Lug nuts. Bits of steel candy. Frank saw a pail of them, he wanted to scoop a hand full, biting breaking teeth; shards of enamel raw nerves exposed to air. His eyes watering in pain. He never figured why he felt the way he did when he saw a bucket full of the little fuckers.
Like every job Frank ended up with he ascended down a spiral of anger and boredom. The only thing he knew, was he needed to stay close to the desert; it calmed down the rage inside him.
Crumpling his third can of beer he let his body lean in to the bellows of wind like the highway sign bending and buffeting on a current of dry, hot air.
“How long, Hay, how long do you think the road sign had been there”
” I don’t know. 50 years maybe. This used to be a major route to the Salton Sea,” Hay mumbled, a screw driver in his mouth.
“You know, I’d love to have been that sign 50 years ago,” Frank said in a depressing voice to put the sign in or lay down the original pavement under the WPA.
“There’s your main problem my friend. You can never see the future only the past.”
“Sure, exactly what I wanted to hear.”
After he washed up, he remembered the two six packs under the seat of car.
Frank took a gulp and hit the car ‘s anemic power plant car the engine spit exhaust wrapped in motor oil. Coming down a slight roll on the highway he saw a small bundle wrapped in netting. He had to stop. He clutched the bundle. bounded back in the Dart and fought the steering wheel down black top. The car’s left tire was smaller than the rest.
He reached the trailer and staggered to the bed; past out. In the morning his eyes open a viscous pain brain slicing over his right eye. Frank recalled the bindle in the back. He popped open the rear door slid the netted package out an gingerly and pulled it apar
young sapling. He knew he should return it.
But to who?
He was careful, planted the young tree, opened a JAX beer and admired his work. Now it was in he watered it and nursed it. It began to grow. Most nights. after work, he’d sit on his wooden steps lovingly staring at his work.
His life was shit. he had no family only loneliness busted up like wooden beams. relationships. He lived in isolation. a big tear snaked down his cheek. Now, this plant. It stood for something Frank was certain. Maybe abandonment a childhood and same of going to work at Globe General Hospital where he walked in to the operating room and killed a baby..
Fuck it. Frank walked to the plant bent down and poured beer around the young sprout. It had to have a name it hit him. He called it Leonard and it would live forever..