Thursday, August 22, 2013

Smiling In the Sunshine: Monday Morning Phil

Monday Morning Phil
Ruby Tuesday

     Phil Stine sat on the sprawling front porch of his old single-wide trailer in the swamp just east of town. It was just after sunrise, Phil's favorite time of day. The coffee was fragrant, the birds were singing their asses off and the rustling and happy grunting far off in the bush indicated that the two or three razorbacks he had been feeding had discovered the morning's breakfast mix of corn, molasses and leftovers. A quiet whining from the far corner of the porch told him that his yellow lab Tuesday had heard the rustlings also, but a glance from Phil let her know that he knew about it and she sighed and put her head back on her paws and went back to listening to the birdsong and thinking dog thoughts.

     “Those hogs are very happy with their breakfast, aren't they, Tuesday? Little do they know. But then, they are better off that way, aren't they? That corn would taste a lot less sweet if they knew why I leave it there. But I think they would still eat it, all the same.” Tuesday stood, stretched and walked across the porch to where her master sat at the picnic table with his laptop open in front of him. She looked at the computer screen for a moment, then up at Phil.

     “Yes, puppy, just polishing off Chapter Ten. I know I'm moving slow this morning, but it is, after all, Monday. And you know what we always say about Mondays.” She wagged her tail once to show that she did indeed understand, then stepped off the porch nonetheless and headed up the faint dirt trail towards the rustlings in the bush. She stopped at the big palmetto just on the edge of the clearing, turned and lay down again. This time she sighed loudly enough to make sure Phil would hear. “Ok, Ok, let me put this away, Jesus Christ, nothing worse than a pushy dog...” He closed the laptop and stuck it inside the screen door to the trailer. He reached down and grabbed a pair of dirty old running shoes and sat down to put them on. He already had on a pair of running shorts and a thrift shop t-shirt, about the only outfit anyone had ever seen him wear on his rare and exciting excursions onto Coronado Ave. As always, the act of lacing up his shoes had an electrifying effect. He was instantly more awake and now, ready to go, Monday be damned. He trotted over to the dog, who was on her feet, tail wagging rapidly, a big happy dog smile on her face.

     “Let's go!” Phil said, and he and Tuesday dashed off into the swamp.