I've been looking at the Aspirations weblog. There is a whole network of writers who are busy writing stories this week. Some sort of group challenge to write a certain number of words per day.
I've always wanted to write a story but they always end up being third person observational stuff and not really that entertaining. I'd like to write some sort of stuff that you can use lots of descriptive writing, like detective, or sports (hmm out to try that as I know nothing about it....) Perhaps I could write romance novels for farmers. That sort of stuff. Yeah, that is my calling.
Oscar was a bachelor farmer. He had not really started out in life with that in mind. It just seemed that he got out of college and came home for a summer to work on the farm and he had just stayed. It was fun at first. Building the business, renting more ground, fixing the old tractors. But the years kind of slipped away and here he was sitting in a ramshackle old house on a less than successful farm.
His parents had passed away several years before and he was the only one in the family with any interest in the place. Technically, his older brothers were somehow involved but they were busy with their own lives. The farm was handy for camping trips and reforming lazy city kids but otherwise it represented the old hard way of life. Not that it could ever be sold, but it certainly could not be changed.
Oscar was getting a little restless. He had started a small hay baling business on his own and one day it struck him that he was getting old. It was not the well built and attractive lady in the big Dodge dually four-wheel drive with the horse trailer. She was oh so friendly and just loved the farm and the hay and thought Oscar did such a good job. He was kind of used to that sort of commentary and knew it could change to indignation at a moments notice, depending on the weight of the bales or if the lady's spoiled horse turned up his nose at Oscar's hay.
It was the teenaged daughter.
She was pretty and happy and reminded him of a summer day a couple years ago. Only instead of a couple years, it was more like 20 years. He could see that he did not remind her of anything, nor did he really count in any way other than being somewhat of a source of amusement. When he smiled and shook her hand, when introduced, he could see that he just didn't matter.
It made him sad. He certainly didn't want to date a 17 year-old, that was not the issue, the issue was that he was not 17 or 18 or 24. It had never mattered before.
The pretty lady rambled on about hay and horses and how the other hay sellers had hay her horses wouldn't eat. Oscar loaded her truck. He really didn't have much to say. Of course her horses would eat this hay. It was good hay. Baled right, just enough moisture and he had sprayed it with a just a little bit of molasses when he baled it. He didn't feel the need to explain all that.
The daughter was doing her best to help. She was not the usual horse owner who sat in the truck. He turned to her and gave her a grin. "Thanks for helping, your pretty good at this he said." Her smile was worth the complement. He felt 20 years younger.
But Oscar was still in a funk. He was lonely. Time had passed and he hadn't really noticed.
That afternoon he made a trip to town. He picked up the free weekly paper from the local organic produce store. The paper was from the nearby large city and was usually full of singles adds. He looked at the ads over a cup of coffee at the next door coffee shop. The back of the paper did have so many singles ads as it had offers for massage parlors and escorts and girls who probably would do just about anything with a lonely single farmer for enough money, except what he wanted, which was someone who wanted to be with him. The ads made him nervous. He pushed the paper back into the pile and looked around him. He was mostly by himself except for a couple 20-something girls from the local university. He could see that he didn't really much exist in their eyes.
The girl at the counter had been nice. She was pretty and young. He had joked about the rainy weather returning and made a comment about selling more coffee. She had made a friendly joke about his farmer hat and the fact that he didn't take anything but straight black coffee. He let her talk him into a mocha. It was good, that made him happy. She did seem to care.
He was determined to come out of his shell. He knew he let people pass him by because it was just easier that way. Interacting with people led to those people annoying him. Joining clubs or church groups or other general interactions generally led to people wanting him to volunteer, give them free hay, let them go camping at his farm, in short, bothering him.
Oscar generally just liked driving around in circles on his tractor. He liked to watch the changing seasons, he enjoyed working the ground and seeing his crops grow from tiny seeds. Generally, people just didn't know how to stop talking. That kind of thing bugged him.
He was in town with a mission. Years of driving his favorite old tractor which was just a little rough riding, had left him with somewhat of an embarrassing problem. It was his thought that one of those portable spas like he heard advertised on AM talk radio would perhaps help his problem.
Oscar had experimented with an old bathtub, an aircompressor and a heat exchanger manifold on his old Minneapolis-Moline stationary engine that powered the feed grinder. This was perhaps less than successful. The bubbles where just a little too extreme and the agitation jet he had found out of an old sprayer just did not have the right placement. He was thinking of using a stock tank and drilling holes and using brass nozzles when he heard the add for a portable spa on the radio.
So, he was on a mission. He put on his best decalb flying corn hat, he pulled on the jacket advertising slug bait that he had won at the last co-op dinner, he had taken the pressure washer to the 1966 ford pickup, he had talked the retired neighbor out of ten, no, that would have been twenty years ago.
The truck was the one thing on the farm that was in perfect shape. He had always liked the look to those older trucks and when he had spied it in the back of the barn covered in bird dropping he knew it was his destiny.
Oscar and his truck were at the hot tub store. He was a bit overwhelmed. There really seemed to be a few more models than he had imagined. He was thinking perhaps he should have done a little investigating online before actually going into town.
So Oscar was not quite prepared for the vision of uncommon beauty that interrupted his musings.
Emily was not beautiful, but neither was she unpleasant to look at. She was looking at the end of her 30's but not wistfully. She had short frizzy red hair that threatened to spill out of the confines of a black velvet band. Her eyes were the brightest green that Oscar had ever seen and she smiled at him. It may have been the smile that did it. It was a happy smile but one that might not be completely happy, but yet was really not sad. It was in Oscar's opinion real. and he thought that she was actually interested in finding him the best spa he could afford.
Unfortunately he was distracted.
There were two issues. The first was the reason he felt he needed a personal spa. It was an unfortunate medical issue and not one which he needed to discuss with the lovely (in his humble opinion) Emily, as he read on her name tag, but he knew what it was and that was the problem. If she could read his mind...
And that, and the name tag was the second problem. Emily was wearing a poloshirt emblazed with the logo of the Emerald Hot tub and Spa discount outlet store. What the polo shirt was barely containing was the Oscar's second problem. He knew better than to stare, but yet he could not pull his eyes away. He forced himself to look her in the eye and that is when he noticed her smile. It was more of an amused grin. He turned bright red and the grin got wider. He stuttered and she laughed.
I give up. I do not have the focus to write a serous story without heading off onto some tangent which I think is really funny.
Perhaps I will have to think about this some more. Not sure what the word count is. I think I have to put S. to bed...
Didn't get a lot done in the planting department. I finished my one acre and moved on to the next field. Did 40 acres and then had to go home. L. had to go to a soccer game. I have six acres left and then need to move home. Hopefully I can get something done before we get an inch of rain Friday. Only 260 acres left to go. Five fields over the course of 15 miles. Hmmmm. Perhaps not...
Edit: S. is watching a movie called "Enchanted." perhaps it is influencing the direction of my story. I do need to steer it away from the rude.
Oscar found himself apologizing but unable to explain what he wanted to apologize about. He could not put the words in his mouth but yet he still wanted to look. It was like a train wreck and he was ready to run.
Surprisingly it was she who came to his rescue. "Oscar you need to get off the farm more often," she said.
Oscar was shocked. She knew his name?
"Oh, everyone who has lived in this little town for a few years knows who you are Oscar. You are farmer who pretends to be grumpy and who sells hay and drives the old green Ford 45 mph everywhere, even in town. So, you have this perfect 1966 Ford. There is not a scratch on it. For ten years you have driven it with three perfect hubcaps. Why in the world don't you get the fourth one? Have you tried ebay?"
Oscar felt something he had not felt for twenty years. It could perhaps be described as a warm glow starting in this toes, a tingling sensation in his finger tips, a shortness of breath, a dilation of the pupils, not drugs, not a heart attack, but that little thing called love.
Oscar forgot about the personal spa. He forgot everything but that funny smile and those green eyes. He didn't see the frizzy hair, he forgot about his train wreck distraction and in his one moment of clarity, his perhaps one chance in the past quarter century he blurted it out. His one request, his one moment of destiny.
"Could I buy you a cup of coffee?" he said.
"Sure, but you have to buy a spa first," and she laughed so it was a joke.
"Seriously, you ought to just build your own," she laughed and turned to get her card out of the desk. "Here is my cell phone number, give me a call, anyone who can win first prize at the county fair with a peach pie, can buy me a cup of coffee, she said.
But Oscar didn't hear.
To say he was distracted would be a gross misstatement.
She was wearing loose fitting khaki slacks. But they were a little tight in one spot. I occurred to him that perhaps there was no company in the world who made pants with that small a waist and that large, well he couldn't even say the word. He just tried not to imagine the personal spa that she would be comfortable in.
It was not that she was fat. She was not particularly short. She was not so much shaped as a pear as a traffic hazard.
She had just agreed to a cup of coffee with him.
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