I saw Bob squint at his charts, like he meant to make something out. Bob was a weatherman's weatherman. The kind who knows a gathering storm when he sees one, and he’d been seeing one for years. 'What's it like out?' he said. He didn't look up.
I looked out the window. Shrugged.
'Mainly war,' I said. 'Patches of smoke.' I could hear something in the distance. A vehicle. The mailman. They don't give up.
'Like I said,' Bob said. It wasn’t though. Clear spells, he’d said. 'I told you,' he said.
'The hell you did,' I said.
I went to the door. Bob watched me. I hawked and spat out onto the grass. It veered left. Fifteen knots wind, maybe twenty.
'Spitting,' Bob said. He was a man of few words. Liked to say there wasn't time for speeches. When he was working with Dick Martin on the TV news, he had twenty-three seconds to cover the Eastern seaboard. Twenty-three more than it deserved. Some days, he could do it in twenty-one flat. Then one day, he took twenty-seven. Five seconds to indicate big government in DC, with a broad sweep of his hand. Two seconds to indicate smug liberals in New York. The network let him go.
I sucked on a cigarette. Screwed up my eyes, stared down the sky. Blew a cloud of my own.
'Chance of rain,' I said.
'The hell there is,' Bob said.
The noise of the truck had stopped. I picked up the rifle that was leaning in the hallway. Plugged the postal worker as he passed by, one-eighty pounds maybe. Sometimes it takes two shots to take one down that size. From forty yards you can see the blood almost straight away. Later on we’d spread sand over. I looked back. Bob was in his chair, staring a hole in the wall.
'Reckon this front is set to stay,' he said. ‘They’ll send another tomorrow.’
I liked Bob. Bob was a weatherman's weatherman. Hadn't paid taxes since the network stopped his paycheck. Hadn’t received any demands, and he wasn’t going to start now.
'Reckon so,' I said.
Everything Will Not Be Better Tomorrow -
2 days ago