Clayton and I were sitting at the gathering table in the elevator office, chatting one thing or another waiting for our weight and moisture receipts when Jackson came through the outside door from the big silos, dripping rainwater everywhere.
“Jackson!” I commenced to pester him, seeing how’s he’s such a tight ass, so serious all the time. “Looks like it might be raining out?”
He came back as I’d expected, a little peeved over the obvious and hard put to find humor to make his young personality fit in with the old timers usually hanging out there. Old gaffs like Clayton and me.
“Ya think, Walter?” That was all he could come up with.
“Looks like,” chirped Clayton. The old man actually giggled.
Clayton and I left Jackson to shed rain gear and try to get himself comfortable. At least somewhat dry for his turn to wait while the machinations of the Co-op office staff made-up numbers.
“So, as I’m understanding, Walter,” Clayton picked-up where we’d left off when the outside door opened, “you fancy yourself a breast man?”
“Do.” I acknowledged. “Legs and thighs are okay, but gimme a shapely breast, I ‘m a happy man.”
We had, not by design, just by happenstance, Jackson’s undivided attention.
“Why’s that?” asked Clayton.
“Well, prefer’m young and tender, but you know, a mite on the generous side. Something you feel comfortable wrapping your lips around. Warm, a little bit of give, but solid. Yes sir, firm, tender, and ready for a bit of a nibble.”
I thought Jackson’s jaw actually thumped when it hit his chest.
“All well and good,” countered Clayton, “but seems to me legs, thighs especially, is the way to go. Substance. Make a man feel he’s getting into something worthwhile.”
“You’re talking about…” stammered Jackson. “I mean right out here in the open, ladies present and all…”
Clayton and I looked at each other. Little-boy grins simultaneously lit our faces.
I put Jackson out of his misery. “Chicken breast, Jackson. I favor the light meat while Clayton likes the dark. Chicken legs and thighs for Clayton. Breast meat for me. Simple enough.”
“What the hell’d ya think we were talking about, Jackson?” asked Clayton. The old codger smirked while choking-back a threatening guffaw.
Evelyn, the high school Co-op office intern, poked her head across the half-door ledge to signal me my paperwork was ready. I left to get it, gave it a cursory glance, and stuffed it in my shirt front. When I reached for my raincoat, still dripping like a sweaty kid stacking hay bales in the mow in July, Jackson had collapsed into the chair I’d just left.
Jackson looked at once confused and amused that two old gaffs like Clayton and I would talk about what he thought we was talking about. Maybe just a bit disappointed that it wasn’t that, like maybe we could teach him a thing or two. I dunno. No telling. Maybe. Clayton’s been married nigh onto forty years. That doesn’t mean a damned thing, but I ain’t asking him. Me, I’m still a bachelor, one reason or another. And again, that don’t mean much. Comes to fried chicken and well, you know.
“Walter,” started Clayton as I turned to leave, “Loretta and I will be setting the table about seven. Fried chicken will be hot. You know ain’t no one fries chicken better’n Loretta. I’ll have the potato salad ready. Stop by Jeanine’s Café and pick up one of her fresh pies on your way to the house.”
“Both. Braun and Larry maybe not go to Castleberry’s for the auction this evening. Rain and all.”
“See you, Loretta, and the boys then, Clayton.”
I pulled my Stetson over my noggin, opened the door, and stepped out into the rain.
The rains poured down, they soaked the ground,
And turned the dust to mud.
It never quit, just let up a bit,
What next, a righteous flood?
Last spring had sprung, no cloud here hung,
To bring us farmers rains.
We killed the weeds, and drilled the seeds,
But got little for our pains.
Last summer too, the rains so few,
The crops just shriveled here.
Sure, clouds rolled in, we waited then,
We watched them disappear.
Now lakes are full, the rivers too,
The dam’s about to break.
When rains slowed some, by then dad gum,
The ground no more could take.
The rains did stop, that steady drop,
But left behind the mud.
The ground’s just juice, to no good use;
Here comes that righteous flood.
© SPWilcenski 2020