Well, that’s lunch, he said finally, with a look in his eye that suggested he was hungry for more than a grilled cheese sandwich.
She shook herself awake. Stammered a little, uh, yeh, can I treat you? I think I owe you–big.
No need, actually, I have a cooler in the truck. Why don’t we go down to the marina?
K. Sounds good.
She put Betsy Lee in her harness and Chris got the cooler and they walked down Orphanage to Main through Old Town right down to the slope of the sea.
She had forgotten how lovely the water could be–this was a fishing, not a tourist town, and the marina was deceptively photogenic–rich people from the big cities parked their boats there. There was a newly minted park with a pirates’ ship and cascading water feature. A fishing jetty, and a series of stone steps washed with the constant tide.
Oh my gosh, this is amazing, she exclaimed as he shared his cache of pulled pork sandwiches and peach cobbler.
You cook too?
Actually, yes. But this cobbler is mom’s.
Yum. How is your family?
He says nothing. She thinks he has missed the question. Finally he says,
Alright. Everybody doing their thing.
She assesses the way he says it. All the words string together to indicate normal, but his look suggests otherwise.
Safest to veer back to cobbler.
Your mom always could cook.
True…so whatcha gonna do with the house?
Good question. She says aloud. In her head she completes the thought–
I was gonna dump it for a dime and then beat the heck outta town, that was what I was gonna do…until you came along, Chris Graciano.
And then again out loud–I guess I will have to clean it up, sort it out, then see where I am with it.
I will be honest, every last piece of it feels exhausting.
Years ago I went through a program of sorts. They were big into the “our daily bread” thing–just worry about today’s trouble. Gotta focus I that.
And what are today’s troubles? Food and water? Electricity?
She nods. Actually, I called about all of that. Should be on today or tomorrow. I just have to be at the house to verify the work orders.
Hm. Sounds like you got things covered. Good work, Home Girl.