A Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie story
“Now there’s a man with a smile on his face.” The Master Sergeant made that observation as he and his little white Scottie marched toward me with an easy precision. I was at Duffeeland Dog Park with Naso and he settled into the park bench across from mine. “Given what you’ve been writing, I thought I might see a scowl on you instead.”
Whatever smile I might have been wearing turned into a queasy grimace. In all this time, I have never had the experience of interacting with people who read what I have written, at least not while I’m still writing it, and I’m thinking it’s something I can have enough of. But the old guy had me dead to rights: I was feeling better than I have in a couple of weeks.
I said, “A young friend just asked me to marry him. Asked me to perform his wedding, that is.”
“I didn’t know you were–”
“I’m not. It’ll be my kind of wedding, no church, no state, just two people fully conscious of the commitment they’re making to each other and to any children they may have. It’s fun for me, because I keep thinking that, with the stories I’ve been writing, someone should ask me to marry him. I deeply enjoy being right about things like that.”
He smiled and leaned back with his fingers locked behind his head, letting the afternoon breezes come to him.
I said, “It’s a problem I’ve been working on for the past ten years or so, since this lump of russet-colored fur landed in my lap: How does a childless man go about cultivating grandchildren?”
“Is that why you’ve taken such a shine to my grandson?”
“Maybe. Not immediately, but someday, perhaps. I don’t think that way. I don’t have plans for anyone, not many even for myself. I just plant apple trees wherever I go, so when I walk that way again, there will be apples for me everywhere. But I like that kid. He’s a serious man, and the world runs on serious men.”
The Skatepunk has a right to see how proud his grandfather is of him, proud not just of what he is but what he promises to become.
“So how about you? What happened to your marriage?”
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Volume One of The Naso Diaries