Clearly Rusty and Worn by Allen Henriquez
Rusty, at Agnes’ request, was at Abner’s house in an attempt to disengage him from his depressed state after his wife, Colleen, left him. Agnes, Abner and Rusty are all standing, without verbal exchange, for the moment, in the den with its wall to wall books. Abner exhausted from his pacing the floor eases back into his cushioned chair.
“How about some coffee, Abner?” Agnes.
Abner gives a nod of approval with Agnes turning to Rusty.
“How would you like your coffee, Rusty?”
“A little milk, please, no sugar.”
When Agnes exits the room is silent. Abner tired from the pacing, but thankful for its effectiveness in starving off an attack of painfully acute depression sits quietly. However he slowly begins to slip back into the comfort zone of his daily routine of depression, when Rusty states, “You’ve got a lot of books.”
Not bothering to look over at Rusty, and annoyed for the distractive comment which disrupts his daily depressive serenity, bluntly replies, “Yeah.”
“Have you read all of these books?” Rusty asks while still perusing the multitude of titles.
“Yes, some three or four times.” Abner.
“I’m not surprised. You seem to be an intelligent fellow.” Rusty.
“How would you know whether I am or not? You’ve spent most of your life bent over in a dark tunnel lifting steel rails while somebody yelled ‘heave ho’ in your ear.” Abner.
“So that’s what you think I am?” Rusty.
“I don’t think anything of you or about you, and if you left now I wouldn’t have to speak to or hear you or your voice at all.” Abner.
Rusty is insulted, but masks it.
“I’ll leave after the coffee.” Rusty.
Abner turns toward the doorway and yells out to Agnes, “Make your visitor’s coffee to go. He’s got a hot date with a toy train set.”
* * *
Abner and Rusty are sipping coffee in Abner’s den in his house on Grassmere Terrace in Far Rockaway, New York.
“Good coffee.” Rusty.
“Don’t come back for more. You’re not welcomed or wanted.” Abner.
“I don’t like you, never have.” Abner.
“Like me? You don’t even know me. We’ve never had a conversation before today.” Rusty.
“No, we never. And this is overwhelmingly enough.” Abner.
“The person you should be angry with we don’t even know, because that’s probably who she left you for. If anything I should be mad at you. You’re the one who stole Colleen from me.” Rusty.
* * *
To be continued. . .
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