WHAT IT IS
In high school he would think of them as aliens from a totally different world. It was as if they spoke in tongues, sure some students would get it, others pretended they understood but most just sat there, jaws open, listening to the mosquito noise coming from the stage. And there was no shortage of these soothsayers being paraded into assemblies, gymnasiums and classrooms with messages for the future. Jared Deakins was told to find and pursue his passion so he would never have to work a day in his life. They explained to Jared Deakins that if he really applied himself that nothing was out of reach. Jared Deakins could do anything, be anyone and accomplish everything he set his mind to.
Well into his adulthood he often pondered who did and who did not listen to the messaging: Should they have listened or was their destiny inevitable? He wondered if those of mediocre intelligence should even hear the message let alone act on it. As for Jared, he did not hear nor execute what his high school mentors pushed on him, much to the chagrin of his father, Mr. Deakins, a successful advisor to the current governor of Pennsylvania.
Jared looked at his watch, in two minutes his most reliable rooster, Little Mr. Deakins, would start crowing and all the kids at Bayfield Camp would begin their day. Jared flipped on the kitchen lights, fired up the propane grills, swung open the refrigerator doors to check on breakfast supplies, all the while listening to the sweet sounds of Little Mr. Deakins.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Will Offley took both courses offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, spent many hours talking to counselors about Beatrice’s decline, hired a personal support worker to help out and rarely left his wife’s side as she spiraled deeper into the depths of the dementia. In the summer that just passed, her last lucid summer, Beatrice knew the disease was taking hold and told Will in no uncertain terms that he was to take matters into his own hands. They both knew what that meant.
Mutt Jefferson was over the moon with the fact he had a scholarly gentleman occupying the passenger seat of his big rig, a rarity as most of the time he drove the highways by himself. Cinder Willoughby likewise was having a blast as most of his travels began and ended in airports. The two were off to plot 82 in Missouri to check out the junco, but first Mutt had to swing by the Offley farm to check in on his old friend.
Pandemonium greeted Mutt as he pulled up to the farm, two police cruisers and a couple ambulances were parked around the house as people scurried in and out of the house. Will was being loaded into one of the ambulances and Beatrice, handcuffed and disheveled, was being placed in the back of a cruiser. On top of the barn, a rooster cried his lament.