(pic from susannepage.com)
Dylan stumbled through the cornfield on his parents’ farm completely aware that someone would soon come looking for him. The smell of the moist soil was a pleasant distraction from the chaos he felt in company. Especially, with Hank the Milkman’s son who owned a finely-tuned silver tongue. An armour so beguiling that the townsfolk would often apologise to him when he made problems.
Hank was largely a free spirit and always up for a good time. He frequented the small night life that their town had to offer, taking it upon himself to drink the modern pubs and historical dives dry at his own father’s expense. As a result of this regular pastime Hank mostly showed up to work in an abysmal state: clumsily determined, angry saucers for eyes and an unpredictable croak that all led to late deliveries. Dylan understood Hank’s position their town epitomised an oxymoron. It’s agricultural history and businesses were great for fostering favourable work ethic and close knit families but it was also tediously flawed by the absence of much else and this broke some of the youth. Paper advertisements or local newsletters showcasing places to visit didn’t exist… because it couldn’t. There wasn’t any real entertainment. The town had The Guard a retired gentlemen’s club that later became a public pub when Dylan entered his teens. Then there was the Snooker Hall that gave its best shot at updating the town, despite much backlash from the residents. Dylan could only assume that the uproar served as cover for their aversion to change. Nonetheless, the same protesters could be observed inside their dreaded Snooker Hall if you peered inside the windows long enough to ignore the glass art.
Dylan sighed unable to comprehend how such luck could be afforded, how Hank could repeatedly think that it was okay for him to faff about. No other could possibly be more suited to the work smart of the city the townsfolk gossiped and Hank even licked the bowl of this perception. Leaving Peter to pick up the pieces…well stock. Peter wasn’t the son of a landowner, his parents owned a garage that easily served as a metaphor for their son. He was knowledgeable, helpful and not afraid to get his hands dirty. Similarly to a well repaired car his voice was even, his courage was quiet and beneath the hood was a complex system seemingly designed for function and modelled by prior errors but still with the capacity for the unexpected.
Peter was a grossly overlooked pillar of the community and it greatly irked Dylan to see his friend being treated so knowingly bad but Peter took it all in his stride and never complained about Hank, the customers or anything else for that matter he was always focused on something else. From the points that he made and questions that he asked, Dylan could tell that Peter was quite an adventurous dreamer. This habit was an asset to the young chap, as the heated confrontations with customers that required urgent target practise never seemed to faze him. Over time Peter acquired his own strategy for coping; he kept some music devices in easy reach and Peter liked his sounds drum shatteringly loud. Dylan knew this first hand because he had made the mistake of borrowing Peter’s homemade music device, only to throw it onto the car seat beside him as if they were infected with instant migraine. Never again.
It wasn’t often that Dylan could take time for himself and having tried everywhere else, when he did he would secretly run the length of the cornfield to disappear. Scattered amongst the growing corn, the scarecrows sat on hills the size of a single bed and provided ample space for an afternoon snooze of two. Now Dylan was not socially awkward, in fact it was pretty much the other extreme, which meant that he was often left tending to others’ plots even when his own could use a smidgen of attention to get it growing. Initially, Dylan would religiously refuse but he knew their next stop would be Peter so in time he begrudgingly bent to an ‘okay’ when far from the corn field of course. Just as Dylan felt the comforting warmth of the sun dance through the shadows and beckon his slumber tiny sun kissed droplets slid down his arm. His first instinct wiped the rain that wasn’t immediately absorbed and felt sticky when smudged between his fingers and the palm of his left hand. As Dylan opened his eyes the birds glided tauntingly slow overhead so he pelted them back with rocks and hurried towards his parents’ house to wash up and avoid a second duel.
By midday and in a fresh change of clothes the extravagantly desperate drawls of his name were still to be heard. None of the typical suspects made an appearance whilst Dylan’s took his break. This left him relieved but uncertain about what to do with himself as he journeyed on…to the shops. As he hit the top of the hill the streets were paved with vigour: modern music surprised him, coordinating colours impressed him and tasty treats decoratively displayed outside the shop fronts revived him. It was the first street party the town had ever seen and they took to it like a pup off a leash. Dylan noticed the calmer cheerfulness of his friend Peter who smiled sincerely and shook hands within the crowd, he was eager to find out whether the party was Peter’s doing.
‘This is incredible,’ Dylan gushed with pride.
‘That’s exactly what I said, can you believe Mr Milton organised it?’ Peter answered clearly overwhelmed.
‘What Hank’s Dad? No way!!! It doesn’t even seem like something he would do, like what’s the celebration?!!!’ Probed a confused Dylan.
‘You’re not going to believe it but I finally found the investors for my motion recharging music player. It’s going into production in say…about two weeks or sooner,’ Peter responded as he tried to gage Dylan’s reaction. Dylan leaned forward and patted his praise on Peters back.
‘That’s awesome, you deserve it,’ Dylan bravely uttered as he battled with conflicting thoughts.
‘Thanks, I’ll be gone a while but I’ll come back. Mr Milton has promoted me to Head of Technology (Peter delved into thoughts of this promotion to improvise a plaque with his new title in hand gestures), no more milk rounds.’ Returning to the present Peter noticed the thinking face and hesitation of his friend. He wondered when Dylan would speak and slightly worried about what he might say as he wasn’t often…in fact ever at a loss for words. Until now.
‘I can’t lie, I’m completely shocked by all of this but I’m happy for you. I knew you would do great things, I just didn’t know how big they would be or how soon,’ Dylan recovered.
The townspeople partied into the early morning, which was well after Peter boarded his first plane to the city. Some hours later the jingle of the van rang through the town briefly deterred by ranting residents, surely Peter wasn’t back already. Groggy from little sleep, Dylan scooted to the edge of his bed where he pondered whether the intrigue was worth the effort. At the window the cool breeze swept through the vent and swirled around him sending a chorus of shivers to cling to him and immerse his finger tips and toes in the temperatures of morning frost. That was when Dylan’s visual focus became easy and he was able to breathe a sigh of relief, the man with the van wasn’t Peter and the latest victim wasn’t Hank either. Mildly disappointed and not wanting to add to the number of spectators, Dylan climbed back into bed. As he wrestled with his pillow for comfort Dylan wandered amongst the adventures that awaited Peter, happily hanging his theoretical cape he gave in to the slumber.
Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2017
Some will arrive at their destination early and others will have to fight for their eventually. Although, it may not always seem fair and it can lead to the why me? frustrations setbacks are a common experience for many. Most will have their own way of coping and personally I’ve found it helpful to focus on me. Questions that I considered:
What am I passionate about?
What do I want to achieve?
What could I change or adapt to get closer to my goals?
Am I giving tasks enough time or effort?
How do I feel after I’ve worked on my task?
Although, it’s highly important to involve some real action in our plans it’s better to go at your own pace. Slower than your person of reference doesn’t mean never and not having a person of reference doesn’t make it impossible. Ultimately, only you will know what’s best for you but I would like to make a small contribution by wishing you much success on your journey, all the best.