Sunday, 16 February 2014

First rewrite of the year

At sunrise on St valentines Day 1955, the exact time and day of his birth, William B. Trucker, after a 23 year journey along badly illuminated roads that suddenly seemed to be nothing more than dark, found himself at the traffic lights at the corner of 58th avenue and 22ns street.

They were red, so he stopped.

At that precise moment his mind was in turmoil and he hesitated between turning left along 58th Avenue and heading home, or continuing on 22nd street in the direction of the post office where he would eventually, if fate had been otherwise, post the valentine message that lay alongside him on the empty passenger seat.

He did neither, and when the lights changed to green he failed to move.

The other cars behind beeped impatiently but then, seeing that William B was deaf to their claxon calls, they detoured around him, gesticulating aggressively in the process.

William B was blind to this too, and edging his car closer to the kerb in a token citizenly action he shut off the motor and sighed.

He must have dozed off then and there for he did not notice the snow that started to fall and when he woke hours later the blizzard lay so heavily on his windscreen and windows that he could see nothing abut the faint diamond like glint of the street lights, which by now were illuminated.

He had no idea where he was, or what had happened so he opened the door and stepped outside onto the pavement.

In front of him the lights of a small coffee shop and diner informed him that he was close to the "Finest Home Cooking in the State".

Although this claim remained, for now, unproven the smell of freshly brewed coffee that assailed him across the snow drift that he would have to negotiate, left him in no doubt that his next step was towards it.

So he did.

And then, being as the snow had partly turned to ice, he slipped.

The arms of Benjamin Threx, proprietor of the “Home to the Finest Cooking in the State”, who happened to be exiting the establishment at that precise moment, caught William B as he fell and once he had had set him on his feet eagerly thrust a shovel into William B’s hand.

“Help me with this slush young sir and you can eat on the house”, he offered, and turning started to shovel snow to one side; much to the annoyance of P.J Fox real estate agent who held the business premises next door and whom will come into this tale in time.

editor's note - this originally appeared here

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