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Three Men


Adam Gilson

Three men sat on the back porch of a house.  Their names were John, Alejandro and Jacob.  It was Jacob's house.  The porch they sat on was large, with two sets of tables and chairs in front of each large entrance to the house.  It hung over the bay, with a ramp leading down to a dock and a ship full of the latest fishing technology.  The ship had a name in gold letters: Sweet Life.

    "Well, the weather is wonderful again, Jacob.  I'm glad we chose your place this summer," said John.

    They had all been friends since middle school, but had at least three 10 year reunions since.

    "Yeah, it is nice.  It's so clear you can almost see the lighthouse on Pier's Rock.  We should head out there tomorrow for some fishing."

    "That sounds fine," said John, looking at Alejandro with a raised eyebrow.

    "I just hate going out on that boat.  It picks up the smallest swells, makes me heave," said Alejandro

    Jacob shifted in his chair, rattling the ice in his glass.

    "Well, I could see about booking a larger ship if it isn't too calm tomorrow," offered Jacob's expressionless face.

    "Naw, that's fine Jacob.  Besides, lately my stomach hasn't been taking too well to even a bumpy road.  So we'll wait on the weather," John spoke before Alejandro had a chance.

    Jacob looked at John, "So, how are the kids?  John, Jr. is starting his second year at Pepperdine, is he?  Declared a major yet?"

    "Yeah, engineering I think.  He has a wild idea from all your stories that he might end up with a dock behind his home and not a 40 by 30 patch of bermuda grass."

    Jacob laughed.  "Its not so easy as that.  The degree is the easy part.  100 hour work weeks and falling butt backwards in to luck doesn't hurt.  Not to mention most of the money I made early on Maria is chugging away with in Paris.  But no time like the present, I guess.  And you must meet Natty, if she can get away this weekend from her sister's graduation."

    "Well, at least you have all this.  And your little boat." Alejandro said as he waved his hand all over the place. "That has got to be nice."

    "It is nice.  Although, my 40 by 30 patch of grass is all I need as long as Emma and the kids are standing somewhere on it," John said with a lonely laugh.  "What's even nicer is that he never hesitates to have us over, isn't that right Alejandro?"

    He was silent.

    Jacob continued with John.  "So Junior didn't want to be a teacher like his old man?"

    "When he was younger I'd try to have him teach me how to do things he likes, playing video games or drawing pictures of dogs.  He ended up making me feel so bad for not figuring it out within minutes that I decided a non-mentor position might be best for him."  Jacob laughed.

    "That's one way to put what Jakey does." Alejandro stared straight at Jacob, then looked away and said, "Sounds like kids everywhere are loco, like my Juanito.  Since he turned 14, I see him maybe once a week.  Either I'm still at work when he's getting ready for bed or he's out on the weekends hanging out with these vatos locos por vidas viejitas.  Sometimes he visits me at work with his friends, but they end up just mooching food.  The manager thought they were crooks when they first showed up."  

    "Well, kids are kids I guess" said Jacob.

    "Coming from an expert, thanks."

    John said, "Well, really, I'm glad its summer.  Although I'm going to miss my seniors.  This year one of the seniors died in a car crash. He wasn't popular, but everyone thought he was a nice guy.  Smart kid, good musician, reminded me of you, Alejandro.  Anyways, because he wasn't popular it made it even sadder, it seemed, since he was so nice and everyone thought he'd get somewhere in college.  It brought everyone together.  By the end of the year, the normal cliques you see didn't seem to exist.  The skinny geeks were hanging at the jock tables, and the pretty girls actually sat with the ugly ones.  It was weird."

    "What was the boy's name?"

    "Alex.  Good kid."

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