I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.
Why did the cable have to go out? He never would have come. But it wasn’t like I could’ve repaired it myself, I’m no jackass.
Get it? Cable-jack? Never mind.
I can’t go without TV, I love that thing more than my own mother. It’s all that keeps me busy. So I call. And he comes. A friendly face greeting me at the door. As soon as I let him in I excuse myself to the kitchen. And try to keep myself occupied. I think I can control it this time.
“Sir, this will only take a few minutes. Looks like your signal got scrambled,” he calls.
I peek around the corner and see his crack poking out from behind the TV. Jackass indeed. He can’t see my hands strangling the counter top, my eyes darting back and forth, the sweat running down my back.
Keep it together. He’ll be gone in a minute.
He appears in the doorway.
“All fixed.” A pause. “Hey, you okay?”
Why didn’t he just leave? He could have walked right out. I turn my back to him and open the drawer to my left. The steel sits there, waiting. Tempting me. Five seconds later my visitor has decorated my wallpaper in red and I’ve just scratched a very annoying itch.
See? This is why I get the Kroger guy to leave all my groceries at the door.
But it’s a mistake. He’s not like the others, he’s connected. The cable company won’t ignore his absence forever. What do I do?
Calm down, you can handle this. I reach into his pocket and grab his keys, depositing them on the table. He’s also got a two-way. I switch it off before I hoist him up by his arms and drag him down the stairs.
If I have enough time I can take care of him, but first things first. I strip the man down. He smells of bacon and sweat, the perfect combination for his portly figure. His clothes are two sizes too large, and dark stains previously absent color his collar. But no matter. The cap completes the ensemble. Now I am the jackass.
I keep my head down when I get in the truck and I drive it two miles out to the Coop. I used to come here as a kid, back before. I leave his clothes in the vehicle and push it down into the water. As it disappears beneath the surface I think about how many times this river has saved my rear. Just like a friend covering for me, hiding my secrets. A best friend.
There was never much fuss, turns out my visitor didn’t even check in with his boss because mine was such a short job, so the cops are all over the poor soul who was on the schedule before me. I managed to take care of what remained after a while, Mom would have been so proud. Thankfully I didn’t have to do it quickly. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even know his name. I’ll just pretend it was George.
My lucky day I guess, lucky number seven. I was so worried that I hadn’t been prepared, but it turned out not to matter.
Maybe it wasn’t a mistake after all.