It was 5:00 PM and we were knocking off. The fog had slipped back to the ocean but now it was cascading back over the hills from Daly City. The Mexicans had long given up for the day and were gone to wherever they go.
“Why you doing this?” Skinny asked me.
“The wood has a life and a purpose of its own,” I replied.
“No, not that. I mean me. I tried to rob you.”
“You failed. You’d make a terrible robber, besides, I wouldn’t be able to do this without you. I know it may seem strange but you actually created this whole thing when you led me into that alley. If it wasn’t for you I would be thinking of and doing something completely different than contemplating hiring some Mexicans. Our destinies have met.”
He could see what I was saying, I saw it in his eyes.
“You is one spooky old man,” he said.
“Maybe, but I am real as that hammer in your hand. Right now I am more real than your friends down at Tin Man’s. We are here right at this moment creating a new positive reality, they aren’t, they are stuck in a bad vision of the past. This new reality is what you have started whether you meant to or not.”
“I meant to rob you and leave you laying in that alley. That is what I meant to do. This? Very strange.”
“You did the right thing. I don’t have any resentment for what you meant to do. Your life is what you make of it and you have made it to here. I have big plans that include and rely on you. You have stepped into a role you were meant to step into. Can you believe in this and trust yourself?”
“Yah, I guess I can do that,” he said.
“Then you will go far. Your adventure has just begun. You will not have to worry about money, that we have plenty of. You will have to deal with your self-doubts, all the difficulties and problems associated with responsibility. The first of which is the Mexicans. Tomorrow you will need to go talk to and pick the ones you want to work with.”
“Tomorrow is Saturday,” he said, frowning at me.
“Tomorrow is tomorrow and the day after that is the day after tomorrow. That’s all that matters, not the names of the days. I will be here tomorrow. Ned will be here, and the Mexicans. Do you have obligations and responsibilities that will need your undivided attention tomorrow?” I asked.
The kid gave me that quizzical look I was getting used to seeing when I was stretching his perceptions.
“Not really, when you put it that way,” he said, “I just wanted to kick back and enjoy myself.”
“Is this not more enjoyable?”
The kid looked around. He was at the crossroads where Robert Frost decided to take the road less traveled.
“It’s cool,” he said.
“Thank you,” I replied. “Would you be available to hire some hard-working Mex-Americans and tell them how and what to do?”
“Boss man,” he said and gave me a shy grin.
“Tomorrow,” I acknowledged, “Boss man.”
“I can do that,” he said.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®