Inside Walgreens, Helmsley Redflower notices two of his co-workers standing at the 50-75% clearance display. Both male. The co-workers do not see him and are thus engaged in conversation, as much as he can determine from the distance at which he stands, regarding the value of the products within the 50-75% clearance display. He walks closer, still undetected, passing by a rack baring theater size boxes of Whoppers. Helmsley Redflower does not like Whoppers nor any malt-chocolate, be it from The Hershey Company or any other chocolate manufacturer in North America. The slightly pot-bellied one with a goatee holds a bottle of bubbles and a teddy bear that did not find a Valentine this year, waving the teddy bear in one hand as if a sock pocket, saying, “Oh, look at me. I am a teddy bear and I have bubbles.” The other co-worker, also a male, looks on, smiling. A Walgreens employee in charge of the 30-minute photo booth stares at the two, inquisitively.
About the Writer
Hello, my name is Jeffrey Pillow. I live in Charlottesville, Virginia, with my wife, two kids and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese (or Motzie for short), that my two year old daughter mispronounces with an “N” as NAHT-ZEE, which means if I have any Jewish guests at my residence, I have to stash my daughter and her four-legged, furry companion out in the workshop for a couple of hours with a full bag of Goldfish and Dora the Explorer spinning on the DVD player. Otherwise, my guests will think I’m raising some young anti-Semite when really, the truth of the matter is, my daughter is merely having difficulty enunciating her M’s, which is odd because she can say “MINE!” and “MORE! MORE! MORE!” just fine.
Such is fatherhood. Such is toddlerhood.
The Gilliam Shed
Excerpted from When the Lights Go Out at 10:16: A Story of Life and Friendship
The tin roof atop the shed was partially peeled back like a sardine can. Its insides stripped of life laden with rust and abandon. The aroma was unpleasant and musty; but our youthful lungs bathed in its wondrous odor regardless; mildew painted any material, wood or otherwise, that lay exposed to the weather. The cylindrical, vertically plastered hives of dirt daubers covered the cinder block structure’s interior reminding us that, no matter how empty the shed may have felt at times, we were not the sole proprietors of this refuge. Their songs of aggravation were heard in our ears.