Entry Ninety: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[The next many entries are the current story I am working on. This is twenty of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

Chapter Eight

After a shower and starting a load of laundry, Adam stood in his living room and felt like he had returned to step one. What was he going to do? The house was clean, the yard was mowed, edged and driveway swept. He needed another project.

He walked out the back door and stood on the patio, enjoying a late afternoon smoke. The yard looked good and he took a few moments to relish his sense of accomplishment. The shed he had put together a few years ago to hold the lawn mower was in the far back corner of the yard and it was in bad shape. It was not an expensive model but it had served its purpose for longer than he had planned. The problem was now it was ugly and it distracted from the near perfection of his trimmed and sculpted back yard. He walked toward the shed to inspect it closer, taking his shoes off and enjoying the clipped grass on his bare feet. He pushed the rickety shed door to the side, it barely sliding over the rusty rails, and poked his head inside. The smell of gasoline, oil and stale air mingled in his nostrils as he stepped past the mower. He had been so focused on the yard earlier that he hadn’t noticed what else was stored there. Along the back wall, starting at the floor and stopping at the ceiling were gallon cans of paint stacked eight rows high and ten across. He had faint recollections of where they came from but he was sure, if opened, each color and tint would serve as a liquid core sample of his life in the current house. The drips down the outside of several of the cans gave him some clues to what was inside and he instantly recognized a few of the harsh colors his ex-wife had made him apply to various rooms in the house. Some were so hideous that their existence may have been the sole reason she didn’t push to keep the house in their divorce settlement. He’d always heard “paint’s cheap” but in this case it may have cost him quite a bit. The stacked cans represented a lot of time, energy and arguments between the two of them and the fact that they could not accomplish the simplest of household projects together was a microcosm of other areas of their relationship; they just couldn’t get along.

He broke away from his memory stroll and backed out of the shed, ducking, careful not to scrape his head on the top edge of the opening. The shed needed to be replaced and now was the time while it wouldn’t cost him anything. He headed back to the house to find his car keys and as he stepped on the patio he glanced at the outside of the house and stopped, scanning and inspecting the exterior walls. “Maybe I should pick up some house paint as well. The outside is looking a little dingy… and I’ve always wanted a blue house.”

All words and images ©2006/J. Colle

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