He watched the trees shake from inside his trailer. Green leaves tossed to the ground. Limbs breaking. Little kids running home under dark clouds. The promise of a storm.
Out on the highway trucks came and went. Running their course. North and south with their hauls shaking and bright lights on. The old man could hear the air brakes being applied. Heard the engines run high at the stop light. Soon the windshield wipers would be slapping a song. Back and forth across the glass. Rubber squeaking. He wondered where his boy was? Thought about him as the skies grew darker and darker. Hail stones began being tossed from the clouds.
Boy took off some time ago. Said he wasn’t returning. Said he was gone for good. Took a six pack from the refrigerator and took off into the night. It was storming on the night he left. Seems like storms are awfully common in the month of May. Spring time comes and tornados start to pop up in the Midwest. Lots of days of rain. Some folks can’t handle it. Or, they use it as an excuse to move on to another location. Somewhere out West. Boy had a dream of heading off to Alaska. Said he could handle the cold. Looked forward to the midnight sun.
His father let him go. Told him he had dreams when he was young. Wanted to work on a fishing boat. Pull in tuna all day. Wheel them in with those large nets. But, he never left Indiana. Seemed like there was a net here he was caught in; a wife and a kid. Made the mistake after high school of sticking around for a summer. Got a girl pregnant and then that was that. All those dreams came to an end.
The wind blew harder outside. Semi jack-knifed out on 10. Crash was loud. Scared the dogs penned up down the road. You could hear them yelping and barking from a mile away. The old man hoped his boy had made it out to Alaska. Hoped he made it out to God’s country. He wanted the best for the boy. Always did. All though he never showed it. Neglected him on purpose. Wanted him to be tough and hard as a rock. Thought paying him attention would make him soft. Steered the boy away from his mother as well. Wanted him to be independent. Do things on his own. Another fire truck came to the scene.
Rains began to hit the asphalt. Puddles formed. The river was rising. A flood would soon take over the trailer park. Benches and folding chairs floated away. The old man looked on as a child’s tricycle sunk. Dirty murky water creeped up on the trailers. Memories would soon be gone.
But, the old man sat there looking at the walls in the dark. Lit a candle. Made shadows with his fingers. Thought to himself that maybe it was time to go out West. Look for the boy. See if his dreams came true. Then he thought, maybe the boy doesn’t want me to find him. Water seeped into the trailer. It was time, he thought. Maybe it was time.