My motherand I went to Hart's Department Store in Rosemount, Ohio. Once in the store, we separated and I walked alone through the store. I rather felt as if I were wasting time there, but then I decided I needed to buy a few things and thought it would be a good time to look for them.
I passed by a display table exhibiting some toys, one of which was a yellow plastic device about the size of my hand. It was round on the bottom and in a way resembled a pair of clapping false teeth. It had a key on it and I wound it up. It was designed to fall from one step to another going down stairs. I set it on the table and it began bouncing around.
On the table was another toy, about the size of a large cereal box, which was made of red plastic, except for the front side, which was clear plastic. Through the clear plastic I could see plastic shelves within the box; it looked as if it were designed inside to resemble a house. At the top of the toy was a slot through which a coin could be dropped inside. A hole was also below the slot in each of the shelves inside the box. On the bottom of the box was a little flap so that the box would rock back and forth once it was set down. The idea was apparently to put a coin in the top of the box and watch it through the plastic as the box rocked and the coin rolled around the various shelves, finally falling through the holes and at last coming out a hole in the bottom. I set the box rocking, but I didn't put in any money.
A store attendant was standing nearby; I had the feeling he was watching me and wondering what I was doing playing with the toys. Finally I walked on.
I began thinking I might like to make something and I thought it would be interesting to build a piece of furniture. An armchair would be nice. I could buy the wood and simply begin construction. I began picturing designs in my mind. I could put the armchair in my Cabin and perhaps someday I could even have all the furniture in the Cabin hand-made.
I thought about the type of cloth I would use on the chair and the piling I would put under it. I pictured the cloth as being brown with a flower design on it. On the seat of the chair the cloth could be held in place by buttons, which could be attached by metal screws passed through holes drilled in the wooden seat and bolted underneath. The plan seemed practical. The finished work might not be extremely attractive, but it should be quite comfortable.
One thing I particularly wanted to buy in the store was a can of clear, polyurethane spray which I needed to finish some of mycollages. I walked into the paint department but I couldn't find it anywhere. It seemed that Hart's in general didn't have material I needed to buy. I didn't care much for the store.
I continued walking around until finally I passed my mother sitting and sleeping in an armchair. She seemed tired and I didn't wake her. I walked on until I found an armchair myself, sat down in it and began thinking.
Finally my mother walked up to me. She hadn't found anything and was apparently ready to leave. I acted as if I had just had to waste my time waiting while she slept. But actually I hadn't really minded sitting there.
As we headed toward the exit, my mother saw a table with some glass objects on it. She picked up one amber-colored piece about the dimension of a large drinking straw, and said she was going to buy it for her cat to play with. I told her it would take too long to stand in the line just for that, but she insisted. We walked to the check-out line where only one cash register was working and about 10 people were waiting in line. When I again said something to her about the length of the line, she agreed put the glass rod down and we left.
I reflected that the reason the line was so long wasn't because so many people were in the store, but because the management simply didn't hire enough people to tend the cash registers. One way to utilize the employees better would be to start using electronic beepers to call the cash register attendants. When there was a slack period, the attendants could perform other work in the store. But when a number of customers were at the cash register, the attendants could be called back to the registers.
My mother and I walked through the parking lot and reached a flat-bed truck being driven by a man whom I didn't know. We climbed onto the back of the truck and the man drove off in the direction ofPortsmouth. I stood up in the blowing air as we rode down the highway. I noticed a taut wire on the truck about the height of my head and hung onto it. A black truck passed us and I saw that the other end of the wire was attached to the second truck.
I bent around to the window on the driver's side, tapped on it and the man inside rolled down the window. He was dressed like a farmer and was probably in his mid 40s. I asked him if he knew the wire was connecting the two trucks and he said he did.
I stood back up and noticed that also on the truck was a very large wooden keg lying on its side. If it had been standing straight up it would probably have been about five meters high and about three meters across its middle diameter. I began speaking with my mother about the keg. We thought it probably contained beer or wine and that it might be illegal. She said that illegal alcohol was very expensive these days. It occurred to me that a person could probably make more money selling illegal alcohol than drugs. But then I remembered that it was legal to make a certain amount of alcohol in ones own home.
As I thought about the alcohol and compared it to drugs, I thought I might want to smoke some marijuana that evening. I hadn't smoked any for a long time, but I thought I would like to try it again.
As we rode along I realized the summer was coming to an end. The trees had just started changing colors. I saw one large tree in a field and thought it was a walnut tree. It would soon be time for gathering walnuts. The leaves on one branch of the top of the tree had already turned a pretty red color. I pointed the tree out to my mother and told her it was a walnut. It made me somewhat sad that fall was coming. I was uncertain I had accomplished much with my time during the summer.
When we reached Portsmouth I became more and more concerned about the keg. It seemed to be riding precariously and I feared it might fall off. Finally as the black truck turned a corner the wire somehow put strain on the keg and it tumbled off the side of the truck. Its momentum kept it going and it bounced ahead of our truck down the street. Cars began swerving to try to miss it but finally it rolled into the lane of oncoming traffic. It was so far away I couldn't see it well, but I was certain it had hit a car. My mother was sitting down and couldn't see what happened. I said, "It crashed into a car."
I was concerned there might have been injuries. We drove closer; a policeman was on the scene. Liquid was spewing from the broken keg like a geyser. I turned to my mother and said, "Let's go have a drink."
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