Originally posted March 18, 2013
“Is that the pencil?”
“No. It’s a blue-tailed bird.”
“No, it’s not. It’s the pencil!”
“Then why’d you ask?”
This was not an unusual conversation between the friends. Jim was always asking the most obvious things. Abe was always annoyed by it and had taken to giving him the most ridiculous answers he could think of.
Two more unlikely friends I had never seen. Jim was skinny as a beanstalk with red hair, green eyes and freckles. He always had a look of mischief about him. But it was Abe that was always coming up with something that was going to keep them in hot water. Abe stockier and a tad shorter with sandy-blonde hair, deep brown eyes, and skin tanned by the sun. Different as night and day, but best of friends since they were two.
Now, at the ripe old age of ten, they knew each other so well that they could just look at each other and have an entire conversation without uttering a word. Extremely rare was the occasion that they misinterpreted.
As a people watcher, I found these friends intriguing indeed. Jim’s family lived next door to me and Abe’s across the street. We live in small town America, so everyone knows, well, everyone. I would sit in my rocker by the window to watch the boys play. Often, I could hear their conversations. A notebook was on the table by the chair where I would jot down things I found humorous or touching or just because. A plate of cookies would always lure them to my porch swing where I could be a small part of their lives.
Some day, I would write a story about these two special friends. I would make two copies to be given to them after I was gone. I write a little on the stories as I can, but there are missing pieces that I put in as I discover more.
Invasion of privacy, you say? Well, maybe so, but what else is an old woman to do? My husband died three years ago. My own children are grown and moved away to go to college. There are no jobs here, so they had to look elsewhere. Then, as the nature of things go, they married and began their own families. They come when they can and I go see them. But the day to day life has to be filled with something.
Don’t take me wrong, this isn’t all I do. I always have something I’m working on. Watching these boys is just one on the most enjoyed.
I hear them coming back out from lunch. Abe’s leg pulls into the tree house with Jim right behind as I sat down. They were plotting something and I so wish I could be a part of it.