I’m Leaving

He stood in the garage adjusting his table saw. One eighth, one half, I don’t know what the cut is, the old man said to himself. One eighth, or, one half, maybe a quarter, he rattled on. I just don’t know, he brushed saw dust out of his grey hair.

She came to the door and the old man pointed to his home made sign that read, NO WOMEN FOLK ALLOWED. Can we talk, she said. I’d like to tell you some things before I leave, she said. I gave you thirty years, can’t you give me ten minutes, he looked up at her, took off his goggles and took a bar stool out and had a seat with his arms crossed.

I’m leaving, the woman said.

I know you’re leaving. I’m not leaving. Where you going to? Some place back East. Ohio, or, Pennsylvania? I get confused.

Up state. I’m going up state. I just can’t do this anymore. We’re room mates. Certainly not man and wife. That’s just a title.

A kid walked by down the alley yelling into a phone. Saying all kinds of curse words. They both paused. The old man walked over and pulled the rope to shut the garage door. Mumbling to himself, This neighborhood. If I had any sense I’d leave too.

Like I was saying. We’ve just grown apart. You spend more time in your shop than you do with me. And as for me, I’m always dreaming of leaving. That’s no way for the two of us to live.

Go on, he said. Just go on. Is it a half or a quarter. An eighth or a fourth.

I’m leaving.

He placed his right arm under the blade and turned on the saw.

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