Who Knows?

Sounds came from the garage. A moaning of some heavy machinery came and went throughout the night. Occasionally you’d hear a man cursing. God damn this and God damn that along with other swear words could be heard down the block where the streetlights stayed dim in the midnight air and cop cars cruised by ever so often.

Everybody on the block said that the old man had gone crazy. They all thought of him as nothing more than a deranged lunatic. But, they never saw him. They just heard him curse behind a closed garage door. They all wondered just what kind of a man he was; white, black, Mexican, maybe he was Japanese. Perhaps he had survived the prison camps FDR set up during the war. No one was really sure; kept em guessing.

And no one saw anybody coming or going from his house. They say years ago some Philippine woman went in, but no one has seen her since. Not even a trace. Said she had long black hair that shined in the moonlight and she wore a red dress cut off at the knees. Maybe he was keeping her prisoner. Could’ve been he was in love.

People would stay up at night and just look at the garage with the noises coming from it. No one dared knock. Old man Pratt started up to his house once with a shotgun in his hands, but quickly retreated when he saw the light under the door flicker awhile;he got scared. Ran home to his wife who opened his beer for him and tried to calm him down. Don’t let me near that place again, the old man said. She stroked his forehead and whispered in his ear, ain’t nothin’ dear. Ain’t nothin’.

You can still hear him cursing at night. After all these years you can still hear the moaning of that machine he’s working on. And yes, the lights are still dim on Baker Street. And yes, the cops still cruise the neighborhood. But no, no one knows what he’s doing in there. No one will ever know.

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