or go to the dining room. I prefer someone else cook but sometimes Prissy has me over for a meal. She is a good cook and it saves time for the romantic stuff, dinner and bed is good with me.
My daughter picked Prissy and I up to take us to her place for a barbeque we were gone till around 7 pm. When we got back of course Prissy and I got diggy with it. As I was leaving her place I walked passed Joe's old room and realized there was a new tenant. Now my curiosity is peaked. I am looking forward to morning. Before I got back to my room I came across Glenn he told me the new units are all filled to capacity. Good this should make life a bit more interesting.
At breakfast the next morning I am usually the first one in the dining room. Early riser gets to see what worms pop out of the ground. Sure enough from Joe’s corridor came someone I recognized. His name is Abe he lived a block away; I would always pass his house on the way home from work every day. I suspected he was a dealer, with all the comings and goings. New car every year, never seemed to go to work. Later it seemed he started to use. I say this because there was no other explanation for the way his property became neglected like it did.
I only have one big thing against Abe. On one of his drunken orgy nights he was coming home from somewhere drove up on my lawn and ran over my dog. Well looks like I will stay busy for a while.
I called out “Hey Abe why don’t you join me?”
“Hey Marvin don’t mind if I do.”
“So Abe what is a young fella like you doing in a place like this?”
“My family thought it would be safer for me to be here they said I should not live alone anymore, since Laurie died I have had a few accidents.”
“Accidents? I hear your house blew up.”
“Yes, it did that would not have happened if Laurie was still alive, she was careful about everything. I was never a good cook, she was great at it.”
“I know what you mean, even though we have all we need to cook our own food I prefer coming to the dining room.”
“So Marvin have you seen Martin yet? He moved into the new additon down the corridor from me, so did John.”
“No I hadn’t yet, you guys are at least 10 years younger than I am way too young to be in the fossil facility.”
“I have to admit we are here due to our unclean living I suspect, Marvin you always took good care of yourself.”
“Well you got a point there.”
“I need to finally apologize to you Marvin, for running on your grass that stupid night.”
“You also ran over my dog.”
“Oh, I am sorry for that also then.”
You know that conversation put me off, not only did he not care about killing my dog, his druggie cohorts have moved in down the hall from Prissy. I do not like that. I need to move forward with my plans.
I had a moment with the director of the facility, I am moving into a bigger unit. Prissy came down to help me with the move, after we moved the last piece of my junk I asked Prissy to sit down; she sat I knelt, “Prissy will you marry me?”
She cried and said yes.
The facility was happy to get two single rooms more bang for their buck. Prissy’s daughter said she would handle everything. Since many of the seniors do not drive we decided to marry at the facility, have it catered; fine with me closer to the bedroom for the honeymoon.
Wedding day is here everyone is in such a tizzy, telling me I am not supposed to see the bride before the ceremony so they had me sleep at my daughter’s house. Our drive to the facility that morning, my daughter must have been nervous she was chatty; my son in law kept looking at me in the rear view mirror and looking at his wife chatter away. I finally said Cathy, relax I have done this before; I know you did a great job.
Cathy said “Dad, Jeannie told me what you said about Joe and mom. First off mom would never do that too you; secondly all of Joe’s kids are adopted, because Joe was unable to have kids if you know what I mean.
I was stunned, I was so wrapped up in my macho ego I never considered Sarah would never cheat on me, I only reacted to what Joe said. I am an idiot.
Cathy continued “Dad, Luke, and Paul are how they are because that is what they chose to be, you gave them the same love and attention you gave Matthew and I, they chose to be dumb and dumber.”
I replied “Thank you Cathy you are as wise as your mom, Prissy is good for me I can be a bit of a Neanderthal at times, also a bull in a china cabinet.”
Cathy turned to look at me in the backseat and said “I love you dad.”
“I love you too Pinky”
Getting out of the car, straightening my slacks, pulling on my suit coat I look over to my right I see Abe running to a paneled van and getting in. Guess he won’t be at the wedding. As they drive by I said out loud not to anyone in particular “What the hell is Martin doing driving a van?”
Cathy’s husband Mark said “What do you mean Marvin?”
“He no longer has a license since he was pulled over for a DUI with John on their way to a ball game, he is also considered legally blind, that is the reason he is in this facility.”
Mark and Cathy were alarmed about this and as soon as we walked into the facility they went directly to the director, she instantly got on her cell phone.
The place looked incredible with all the flowers, the residence in their Sunday best. Preacher was standing at a makeshift altar: I walked up and took my place, the music started and Prissy came around the corner, she still looks like the girl I dated in high school. I never thought I could love another woman after Laurie passed away, but Prissy is my girl.
The Preacher said “Marvin will you take Mary Ann to be your lawfully married wife, to have and to hold till death do you part.”
“Mary Ann who? Oh Prissy, yes of course.”
This got a laugh from everyone including Prissy. The preacher seemed a little confused after a beat or two he figured it out.
He then said “Mary Ann ah Prissy will you take Marvin Clodinsky to be your lawfully married husband to have and to hold till death do you part.”
Prissy smiled like and angel and said “I do”
I said “You must be crazy to say yes”
Again everyone laughed and Prissy slapped my chest and said “Oh You!”
By the time we had cake police officers had brought Abe, Martin, and John back to the facility and was having a talk with the director. You have to know my curiosity was peaked.
Prissy noticed my interest and attention drifted over to where the three amigos were standing looking forlorn.
She said “Now Marvy do not get involved, I know how you are, the director will sort it out.”
Answering her with a wink and a smile “You are right Prissy my wife, I need to keep my nose out of it, I have a tendency to jump to conclusions.” I proceeded to tell her what Cathy told me in the car and my thoughts on the conversation. Figuring it is best to be honest with Prissy.
We had a grand night, snuck in some contraband which my daughter in law gave us, Champagne. The facility frowns on alcohol use by its residence, with us being a crotchety bunch, and mixing alcohol with our meds I can understand why.
Prissy and I did not come out of our room much for a couple of days. She wanted to play wife, cooking breakfast, lingering over coffee, chatting petting, having lunch going for a walk outside hand in hand, coming back to our place reading the paper companionably, dinner, watching TV before turning in and loving each other.
I had restraint for 3 days. I wanted so desperately to sneak out of our apartment while Prissy was sleeping, by the 4th night I could not take it any more I wanted to see if there was anything odd going on down Abe’s corridor. I walked down to his room no light was on so I continued into the new section, I smelled something odd coming from John’s room. I heard Abe and Martin talking it was a muffled sound. John’s room is situated at the very end of the new wing.
Standing near the door for a few moments concentrating on what was being said to see if I could pick up any words being spoken I heard Abe say clearly “Do not let it get too hot, that is what happened to me just before the house started on fire, I got out just before it blew up.”
My eyes started to burn, as well as my throat. What the heck are they doing in there? I turned to go back down the corridor to alert who was on duty tell them what I suspected. I made it to the entrance of the new wing when the blast hit. It felt like someone shoved me forward. I landed flat on my stomach, my heart pounding, ears ringing, people yelling in fear I passed out.
Waking up hours later in the hospital, Prissy standing next to the bed crying, with my daughter crying holding each other. My son in law Mark was at the foot of the bed, my son Matthew was standing next to him, Luke and Paul were standing in the door. Mark was the first to speak “He’s awake.”
Prissy cried out “Oh Marvin what am I going to do with you! You could have been killed!”
I asked “Was anyone else hurt?”
Matthew answered “Abe, Martin and John died in the blast, dad you were right Abe was a dealer, in fact dumb and dumber used to buy from him.”
I looked at Luke and Paul their heads were down and would not look at me I said to them “Used too, please tell me you no longer buy from anyone; please tell me you are getting your shit together.”
Luke spoke up “Dad we are both going to rehab have been clean and sober for a year, I will not tell you it is easy but I will tell you, you were right about all the stuff you told us getting hooked is a bitch.”
At that I felt exhausted and must have fallen asleep. I was in the hospital for 2 days. They sent me back to the facility with a hospice nurse for continued care.
Prissy hovered over me, my greatest fear was losing my mobility, my knees were shaky each time I tried to get up even just to take a piss. Within a month I was back to walking around and getting into trouble. By that time they had repaired the new wing and new inhabitants moved in.
This time thank God I did not know any of the new residents. There was a retired school teacher; he was a teacher in another state taught 4th grade, another was a retired police officer, he had sustained injuries on the job and was no longer capable of living on his own, his back was in bad shape, he needed regular physical therapy. His knee had been replaced. The injuries came during a high speed chase when the perp rammed his car, it flipped over an embankment landing on its roof. He worked special victims, kids mostly. The police officers name is Dave. He fast became my new friend. We chatted about bad parents, pedophiles, and such. I told him about Abe, which his police buddies had already filled him in.
He did ask me what I thought of the retired teacher. I told him I had no opinion yet formed because I had not had a chance to get to know him. He seems preoccupied with the single women, each mooning over his good looks and suave demeanor.
I over think things these days probably because I have too much time on my hands. Add to that I have always had an inquiring mind. Prissy says it’s nosy not inquiring either way when Dave asked me what I thought of the school teacher I started to wonder if there was a particular reason why he wanted my opinion. So when Prissy went to sleep I went for a walk, the school teacher is in the new wing, where the three amigos took flight.
Standing outside the door I heard a television and a sound like a typewriter. Probably the keys to a computer clicking I decided. That nothing really was going on I went back to bed. Prissy rolled over and said “Marvy, stay out of trouble please.”
I told her I would try. At least now I have a police officer as back up. I will let him take the risks, I will just snoop, that is what I do best, snoop. Yes life is good.
The more I watched the school teacher whose name is Carter. I did not see anything out of the ordinary. I did call an old friend who works with the teachers Union and asked if he had any connections. I wanted to know about Carter as a teacher and get a perspective on his character. I was not surprised as to what came back with. Carter is a womanizer, got himself in a few love triangle pickles a few times, nearly lost his job using his male parts as an antennae.
So I wonder what bothers Dave about Carter, I think I will ask him over breakfast tomorrow.
Having my first cup of coffee in the dining room waiting for my eggs, fruit and toast, bacon and sausage only once a week. At Prissy’s request. Dave finally emerged from his slumber, now I can ask about Carter.
“Good morning Dave, how are things shaking this morning?”
“Very slowly Marv, some mornings it is hard to get up and at em.”
“Well it is not just you. I have been wondering something Dave. What is it about Carter that bugs you?”
I also told him what my friend turned up.
“It has been my experience that male teachers have their secrets. I just wanted to
be sure his was about women and not children.”
That took me back a bit. Seemed a bit paranoid and narrow. I surmised it is due to the ugliness he had seen on a regular basis and shrugged it off.
As we were finishing our breakfast a man in a suit walked in. He had with a file in his hand, approached us looked directly at Dave and said “We need to talk privately.”
Dave’s response was biting “I have nothing to say to you asshole”
“Well lieutenant Dawson, you need to speak with me. We can call your rep and have him or her here during the conversation. Internal affairs have questions that need answering.”
Dave grabbed his cane and slowly walked to his room. I could not see from where I was sitting but I did hear the door slam. The gentleman in the suit came back down the hall alone just moments after the slam. I am guessing Dave slammed the door in his face and locked it.
The man in the suit approached me and said “Be careful you are judged by the company you keep.”
I nodded and said “Thanks for the advice; I am not part of your company nor the police department. So tell me how does this actually affect me? Not everyone in this facility is addled brained; I for one have all my faculties and will make my own judgments.”
I have sat here long enough I need to go see what my wife is up to. I did not see Dave again until the next morning at breakfast. He told me he contacted his union rep and lawyer. He did not tell me what the internal affairs wants with him and I did not ask, I figured if he wanted me to know he would tell me. You know me I have an inquiring mind so if he does not tell me on his own I will have to make some phone calls. I happen to know the county sheriff very well. We went to school together, and shared rooms at college, our kids were on the same teams, he is retired of course but still has his ear to the ground.
I will wait a couple of days before I start to snoop around. I really am trying to keep my nose clean. What else do I have to do around here, you can only play cards so many times, or read.
I have no self-control, Prissy went with her daughter shopping and out to lunch which left me with no adult supervision. I called my buddy Howie asked him if he knew anything about Dave Dawson. His answered surprised me.
Howie:“Yes Marvin and my advice distance yourself from him, if what they say is true there will be a shit storm of publicity, and back peddling.”
The accusations are that Lieutenant Dave Dawson working with special victims, child trafficking, prostitution which many times children 13 and younger being used; seems they are accusing Dave of facilitating prostitution of young males delivering them to certain men and woman holding office. What I understood from it all; it even involves the majors office. Howie was being vague and he knows me I will not keep my nose clean.
By dinner time Prissy was back. She had already heard about my call to Howie. Howie’s daughter is good friends with my daughter Cathy. Dani was in the room during the conversation. Dang snoop, well Cathy gave me an ear full I nodded feeling like the kid not the parent.
Dave pretty much is staying to himself. Carter the school teacher was called into the director’s office the scuttle butt is one to many women complained about his unwanted advances. Here I was thinking they were enjoying his attention. Most said he was self-absorbed, pretentious ass. My faith in women restored I meandered over to talk to Carter about being a teacher. He literally was rude and said he had no time for chit chat he had a date. I shrugged walked away. I wondered who the date was with. The women in this place all were appalled by his advances.
No one to talk too Prissy was getting her hair done so I decided to sit in the corner and observe rather than chat. It actually paid off. I noticed off in another corner was Carter. At first I could not tell who he was talking so intently with, I leaned a little more to my right, not wanting to show my self, when I see the shoes and pant leg, he was talking to Dave.
Curious, they were speaking amiably here all this time I did not think they knew each other. Gaud I want to know what they are talking about.
The following day Prissy and I were invited to Prissy’s daughter’s house Samantha is her name, she is as sweet as Prissy. We were to have a brunch my brood was also in attendance. Low and behold it was a set up.
My son Robert was the spokesperson for this mob scene:
“Dad and Prissy we want to talk to you about moving the two of you out of the facility. Howie has a condo that is no longer in use since he is living with his daughter Dani Howie has offered it to us the sum is a combination of taxes and association fees plus homeowners insurance. It is in walking distance from Aaron’s Café. Dad you can go have breakfast every day. If you want any other meal besides breakfast Aaron will have it sent over. Adding to that, we are all going to make your favorite meals, put them in dinner for 2 portions, freeze them, when Prissy does not want to cook all you have to do is pull them out of the freezer and microwave them.”
“Dad, you will be able to take up playing cards with Howie. We will fix up the garage to give you a man cave.The extra bedroom will be turned into a man cave as well, with a big screen TV, I for one will come over and watch a game with you.”
I looked at Prissy she looked back and said “I had no idea honest Marvy. I like the idea, we are capable of taking care of each other I see no reason for the assisted living.”
Dani then spoke “Mom we also will have someone come in once a week to clean. There is a senior bus that will take you too appointments, or any other place you may want to go, even to a movie in town.”
I finally spoke “Ok, hold on this is already settled isn’t it, we really have no say?”
They were nodding and shaking their heads in unison, when I continued”
“Okay, fine, just do not ask me to go shopping with the women. Where are Luke and Paul right now, do they have a say in this?” I was hoping for some back up and was surprised and disappointed but they had a point we really do not need to pay all that money for assisted living when there will be the two of us watching out for each other. The main reason I went there is because after Sarah died I went into a depression and was bored out of my mind. The family said this would be better for me being around people every day, same with Prissy we are both on very few medications and we still have mobility. A bit shaky and achy some days but not bad.
Cathy then spoke “Dad, Luke and Paul are at the facility right now packing your things to bring them to the condo, they will call us when they get there and we will go over and help get you two settled.
I was stunned. I will never know what the heck is going on with Dave and Carter. I hope Howie will be forth coming when we play cards. It is a hell of a thing when you lose your say in daily matters. I am too pig headed to let them know I love the idea. I will actually have more freedom to move about living in the condo. But I want to know what is going on with Dave and Carter darn it. I will not be able to sneak out of my room and snoop. I’ll bet that is the whole point of moving us because I cannot keep my nose to myself. If they think that will stop me they are in for a big surprise.
It took a little longer than I thought it would to get into a routine that Prissy and I were both comfortable with. Seemed Prissy liked having her own home. I have to give Dani credit she even had someone come every other day to do laundry or do shopping even take Prissy with her to pick up what she wanted.
I have met Howie for breakfast several times and you better believe our topic of conversation was Carter and Dave. Howie was not as forth coming with information as I had hoped. I did glean some things. The investigation is dragging due for the most part Dave has a good attorney. I told Howie I do not believe Dave had anything to do with facilitating prostitution of little boys and also told him my concern that if Dave gets indicted and placed in custody his physical condition would almost guarantee he would be killed. Police officer, one that hurt kids there would be a bull’s eye on his back from the get go. Howie agreed. Howie added his main concern was that he was being set up, but he could for the life of him understand what him and Carter have in common seems they have become chummy since I moved out.
Howie and I are on the same page. I have to tell you Aaron’s diner is clean, wait staff is on top of things, filling coffee, getting whatever I need. I miss my diner. I could no longer stay in the city.
Aaron has been a friend of my son Robert since high school. Aaron dated Cathy for a short time. Aaron always liked to cook, when he opened the restaurant all his class mates came at least once a week for the first year, by then the place found its niche and its clientele grew.
Prissy and I have walked over to Aaron's Cafe for dinner on warm evenings, we have made a few friends our age. We play couples euchre every other week. I finally admitted to Robert that I love being at the condo. Since I have been here believe it or not I have stayed out of trouble. For going on 6 months. This too shall pass I really want to have a talk with Dave. I called the number for the senior bus while Prissy was with the girl at the store. Prissy usually treats this girl to lunch for her trouble. Dani reminded Prissy that the girl gets paid to do what she does. Prissy insists. I know that Prissy likes the companionship, time away from the condo and the routine.
Senior bus took me to the facility. I had no way of knowing if Dave was even there or out but it was worth the risk of missing him. Knocking on his door he bellowed who is it When he opened the door the look of surprise was written on his face.
“Hey Dave, just stopped by to see how you are doing.”
Dave suggested we go to the dining room for a coffee and we could chat. That seemed fine with me. Once we sat down I put it to Dave bluntly.
“Dave did you do what they accuse you of?” He looked me in the eye and said NO! He added that it is more complicated then what they are saying but in the end he feels he will be vindicated. He also thanked me for having faith in him and being straight up about it.
We then spent 2 hours talking about the Condo and my new life Dave promised when everything gets settled he will come and meet me at Aaron’s cafe for breakfast or lunch someday I told him I would like that.
Howie and I are sitting by the window at Aaron's it is a cold autumn day the leaves are dancing down the side walk. Being friends as long as Howie and I have been we have amiable silence. Sipping coffee looking out the window I look over at Howie. I was about to ask if he still hunts when the look of concern was on his face. I turn to see what he was looking at. The senior bus from the facility was letting a couple of people off. One was Carter the other Dave. Howie noticed me start to rise and said “Sit your ass down Marvin, stay out of it!”
I am sure my face registered the “But Howie” look he smiled shook his head. I settled my rear end back down but on Howie’s side of the booth, I am not craning my neck I want a full view. Sitting watching Dave and Carter walk south their backs to us for about a block. They entered a Victorian looking house with all the gingerbread trim, shutters, neat and tidy landscape. Prissy and I have admired that house for years. I don’t know who owns it now but they are doing a good job maintaining it.
After about twenty minutes squad cars pulled quietly to the curb. Officers in uniform and plain clothes got out of the cars. Including the man I met who said he was from internal affairs. Next thing 3 ambulances pulled up the whole street was blocked off. First one to come out in handcuffs was Carter. Then a woman I did not recognize, and one by one young children of different nationalities, age, boys and girls, Dave came carrying what looked like a little girl in his arms. As did the man in the suit, it took me a while for it to register everything I was seeing.
Dave was carrying a little girl. He cannot possibly have back problems or a knee problem. After Dave put the little girl in the ambulance, the man in the suit did the same, they shook hands and patted each other on the back.
I looked at Howie and said “You son of a Bitch you knew all along that Dave was not being set up but Carter was.”
Howie laughed and answered “It was a stroke of luck you calling me because I was trying to figure out how I would broach the subject about Dave and Carter. Trying to keep you out of it so you would not screw anything up.”
“I had to tell Dani to talk to Robert and Cathy and get you and Prissy out of the facility. I knew you could not control that nose of yours, sticking it where it does not belong.”
After Howie finished laughing and shaking his head I said “Fine you are right I would have screwed things up, but you could have told me what was going on it would have helped.”
Howie gaffed with laughter tears running down his cheek coughing as he is doing this I had to admit I started to laugh as well, got up and moved back to my side of the booth.
Just then Dave walked into Aaron’s sat down beside me asking “So what’s the joke will I like it?”
Howie said “Yes you will love it, Marvin here says had I told him what was going on he would have stayed out of it.”
Dave laughed gave me a gentle nudge with his elbow and said “No you wouldn’t have you have no self-control.”
I said “Okay all this cloak and dagger has given me an appetite my treat lets eat.”
We had the special which consisted of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, with slice of cherry pie.
When I got home I told Prissy all about my exciting afternoon. How Carter was set up, how all along he pretended to be a lady’s man all the while liking little boys. Carter moved to this state because where he taught they were getting suspicious, it did not come to a head till a boy of 14 told a counselor about Carter. That set everything in motion for this sting. Dave pretending to be hurt on duty, taking a disability retirement and moving into the facility just after Carter did.
Prissy listened patiently then said “Marvy I know you are trying to keep yourself out of trouble. I know it is because you are bored. Why not talk to the school see if you can work as a tutor. I am sure they can use you in shop class. You need something more to do then hang around here or at the cafe.”