Scene One – WHAT SHOULD I DO? – Bobby’s back yard, Mequon, Wisconsin, May 1959, Sunday
“Davy, I need brass knuckles and maybe a blackjack.” I reach for Davy’s pack of Camels lying on the cedar picnic table.
“Brass knuckles?” Davy blows an oval smoke ring in the still afternoon air between us. “What the hell for?”
“For John VA.” I light my smoke.
Scene One – HOPE or DESPAIR – Madison, Wisconsin, May 2020
“She wouldn’t take the bait until all her babies were gone,” I say.
Jeannie finishes the last nibble of her avocado toast and pushes her plate to the center of the table. She brushes crumbs into the scoop of her hand and drops them on the plate. The mound of crumbs is stacked like an ant hill, a home for ants without ants. Jeannie returns her gaze to me. “What do you mean Bobby?”
Scene One – EVERYONE KNOWS – Homestead High School cafeteria, Mequon, Wisconsin, April 3, 1959
“Sally likes you, Bobby,” Jeannie blushes, flips her pony tail, and walks away.
“Wait.” I reach for Jeannie’s arm. She turns. “How do you know?”
“Everyone but me,” I chuckle. “Who told you?”
“Mandy? How would Mandy know? I thought Sally was gong steady with Tommy.”
“I don’t know–. I’ve got to go. Why don’t you ask Sally? She’ll be at the hop Saturday night.”
Scene One – BLACK SWAN – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2018
“I dropped him, Bobby,” Dave says snuffing out his Camel cigarette. “It was him or me. Every day in ‘Nam was like that. Never knowing. I can’t remember a day when I would relax. How could I?” Dave shifts his gaze from me to a distant tree outside the window. “He looked like a local, but he came on like a VC. I had to off him.”
Scene One – THE FINEST SILVER – Dubai, United Arab Emirates, City Centre, September 1980
A delicious odor of roast goat overwhelms the fragrance of cardamom infused in my Arabic coffee. “Ah, Friday morning in the souk offers unusual pleasures.” Moussa leans across the table and flicks an ash from his Turkish cigarette. “I observed a herd of fine beasts on my way to meet you. Today is their turn.”
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, writer, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.