Monday, September 3, 2012

The Argument is Over

They sat in the car at the station once a week for years, the Complete and Total Loser and his father. After dinner, Monday evenings, usually. The trains ran once an hour at that time. Perhaps both knew when leaving for the train that the train would be on time and that the drive from the house to the station took just two or three minutes, but there was always time, ten minutes at least for the two men to sit in wait and talk, away from the Loser's ailing mother, who could be difficult at times, much as he loved her. She died last October.
The more interesting parts of both their lives were in the past. The Loser put the focus on his father's past. He was in his eighties, then nineties. How many more chances would there be? Few -- his father died last December.
At this time of year the Loser's father would talk about how it was his favorite time of the year. The last weeks of August, early September. Same opinion, year after year. It was because of his time in the Boy Scouts, in the early 1930s. The troop would go to the relative wilderness of New Jersey where his father, a city boy, experienced silent nights unmarred by the noise of the elevated train a block away, sunsets over trees instead of buildings. He was in the Scouts for just a few years. Amazing how the experience stayed so fresh for eighty years. 
The Loser would say that it wasn't his favorite season as he was not in New Jersey but the city, where the heat and humidity still punished. Same opinion, year after year. 
This station, this car, the one nearest the camera.

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