Entry One Hundred Five: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[This entry is the current story I am working on. This is thirty-five of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

The weather had started to cool and Adam, unsure of the date, had to wear a sweatshirt for the first time when he drove to the gym. He had lost track of the month and day of the week during his movie induced trauma time on the sofa and had never been concerned about getting caught up. There didn’t seem to be a need. Adopting a primitive mindset, he reasoned he would adjust his clothes as the days presented themselves. He decided to take the long way to the school, winding his way through the downtown area, a route he had been driving more frequently over the last few weeks. The deserted downtown didn’t disturb him as much as it used to and he even derived some pleasure and comfort from seeing the places he had grown up patronizing as a child and young man. He felt much older than his actual 32 years but that only bothered him after a workout or during a severe bout of melancholy, struggling to stem the gnawing in his gut. If he stayed busy he could live in the present, forgetting the past and ignoring the future, but the slow glides down the main drag in town were different, affecting him on a distinct level. He couldn’t nail down why and eventually decided to quit trying, enjoying the moment for whatever it was offering.

As he came to the end of the street he glanced toward his right and saw a store he had completely forgotten about. The Blue Bell Hobby Shop was in the exact same real estate it had occupied for as long as he could remember but he had no recollection of it for the same reason; it had always been there and had become just another door in the downtown landscape. He stopped the car and walked to the window, looking at all of the rockets, planes and kits displayed for no one but him to see. The diversity of activities on exhibit was mesmerizing, revealing wider options of pursuits than he realized existed. He ran back to his car, grabbed his tire iron and knocked out the window pane on the door, shattering the painted name of the store but allowing him to enter easily. There was no alarm so he started browsing immediately, looking and learning, hoping something would capture his interest.

The amount of merchandise was impressive, especially since the store was not very big. The owners of the Blue Bell Hobby Shop ignored all established store display conventions and had created their own aesthetic based on high volume and low mobility. Floor-to-ceiling shelving, all completely full of boxes of varying shapes, rimmed the store. The center of the shop was intersected by three rows of similarly stocked shelves leaving a body-width moat for navigation. “Damn, where to begin?” Adam was a little overwhelmed but he decided to start down the aisle closest to him—aisle one, he guessed— and see if anything piqued his interest.

He got lucky at the end of the first row. What grabbed him and sucked him in was the section with boxes of model planes and cars. When he entered that area he was transported and immediately felt the excitement he had experienced as a young boy, clutching his few dollars, needing to make the right choice because he only had enough money for one model. If he chose poorly, it would be a couple of weeks of disappointment and saving his allowance before he could return and choose again. Now there were no limits and the choices were mind boggling. A 1966 Ford Galaxie was stacked next to a 1972 Chevelle SS. The General Lee on top of a 1965 El Camino. The shelves were tightly packed, filled with any and every make of car he had ever heard of and some he hadn’t. And there were planes and tanks as well, ripe for his picking, any and all that he desired. He ran to the front of the store and found shopping baskets, red with metal handles, stacked in columns by the front door. He grabbed a couple of them and returned to the models, filling both with as many boxes as would fit. He took that load and deposited them into the back seat of the Volvo then returned to gather more. After three trips to the car he decided he had enough to keep him occupied for some time so he then made one last trip to gather paints, glue and miscellaneous supplies, making sure he had enough so he would not have to return to the store any time soon. He sat in the car long enough to light a cigarette, adjusting the rear view mirror so he could admire the cargo in the back seat. “Hello, hobby. You got here just in time.”

All words and images ©2007/J. Colle

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