Three In The Morning

Trains. Three in the morning and trains ran through town. Loud. Made that sound. A train whistle. A horn. It prevented him from sleeping. He never got used to it. Lived here all his life and never slept through the sound of trains coming through town.

He got out of bed. Stumbled to the kitchen. The refrigerator was nearly empty. Some old lettuce, salami, bologna, mustard, and a few beers. Quickly he opened cabinet doors looking for bread. A heel was found. A piece of old wheat bread. He made a sandwich, popped open a beer; Miller High Life. The champagne of beers. Another train was coming.

The TV was still on. No sound. Just pictures. Black and white. Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The old man was snoring. Held onto the remote loosely. Foot rest was up on the Lazy-Boy. An invisible sign that said, Do Not Disturb, hung around his neck. Boy quietly ate his food. Kept looking over at the old man. Chewing.

Dad was talking in his sleep. About some woman named Charlene. He was telling her to be still. To be quiet. Said, they’ll hear us. Then he’d snore some more. Boy listened. He knew the old man had women on the side. That was years ago. Up until mom died. Then he stopped. Felt guilty. Felt ashamed.

Boy drank more of his beer and laughed at the old man. Looked around in the dark. Wood panel walls. A sliding window. A deluxe trailer. Double wide. Dated. Linoleum was coming up off the floors. Carpet was brown. Worn down. Hadn’t been vacuumed in months. Maybe a year. He finished his sandwich. Stretched his arms up to the ceiling. Put a blanket on the old man. And walked out the door.

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