Late Saturday morning while I was in the garage cleaning the carburetor of my Harley the sound of Tommy's Yamaha broke my attention. He rolled in the open door stopping inches from where I sat on a stool.
Cigarette dangling from my lip and smoke causing my having to squint my right eye.
"Whats up Tommy?"
"Nothing much. Just coming to check up on you. Momma says you'll go nuts up here all by your lonesome doing nothing all day."
"Most folks, like my own family, they just don't get it Tom. It drives them crazy. That's why I moved out here anyway, to get away from the meddling in my business and trying to find something for me to do all the time."
"Momma just worries about you like your one of her own. She's concerned about you that's all."
"I'm fine so she needn't fret over me when she's got enough to fret over with you."
"I read a book one time that fits your thinking to a tee. It was called Seal morning or sum such. Reminded me when you spoke of how your aunt and uncle took family grief for living on their small farm. It went something like; When the animals are fed, the hour not yet come to light the lamp and read, then surely one should be able to sit for a while without feeling restless or guilty. Yet modern upbringing has made the art of relaxing and emptying the mind of petty concerns a difficult feat."
"Yep, that's how I look at it to. I wasn't put here on earth to be a blind sheep to be prodded with a stick all the days of my life."
We meandered over to the house to get something to drink, I had something as well I wanted Tommy to read.
"I got a letter here from an old friend." I held it across to Tommy where he and I were sitting in the kitchen of my small four room house. The house was nestled back smack dab in the middle on five acres. Surrounded by pines and hardwoods, which kept prying eyes from nosey neighbors at bay, it gave me the solitude I craved when needed. I thouroughly enjoyed my cinder blocked garage and spent more time out there turning wrenches or some other sort of project than in the house.
I poured myself another glass of Southern comfort and plopped in a couple of ice cubes.
"So where are we riding to and when?" Tommy slowly raised his head up from the letter in his hands, looking across the table to see two steely eyes gazing back.
"Where are we riding to...we're riding to Justice." Came my reply
"Justice. Where in Gods name is Justice?"
"Small town in West Virginia. One of those out of the way forgotten places." I was staring out the window. "She was only fifteen years old, her whole life ahead of her. She'll never smile or laugh or run or do anything again. No more hugs, no more wonderment." The tears began to well up so I abruptly moved from my chair towards the window.
"Who is - who was she, a relative?" Tommy was at that awkward place not really sure of what to say or do.
My speech was more of a whisper than usual. "Daughter of an old friend from years ago. Basically we grew up together. I was even best man at the wedding."
"I've known you some time now Justin, never heard mention of him or his wife or the kid before."
"Well, was a long time ago. He and his wife made money with horses. Me, I never was amounting to much so we grew apart, lost touch."
"But he wants your help now huh. No use for you until now. Dirty work needin done."
"It was me Tom, not them. It was me that left out. He began to get respectable and myself. Hell. Just look at me." I shook the ice around in my glass and swigged the last droplets out.