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No Connection. (Short Story).

March 29, 2019

cropped-12301412301.jpgHe took stock of the present situation as he sat in his home office looking out the window. He basically felt like crap, so it had to be the beginnings of the flue. Great, just bloody great, he thought not really regretting it. The yearly late January three day battle with the flu was about to begin and a good excuse to avoid going to work. Slight fever, sinus’s clogged, and that slightly ache in his legs; yes, the flu was on it’s way to wreck his week. Taking a bath sounded good about that moment but he would hold on that idea a bit longer.

He studied the outside world of the early morning and watched the light snow fall. Ah, yes, more snow. That’s what the present day needed, more snow to shovel for two ungrateful landlords who really shouldn’t be working together; a father and son team who were in constant bickering mode. It was January and it was cold; very cold of course for a January day in Minnesota and the snow was falling from the north and it was suppose to get heavier as the day went on. It was winter so what did one expect.

The radio was tuned on the Mike and Mike sports talk show; it was Super Bowl Sunday coming up in a few days as the New England Patriots were going against the Seattle Seahawks. And for the moment he sat at his desk looking outside at the morning slowly coming to life at five thirty-seven in the morning; the only light at the moment came from the outside street lights. It was quiet and at the moment it was all he cared about. It was good he was a morning person, he flipped open his laptop and typed in the password, and waited for the screensaver to show up. The screen popped up of the pretty Japanese girl in archery pose.

He joked, “Ohayo gozaimasu, Yuki-san.”

He could imagine the girl’s soft voice replying in kind. There was a wonderful quality to a Japanese girl’s sing-song softness of a voice he told someone once; they thought he was weird. Though he had one point lived in Japan so that explained his love of that particular country and their literature. That was only the beginning of that enjoyment; the Japanese could write one hell of a ghost story. Not the mention one very good stories such as Kawabata’s ‘House Of Sleeping Beauties.’ The girl in the archery pose on his screen was simply a young girl standing among the dark green bamboo of Japan aiming her bow and dark eyes at someone in front of her. The scene looked like a scene from a movie taking place somewhere in the mountains of Japan. Beautiful country with even prettier walking around scenery he thought.

“What to post, what to post?” He asked the question as he connected to his Facebook page. He took notice of the air temp outside, “Good grief, ten below zero.” He returned to the screen, “I should just go back to bed.” But he couldn’t do that now as he was up and awake, he typed, ‘”I am bored.” But didn’t push post. There was always pornography to waste time with before the morning really began but he thought better of it. Once one started to watch that crap the more times passed until you realize you’ve spent hours staring at the same thing and not doing anything else but waste those three hours; wasn’t that yesterday? Yes, shibari, aka, Japanese rope bondage. The curse of boredom he thought with some measure of disgust with himself.

Maybe if human sexuality didn’t fascinate him so much it would be easier; maybe?

He studied the outside world of frozen cold air and falling snow; shouldn’t it be too cold to snow? Didn’t he read that somewhere that there was a temperature when snow wouldn’t form let alone fall? He watched for a bit as someone drudged to their car, open the door, and get in; the engine started up with a frozen cold sputter and struggle to get past the cold and start up with a few gasps of effort. The grey-black smoke from the exhaust sputtered out of the tail pipe and the person in the car sat a bit as the car warmed up as best it could. He didn’t know the person in the slowly warming car so he slowly got up and walked to another window facing the south end of the apartment complex and looked outside at pretty much the same scene but on a smaller scale as the fence of the property was about twenty feet away. The cold looked even worse from  this window he thought with an bitter thought he still had to go outside and shovel the apartment walks for the landlord; ah, Latvians. Ah a  bunch of pain in the ass Slavs he thought with no hidden dislike of them lately. But it kept him in the small apartment by working for them so he put up with their behavior which would have done the Czars proud. They were a father and son duo who shouldn’t be working together let alone be in the same room too long together. He was convinced that one day one of them would kill the other. And he wasn’t sure that the other one didn’t deserve it.

He heard a door opening below where a few cars parked. He took notice of the young woman heading to her beat up car. It was Cassie running off late probably to her job. He had brief encounters with the skinny girl with the look of one who drank a bit too much; he did find her once sitting outside slightly drunk one time and barely dressed; he could see her tits down the flowing dress; nice tits he thought with a smile. He did wonder if her tits were cold as the weather and if they were getting hard. He watched her drive off. He hated getting bored and he was getting bored. He had such thoughts because they were better than realizing just how much he really hated the idea lately of having to deal with the son of the landlord; asshole. Thinking of Cassie’s small round soft tits was far better than thinking of how much he hated having to deal with the guy. Besides, she was a nice girl who got drunk and hadn’t dressed very well and showed more of herself than was good; but still, wonderful pair of tits softly swayed when she had bent over and showed all her wonder geography. What did Zeus call them, a ‘Beautiful Evil.’ Well, that view wasn’t evil, questionable conduct yes, but evil viewing not so much.

He studied the landscape of cold a bit longer. He was bored and getting even more bored. It was below zero and had no liking of going out side if he could help it. This weather would cure him of ever wanting to take up ice fishing. He had lived over twenty years in the land of the frozen tundra and not once did he have an inclination to walk out unto a frozen lake to walk and drill a hole in the ice and sit there and fish. Maybe it was fun to ice fish. He would always see those ice houses on the many lakes as he drove by and took notice of the many styles of ice houses. Some quit big on small lakes and that even troubled him as a fun idea. What was so fun about it? Twenty odd years and not once had he gone ice fishing; he also hadn’t been invited as well so there was that.

He walked away from the window and headed back to his desk and sat down. He stared at the screen feeling that it was going to be a very cold day. He knew eventually he’d have to go outside into the cold and probably shovel a bit of the snow that had lightly fallen to make the two idiots happy and off his back for the day. He glanced out the window and watched as another car left the parking lot.

The two idiots? He was sure one of them was staring out his window and glaring at the imaginary snow fall at his precious apartment complex convinced it was being buried under several tons of snow and that their slave labor or at least indentured servant Daniel wasn’t doing his job. They were both idiots and they really shouldn’t be working together as one hated the other with a passion. Daniel knew this because the younger one told him enough times how much he hated his father and really wished he would hurry up and die. The older man seemed to keep living just to spite the son. It was a lovely relationship Daniel thought with a smile. Somewhere between a great white and a bull shark in a very small fish tank.

He started at the computer screen, contemplated writing something on his Facebook page about ice fishing? He had never gone ice fishing. He wasn’t sure he even liked fishing all that much but it was something to do and mostly do when he visited his own dad in Florida; CoCoa Beach to be more exact. He wrote a sentence and then deleted it; boring subject? Well, not really, but it wasn’t that interesting. He had never gone ice fishing his entire time since moving to Minnesota some twenty odd years ago. He stared out the window and thought about how long he had been in the land of the frozen north. He had arrived before the famous or infamous October snow storm? He took notice of a few other people drudging toward their vehicles; he knew a few of them by sight and one of them he was sure was a resent tenant. He heard the foot steps above him; well, she was up stomping about he thought. Not an unpleasant woman but not a friendly one. The footsteps above seemed to be heading out the door; good because the woman walked like a heard of elephants. Thin floors and thin walls make loud neighbors. He started typing again and again on ice fishing and again he deleted it. He took a sip of the lukewarm tea, thought about getting up and simply heating it up again. What he needed was a hot chocolate. With or without rum? At the moment he replied to himself maybe more rum than hot chocolate.

“Morning, Son.” The IM window chirped open.

He typed with amusement at the interruption of him doing nothing important, “Morning Father.”

“How’s the weather?”

“Ten below. Snowing.”

“Too cold.” So wrote the man living in Florida.

He responding with a head shake, “It’s fairly normal for Minnesota” He also noted that his brother, David, was online as well. They hadn’t spoken much in a few months. David and his dad were probably chatting up a storm; they had a close relationship.

He typed something, “Doing anything today?” While he waited for the answer he thought about his younger brother, David, who lived in Colorado at the moment. He tried to not think of David and the life he was living in Denver with his latest wife; Paul liked David’s first wife despite the strain between him and his brother as their marriage fell apart. Paul and Missy still spoke on a weekly basis and that was the beginning of the issues; Paul was too close or nice to Missy apparently and that didn’t sit well after they finally were divorced. Paul needed to take sides and the side to take was with his brother not the cheating ex-wife and she did cheat. Missy even admitted she cheated. It was mistake from day one to get married and it ended as it was going to end. But Paul liked the girl and had no intention of simply toss out a friendship with the girl.

The message came, “Going golfing later this morning.”

Typing back, “Nice. Sounds fun.” Actually it did sound nice. It was also one of the safe topics between the two of them; at the moment there were none between him and David. Of late there were no safe topics. It began some months ago this unpleasant lack of real talking.

Paul got up, heated up the tea, and returned to the desk and sat down. He noticed the new message from the man in sunny warm Florida; Paul still preferred Minnesota.

“Talk to your brother lately?”

“Not lately.” He typed a little annoyed with the two of them. David wanted him to not talk to Missy and that was that. Paul had no intention of doing so and so their relationship was not on solid ground and going nowhere. He liked the girl from Mexico and had no reason to still talk to her despite the protests of the wronged party and his brother was the wronged party for the most part. The fact was they never had a chance to be married beyond five years and Paul had even reminded his brother that he told David that little fact. But David liked the girl and was going to marry the girl even though both of them had no similar interests or even a connection in any real marriage level. Paul had told him that. David didn’t like being reminded that his older brother told him so. He took sides because only one side was talking to him; David eventually told his brother his side and it helped him understand the mess. But he still had no intention of not remaining friends with Missy. He and her had at least some connections and one common problem and his name was Paul and David’s father.

The message finally came back from the old man in a tone that something was bothering him? “Your brother and Veronica are still getting married, you know that right? Next month?”

Ah, yes, Veronica. All legs, all blonde hair, and again, not one single thing in common. He had met the girl a few times when he did visit David in Colorado and found her okay; not as interesting as the petite girl with the long dark hair and smile that could melt steel into a puddle of molten something. And besides, she liked movies like Paul did, liked history liked Paul did, and liked a hell of a lot more things than David ever did. Veronica simply seemed to like hanging on David’s arm and that was enough for her. She was eye candy and didn’t mind the role she played for the guy. Veronica wasn’t stupid, she knew full well what she was doing being David’s girlfriend; she certainly liked the attention.

Still talking, “…..Do you plan on coming to this wedding? It would be nice if you would apologize to him and come to the wedding to do so…”

He was so tempting to type back something akin to when hell freezes over. Paul didn’t do anything but not take sides after hearing both sides. Yes, Missy cheated, yes, David was betrayed and it hurt very much, but she didn’t do it to Paul. He thought a bit and relaxed even more before responding. The old man wanted him to apologize for being right and for pointing out he was right and that he refused to treat Missy like a pariah! Well, it wasn’t going to happen. This one story had many sides and no one was completely without sin.

“Father, I am not apologizing for being right. They never should have gotten married. Completely two different people with very little if anything in common.” He sent the message knowing what was going to come back. He had listened to her side of the affair and why she had one and why she felt pushed in that direction and then eventually David told him his side of the affair and so on and so forth. He knew the biggest issue was going to be when he found out she was a Catholic; David was a staunch atheist. The signs of the coming mess and divorce were there if anyone had gotten his damn head out between those wonderful tanned legs of Missy and saw the obvious problem. Paul wanted to type that as well but didn’t. Their whole relationship was based on one thing; she was damn good in bed but outside of it they had nothing else to hold them together. And as for the blonde Veronica, well, Paul was keeping that opinion to himself. Well, at first he kept it to himself.

The answer came with the tone, “You have no business talking to your brother like that. He loves you very much. You have simply chosen sides and it’s not very brotherly of you.”

He was about to respond but interrupted by another message.

“Missy had the affair, Missy cheated on your brother who didn’t do anything, you took sides.”

Paul wasn’t arguing the facts, “I know what she did, she told what she did, but let’s not paint a picture that only one side is too blame, Dad, because it’s not.” He studied what he wrote, wondered if it was worth sending, he frowned as he looked away and at the outside snowing world. He started again, “Dad, I have not chosen sides, I simply refuse to treat Missy like you want me to…” He was sure that his dad and David were talking about this between each other on their own Face Book pages. “I never said what Missy did was right, even she admits to that, but let’s be fair, the two of them were not connected other than the obvious physical attraction.” He pushed the send button.

He wondered what David was thinking as all this was being said. The message came back quickly. Despite it all, he did miss him.

“You should apologize to your brother at the wedding.”

He was so tempted so actually send a message to David directly but didn’t. He stared at the response trying to remain calm in speech because telling the man the biggest problem that David ever had was the guy Paul was talking to! But what would that have solved. Nothing! Absolutely fucking nothing!

“I didn’t chose sides, Dad, I simply refuse to treat Missy as completely the problem.” Thinking about it, “They both share some blame for the mess. They had nothing in common, no connection beyond….”

Another message popped up from the man.

“You own him an apology. You owe me an apology…”

He frowned and spoke out loud, “I owe you an apology?” He kept reading.

“…You’ve been nothing but critical of your brother during all this and me. Blaming me for their marriage falling apart.”

“Because you are…” Paul wasn’t that confused, typing slowly, “What are you talking about?” He sent it after thinking about it before sending it. He leaned back in the chair and waited for whatever explanation for the little tirade. Something didn’t make sense. But then again he was dealing with a man who believed whatever he wanted as long as it made him look good and his oldest son look bad. He again took notice that his brother was still on his Face Book page; he was tempted to simply talk to his brother. Something just didn’t seem right or was simply wrong? He felt like he was being drag into a drama in the making? It felt like something was being orchestrated? Or was be just being paranoid? Possibly came an answer, but remember who you are dealing with. He replied softly with an edge, “I always do.”

The message came back.

“You know full well what I am talking about.”

Paul got up, reheated his tea again, and sat back down with the inclination that he would simply stop talking to the man. He typed a message.

“No, actually I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Wish I did.” What did he write to his brother the last time he actually spoke to him he tried to remember. It was months ago the last time he had talked with David. He remembered if anything he had told his brother what he felt about the whole mess and divorce. Did he mention the old man yelling at him from Florida for an apology for what? He ignored the next few rambling angry messages demanding apologies for slights and other things he was sure he had no intention of apologizing for. And some of it was unknown to him as to it’s origin. The man was simply venting.

He looked again at the Face Book screen and noted his brother was still online. He looked at the latest message from the old man sitting in his condo off Cocoa Beach. He looked at it again, he didn’t remember saying it but it was something he had said once to Veronica.

“…I am not a control freak, Paul. I don’t demand people simply agree with me….” The protest went on for a while.

He replied to the message but to himself in the room, “Actually, you are and I’m not the only one who’s said it. Wife number three has said it.” He knew telling the blonde anything was probably a mistake; another reason to like redheads Paul replied to himself. “Veronica is your problem, David….but you are my brother…” He started typing a private message to his brother, but stared at it with a frustration that he didn’t like what he wrote, and deleted it. No reason to be mean or pick a fight just to pick a fight. David really wasn’t the issue and even if Veronica was a minor part of the issue even she wasn’t worth talking about. Family is messy Paul thought out loud. Simply a messy venture into barely not killing one another.

He looked out side and noted that he would have to go out side and do some shoveling before one or both of the idiots came storming to his door and scream at him for not being out side shoveling the walks. Idiots! They complained about every snow fall as it were a major snow storm and would jam out the doors of the apartment building and cause their piece of junk of a boiler to stop working; which it would on occasion. They were still idiots as far as he was concerned.

Paul chuckled despite himself at another thought; Veronica has a big mouth he thought out loud; he also thought something else about that mouth but refrained from writing it down. He noted again that David was still online. He started typing again something else as he felt there was something up and that maybe David wasn’t actually talking to their dad. Call it a gut feeling he heard himself say out loud, but something was off and he felt it was off. Something about his dad and listening to the latest girlfriend was triggering his gut that something was happening and maybe it was time to end it once and for all this lack of connection to his own brother. And then once it was said and done, walk damn away and don’t look back. It made no sense of course at the moment but nothing was going to be solved or fixed or punched in the face by sitting in Minnesota while the real problem acted more the victim than his brother or even Missy was acting; Veronica was just a minor issue that a muzzle would solve or a big old ball shoved down that throat would solve just as well. Damn bitch. He had met her once and simply liked nothing about her. There was something about her he couldn’t define and now he was sure he knew what it was. Family was messy he thought out loud; too damn messy. Well, he was partly to blame for even telling her anything about his opinion of his dad and his brother. But still, someone needed to be punched in the mouth; maybe all three? He laughed at his own absurdity. He knew he wasn’t making much sense on the issue of the family problems. It was a mess. It was simply a mess of personalities either gossiping about one or another or simply trying to divide each other; he placed Veronica in that department. So wonder he moved so far north to escape the family drama. But still, David was his brother, David was setting himself up for another short termed marriage with the walking, talking, long legged clueless bitch but it wasn’t his life anyway. He was of course venting and rationalizing but for the moment it didn’t have to make sense, it just had to be said even if it was in an empty apartment.

He deleted the message again and wrote another, “David, I’ll be there.” He pushed the button and waited for the response. His brother wasn’t the enemy. And neither was Missy. It was just going to have to be something they would have to work through.

He took notice that Missy was now online; he finally noted the old man had sent another message.

“Maybe you shouldn’t come at all if you are not going to apologize to me or your brother…” He could hear the man’s voice of annoyance or was it dislike that Paul refused to apologize. “…You owe me an apology at the very most…” It went on like that a bit longer but Paul had stopped reading it.

Paul laughed a bit at the man as a message came from Missy.

“VERONICA’S PREGNANT!” The message from Missy simply read.

He eventually went outside to shovel the snow that had really started falling.

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