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Waiting for Gardot


“Hey, Gerry.”

“ Morning, Al.”

“ Where’s Carey?”

“ They moved him to the front this morning.”

“ No kidding. Think we’re next?

“ You never know.”

“ Well, I’m gettin’ tired of sittin’ around here. Use me or lose me, I say. Did you hear about Cal?”

“ Yeah, poor guy. I thought he was doing well.”

“ Well, he was always kind of stiff. You know?”

“ Yeah.”

“ Now he’s real stiff. Know what I mean?”

“ Yeah.”

“ Real stiff.”

“ I get it.”

“ Okay.”

(Silence.)

“ You know, Gerry, you look like you could use a drink.”

“ I’m all right.”

“ No, no, I mean it, you look a little…you know…droopy. You feelin’ okay?”

“ I’m fine.”

“ Really?”

“ Really.”

“ Okay.”

(Long silence.)

“ Gerry?”

“ What.”

“ Where do you want to end up?”

“ See that little high spot over there? That’s what I’ve been dreaming of. A little sun, a little shade. Good drainage.”

“ I know exactly where I want to be, Gerry.”

“ Where’s that, Al?”

“ Anyplace where I got a view of Rose. Oh boy. Know what I mean?”

“ She’s nice.”

“ Nice? She’s got a great shape.”

“ Uh huh.”

“ And boy does she smell good.”

“ Uh huh.”

“ But I got a thing for thorns. She can scratch me with those anytime she–“–”

“ Al.”

“ What?”

“ Knock it off.”

“ Okay.”

(Pause.)

“ Hey, Gerry, you ever think about the old days?”

“ Not much.”

“ I do. I kinda miss the buzz, ya know? The noise and the funk. The color and the drama. The front page news, Gerry.”

“ Sometimes I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, Al.”

“ C’mon, Gerry. I’m talkin’ retail. Remember? Being on display. Everyday, babes stoppin’ to check us out. And us lookin’ sooo good, my man. All hydrated and slick and groomed. You know, givin’ ’em that ‘take me, honey, I’m yours’ look.”

“ You’re scary sometimes, did you know that, Al?”

“’ Course, I know it wasn’t all a plate of corn.”

“ Huh?”

“ You know, a pile of cherries. I hated dinner time. All of us lined up like we were in the slammer. The community showers. The one-size-fits-all approach. Ah, the humanity, to coin a phrase. Oh, no, my friend. It wasn’t all guns and butter. Remember when you got those mites?”

“ Keep your voice down.”

“ I’m tellin’ you, Gerry, they were never particular about who they let into that joint.”

“ I thought you liked it there.”

“ Yeah, but I like it here, too. Kinda peaceful, kinda quiet. I just wish they’d figure out where they want us. My roots are startin’ to itch. Did you know that I’m hyper-sensitive to plastic? It’s true. In fact, I’m feelin’ kinda droopy myself. How about you?”

“ I’m fine.”

“ That’s ’cause you’re tough. You’re one hardy geranium.”

(Pause.)

“ Hey, Ger, did you hear about Mel?”

“ No.”

“ He got whacked. Seriously. Somebody whacked him. Mel Anocarpa was one standup guy. He certainly didn’t deserve that.”

“ Well, neither did Cal.”

“ Like I said, he was kinda’ stiff.”

“ He was a grass, Al. That’s why he was stiff. Give it a rest.”

(Long silence.)

“ Gerry?”

“ What.”

“ You think they forgot about us? I feel like, like…like I’m in a play or something. Waitin’ and waitin’ and waitin’ for something that’s never gonna come.”

“ Now you’re getting goofy.”

“ No, I mean—Hey, Gerry, I see something. Look, look, wings! It’s an angel! Come to take us to a dappled shade paradise!”

“ It’s a butterfly, Al.”

“ Oh. Oh, yeah. I was wondering about the antennae. And the six legs.”

(Pause.)

“ You sure you don’t feel a little droopy?”

“ I’m fine.”

“ Of course on you it looks good.”

“ Al Chemilla, you are one strange dude.”

“ I’ll take that as a compliment, Gerry.”

**Editor’s note: Interested readers may want to take a look at Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot.

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questions

What causes black spots on my orchid leaves?

I purchased some pre-chilled hyacinths and tulips for forcing but there were no directions with them. Does this mean I don’t have to chill them in the refrigerator, and will they just bloom in the house any time during the winter? The last batch of bulbs became moldy in the refrigerator.

How can I get rid of voles? I think they are doing a lot of damage to my bulbs.

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