The sun fell sideways through windows of his home looking on the river, silence an absolute enemy, his mind suddenly clearer than ever, 79-year old Guillaume Gee Gee Poupon threw down his cane and screamed from the head of the stairs: I’m tired of leaning. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of this goddamn house holding me like a briefcase. I’m out of here. He cursed in a deep Acadian voice and the sounds brought a smile on his face. Blood pumped in his chest, being known; cavalier, he thought, Vesuvian, oh that once I had been so young.
He descended slowly. Life, for a dozen years, had beat the hell out of him. Where the cane landed in the hallway he couldn’t imagine, the sound fading. How far could he throw the old life? Mere yards did not come to him.
From the porch he saw old crony Georges Papilown staring at him. “Yesu Cree, GeeGee, you been come out of the house now?”
“I’m the new man, Georgy. I threw the cane away. Ismelda’s long enough in her grave. I’m out of here.” Into the old dialect he fell, recouping years, back on the corner with Georgy and pals, the night ahead. “I hope the geddam car start. I pray it start.” The keys were in his hands. He could not remember what key was the ignition key. “How you say you start dis thing yet, Georgy, eh?”
“GeeGee, we get sumnabitch goin’ for you, or die tryin”. Ain’t I been sayin’ to Elsie that sonbitch gonna rust there, what is it, 1982 Dodge Slanthead? ‘Member that night we go Plum Island, find chickies lookin’ at us, we old fishermen then, look at us now. We coulda raise some hell that night, they lookin’ for fun and loose trousers, bet your geddam dollar they wuz loose for the night, and me you fishin’ thinkin’ it’s paradise with the geddam hook… oh, the way brains talk us.”
He paused at an enormous thought. “The tool dies and we go under like it all over. We get it goin’, this geddam car, where the hell you go? Elsie won’t let me go wit you anymore even the grave. We go down the Senior Center. Lalibertie say it full of hungry women look like they been at nothin’ but bones for years. Say hello for me, tell ‘em Georgy come soon, sooner than we know.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “She listen like a spy was workin’ her kitchen. Tell me too old to smell the rose never mind the good stuff.” He looked back at his house. “What she don’t know won’t get hurt by her. We could sneak a ride down there, maybe tomorrow, some next day, next week.” He whispered, “Could raise some new hell it could for everybody.”
GeeGee thought Georgy’s grin was as secret as the dawn.
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