Scene One – GLAZED DONUT – Heights Restaurant, Madison, Wisconsin, April 2019
French press, dark roast coffee nips my tongue. China cup clinks the saucer below. Brazil roast did she say? A barista brings a scone, butter, and cloth napkin. I dunk a blackberry, lime scone into my coffee and recall my first dunked donut.
Wednesday April 5, 1950
“You’re going to do what?”
“You heard me. Why do you always pretend that you don’t hear me?”
“I just can’t believe you’re man enough to meet him. That’s all. I mean, where were you for the last six months? I left clues about what was going on. Why do you want to meet him now? Is meeting him your ego thing? Do you want to feel that you’re better than Tom? Well, you’re not. That’s why I’m leaving you.”
Dad would talk to anyone, even Kenny Rogers. No shit, Kenny Rogers. I was quite embarrassed actually. Not about meeting Kenny Rogers, but because of Dad’s chronic acts of friendship. He’d walk up to a stranger on the street with a familiar gambit, “Hi, I’m Wes Wilberg. What’s your name?”
Last week, a doe we have named Brownie, dines on acorns scattered across our lawn. I walk toward her. Pop, the firecracker nut announces my approach. Spooked by the alarm, she walks to the woods.
Today, I avoid acorns as I approach her. Other deer lift tails and run. Brownie lingers. I recall my wife, Suzan’s, observation this morning. “Brownie’s inquisitive. She’s different from the other deer. Brownie wants to know us.”
Hi Ray, I haven’t seen you since high school. What have you been up to?”
“Hey, Richard, great to see you. I pick up garbage for the village.”
“Really? Alone?” I ask.
About the Author
Richard Wilberg writes fiction, creative non-fiction, self-help, and career counseling articles. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.