Man’s Best Friend
By Corinne Conover
Being the simple guy Son was he moved up the ranks as a contractor and loved being in the outdoors. He was with the same girl since he was 20. Everything was picture perfect on the quiet lined streets ofLong Island,New York. By 28, he was ready to settle down with his girl and finally propose. Son’s parents were elated as they headed one step closer to obtaining that grand child. Yup. Everything moved gracefully. Mapped out and finalized.
Son began working extra hard to pay for the wedding. He started coming home later nights and his dog would now be walked by his fiance in the evenings. Each night, for an hour around 3 or 4 nights a week give or take. In a years’ time she will lose some weight for her perfect wedding day, and an outfit was chosen for Son’s dog that would bring the ring down the aisle on a shoe string tied around its neck.
Gossip started to swirl around the bartenders and waitresses that Son wasn’t looking healthy and awfully pale. Waitresses said it’s probably just a bug or flu, but after not seeing him for 2 months the gossip grew like wild flower as to what happened to the poor guy. When your a bar regular and you just drop off the ass of a bar stool, something’s up. And it was not wedding decoration responsibilities in my opinion. These men were the high school hero’s ofLong Island’s landscape and would never dream of skipping out on the boys.
Son finally did come in though. Took him 2 months to show his face. And, frankly it looked like it blew up like the Macy’s day parade. With, pale sunken eyes as he sat down with a cold one, Son huddled around the boys. Never taking his eyes off the T.V.
As it got closer to the weekend; Son had these two left over tickets to see a baseball game right below the dug out. He asked me. Of all people, to go with him. I saw one other game when I was 12 with my father and thought this guy was now on the rebound or had one too many.
He was also ten years older than me, and still stuck in the 80’s with stone washed jeans, a tucked in flannel and a Clint Eastwood horse-shoe belt. Frankly I was just not in the mood. But feeling guilt, I walked over to his ford pick up. Slid in ever so gracefully moving the Foreigner Cassette tape from my ass with a warm hearted smile. And said “Now whose up for some baseball”!? ” See how many points us New Yorkers can wrack up.
Corinne let me explain something to you. He said. I have runs. I don’t have points in baseball. So we won’t be needing laxatives on this joy ride ? and it was the first time in a long time that Son laughed again.
He puts on the way back this song called “One step up and two steps back” by Bruce Springstean. . And, in the wee hours of the night with the song blaring out of the windows Ron played this same song three times in a row. I finally lowered the volume on what would have been the 4th time around of “One step up” and said “You know Son. I’m not gonna say anything to the guys”.I know your hurting. (And so does the whole L.I.E. now apparently).
I was with her for 8 years ya know Corinne. 8 great years. I thought they were wonderful. They were! They were ya know. They had to be. I don’t know what happen. She just turned off just like that. I was working making extra money over time. Saving for everything she ever wanted. Whatever she wanted! She was everything. We would have been married in six months. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t believe this has happened to me of all people. I always try to do the right thing. Work hard. Good Son. would have made a great father and husband some day to her.
And You know, I never figured out something so easy. Staring right at me. I must have just overlooked what was so easy to figure out. Man’s Best Friend.