I wrote again this morning, I'm less convinced about this one, but I think it could maybe turn out alright with some more attention.
Daily, the two old gentlemen would walk along the pier, and sit together on the bench at the end to watch the sunrise. It was their special thing, watching the sunrise. They both wanted a good reason to wake up early. They were best friends; only friends. Neither was married, neither had family to take care of him. Any acquaintances they had looked upon them with a distantly removed respect, the kind that every seasoned veteran of life commands if he is reasonably fit.
Good day, Mr. Ayn. The cashier never greeted the other man, nobody did. Randy Ayn could never understand why. Hello, Mr. Ayn. ‘Afternoon, Mr. Ayn. Always Mr. Ayn; never the other man.
Mr. Ayn was known solely as that; only the other man knew his first name. The postman, too, he supposed. He was alright with that, it was refreshing to hear the name Randy spoken to him from another mouth than Nathaniel’s every so often.
Conversely, Randy Ayn did not know Nathaniel’s last name. He did not much care, he could never imagine himself using it to address Nathaniel. Mr. Ayn, when they were together in public, felt like nobody else knew Nathaniel; nobody else acknowledged his existence. This, Randy thought, was some form of injustice; some crime against his friend. Nathaniel said he liked it, that nobody acknowledged him; that it made special the connection between himself and Randy.
Mr. Ayn and Nathaniel had known one another since their childhoods; in their old age they lived together. Nathaniel hadn’t been getting his Social Security checks— he never got them. Randy never asked why; he had walked into enough money to support them both until they died.
When Randy Ayn did die, nobody knew of it for several days. Nathaniel did not tell anyone; he was never seen or heard from again.
Their house was a distance from the others in the neighborhood, separated by a dense eucalyptus grove. Randy had loved the smell, Nathaniel wasn’t bothered by it.
After a few days of Randy’s absence, people began to notice he wasn’t around, that he hadn’t bought food, that he wasn’t in the church on Sunday.
The town’s Sheriff was granted a warrant; he and two others from the force went to Randy’s house. They found two bedrooms, identical in their layout and furniture as though for twins. One was neat, orderly, perfect. It could have come straight out of a Pottery Barn magazine. The other was also neat, but the sheets weren’t perfectly flat on the bed; the wardrobe door was hanging slightly open, an area rug was slightly ruffled.
They explored further. A bathroom, two identical sinks. One clean as though it were new, one with little bits of food stuck to the walls and stains from tooth paste. The counter surrounding it was more cluttered, too, but not very much— just enough to be noticed. Neither sink looked as though it had been used for several days.
The Sheriff and his two deputies continued into a living room. In it was a coffee table with two chairs. One looked as though someone had sat in it daily for many years. The leather was worn at the seat; it was a little loose over the cushion, stretched, smoothed, and softened by Randy’s daily routine of napping in the afternoon. The other chair was identical, but showed no signs of wear. If the Sheriff had to guess, nobody had sat in it for months, maybe more.
In the kitchen, they found Randy Ayn, collapsed in a heap on the floor. He didn’t move when the younger deputy nudged him with his boot. An autopsy was conducted; Mr. Ayn had died of a heart attack.
The minister and the Sheriff were the only attendants of Randy Ayn’s funeral. Nathaniel, Randy’s only friend from an otherwise lonely and neglected childhood, died with him.
the female situation in Tahoe is like parking spots... All the good ones are taken, and all the other ones are either handicapped or its illegal to park. [K.C. DEANE]
It's not like I burst out of the womb going La Di Da shitting rainbows and sneezing glitter.[Arabian.]