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© 9-23-06

May 2007
by Roland Andes

See Conundrum, by Roland Andes

“When Gabe Wheeler dies, he wants to be buried with the body of a twelve-year old girl.”

“Yeah, which one?” Dodgson said, fondling his phone.

“What kind of question is that? How the hell do I know?” The train lurched forward and my briefcase bumped the leg of the woman in front of me. She snapped around and shot me a look like I was Ted Bundy. “Sorry…lady,” I said. What did she expect when we were on the straps?

Dodgson laughed, leaned over to pull up his sock and said, “What is he, one of those ‘I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body,’ types? So, tell him to go on Maury Povich.”

“Are you listening to me? How do you respond to something like that? I mean, you work with someone for a year, you think you know them, right?”

“Who knows anyone in a year? I’ve been married thirteen years and I still don’t know how her mind works. The other day she yells at me for not putting the seat down after I put it up. Down, up, up, down. I’ll get rid of the damn thing and just have a pit and some lime. Besides, are her hands broken?”

“If he was in another department but, no, he’s right next to me with his cryptic comments and that thing he started doing with the stapler. He’s mad as a Hatter, I’m telling you.”

The train pulled into Glenside. Dodgson was staring out the window. I picked up my case and said, “Hey, gotta go. Squash, tomorrow?”

“What time?” Dodgson moved to where a fat guy had taken up two spaces.

“I reserved the court for six.”

“Yeah, maybe…if I’m not too busy flipping the seat up and down.”

At home, I pulled into the driveway and got out to move a girl’s bike that didn’t see much use these days. Five years ago, it came with training wheels. I offered to get her a new one but she said she was getting too big to ride a bike.

I pulled the car into the garage and went to the front door. It opened before I could use my key.

“Daddy!” Alice said, rushing me around the ribs. She was still wearing her uniform which meant she’d had choir practice today. “Did you have a good day at work?”

I held her tighter than I’d had in a while, then lifted up her chin. “Ah, sure, Sweetie, sure,” I told her, but I lied.


Roland Andes © 9/23/06
Roland Andes (1953-2009) was a Columbus documentary photographer and writer

©2007 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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