Here is another guest post from my friend and fellow writer, Slim Randles. I do appreciate the fact that he is so generous to share his column “Home Country” with my readers here.
Dewey Decker silently shoveled cow manure into the back of his pickup, but for the first time, his heart wasn’t in it.
He knew he had it to do, so he did it. Scoop, toss. Scoop toss. Then, when the bed was full, he somberly drove to town and unloaded it onto the many compost piles behind his house.
Then he drew compost from the bottom and put that in the truck. Scoop, toss. Scoop toss.
Then off he went in the pickup with the sign reading Environmental Enrichment Services and delivered the magnificent new garden amendments to one of his customers. Again … scoop, toss and spread. Scoop, toss, spread.
Normally, this would have filled his day with a sense of accomplishment, secure in the knowledge that he was making the world a little richer by his labors. But today it only warranted a sigh.
He quit work at noon, took a shower and went to the Mule Barn truck stop for lunch.
Even that didn’t help.
“Pull up a chair, Dewey,” said Dud, jovially. “We were just talking about the shellacking Ol’ Marve gave the county people.”
Partially through town support, and largely through the efforts of Dewey himself, Marvin Pincus had been allowed to continue counseling the lovelorn and tying appropriate flies for their therapy. It was the talk of the valley.
“Yes,” Dewey nodded. “That was good.”
“You feeling okay, Doo?” asked Doc.
“Sure. I’m fine.”
But he wasn’t. While his outer shell delighted in fertilizing life in the valley, his heart lay fallow. How could they understand what Emily meant to him. Oh yes, he thought of her now as Emily and not as Ms. Stickles, the county love advice coordinator.
In his mind, she walked with a graceful air, smiling that soft smile that melted his heart and changed his outlook forever.
He picked at his burger and fries and then paid his bill and left. Mindlessly he drove the fertilizer pick-up around town, eventually noticing that he kept passing Marvin Pincus’s house.
Of course. This was a problem for the Fly Tying Love Center.
He pulled up and stopped.
Home Country is a syndicated column that appears in several hundred newspapers across the country. This installment is brought to you by Slim’s new book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Learn more at http://www.nmsantos.com/Slim/Slim.html.