2017-03-18 / Community

Daylight can't come fast enough

By SLIM RANDLES
Columnist

There’s something so satisfying about getting out of bed when the world is still dark and quiet and resting. Making the coffee gives us time to scratch and think.

Well, scratch, anyway. Most of that thinking will start after about the third cup of coffee.

But it’s a quiet time. A private time. When the world is dark, and there isn’t yet a hint of pink over the eastern mountains, life is especially good. We can relax. No one is expecting anything from us right now. 

Our guilt can take some time off, and we can listen to music or work a crossword puzzle or turn on the TV and watch the weather guy discuss millibars and troughs.

Soon enough, we’ll have to be out there living for others: our bosses, our customers, our animals, our fields. But right now no one needs us except the dog, and she does well on kibbles and an ear rumple.

We can look out the window at the eastern glow and wonder what will happen in the hours until our world turns dark again. 

People will be born and people will die. People will win honors and people will go to jail. People will create things today that live past them and people will disappear forever. Some people will write about these things and other people will read about these things.

And then the world will go dark on us again and we’ll think about what happened in our tiny portion of this huge moving amalgam and hopefully we’ll sleep easily tonight. 

Then, when we arise tomorrow and head for the coffee pot, we can think about what happened today, and how it has made us slightly different for taking on the next tomorrow.

Come to us, Daylight. Bring us the new day. But do it gently, please, and slowly enough for one more cup.

Pure fiction

Delbert McLain came by to have coffee with us the other day. He’s our chamber of commerce, you know. Delbert’s mission inn life seems to be to promote our little valley into becoming so important and prosperous that we won’t want to live here anymore.

But he does try hard, and we admire that.

“Got an idea, guys,” he said. He swept his necktie out of the way so he wouldn’t accidentally butter it. “A contest.”

“Like the knife-sharpening contest you thought up, Del?”

“No, Doc. That didn’t pan out. See, what I’m thinking is, we should play to our strengths here. You know, delve into our plusses, put our minuses on a shelf somewhere, and show the world what we do best!”

“Drink coffee?”

“Of course not, Steve! I mean, we need to hold a liar’s contest!”

Dead silence. All eyes on Delbert.

He looked around at all the solemn faces.

“You know what I mean …”

More solemnity.

“It could really draw crowds.”

Then Doc, our unofficial spokesman because he has more degrees than a thermometer, spoke up.

“And just who would the liars be?”

“Well … you know, like Steve here. Remember Steve when you said you once rode a bucking horse while sitting backwards on it? Things like that.”

“I did that, Delbert,” Steve said.

“I saw him do that,” Dud said.

“Oh. Well, Dewey once told me he’d put a cow into the branches of a tree. We could start off with something like that.”

“Three of us were there when Dewey did that,” Steve said. “Ran that cow off a little bluff. We had to cut the tree down.”

Delbert sipped his coffee and ate a slice of toast. He’d forgotten to put any jelly on it, too.

“Doc’s squirrel?” Delbert said.

Now Doc’s fictitious squirrel, Chipper, was a lie. But it was the kind of lie that takes on a life of its own until … well …

“You talking about Chipper?” Dud asked.

“If that’s his name,” Delbert said.

“How is ol’ Chip, anyway, Doc?” asked Steve.

“Doing okay. Sleeps a lot these days. Hibernation, you know.”

Delbert left a tip and got up to go pay. They waited until he was gone before laughing.

Brought to you by Sweetgrass Mornings by Slim Randles. UNMpress.com.


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