The Dispatcher

Five days a week he got home at 7:30 in the morning. He was a dispatcher for the town police department. After a night of disrespect from younger coworkers it was good to get back within the familiar dirty walls of home. He’d been a U.S. Marine, a Justice of the Peace, and a “gentleman farmer” but now he took minimum wage.

The dented door of his Wagoneer creaked open and then reluctantly clunked shut with a shove. Dew on unmowed grass wet his cuffs as he walked to the door.

He didn’t glance toward the Lincoln. It’d been brand new such a short pair of decades ago. Now it seemed to be trying to sink into the thinly graveled driveway. Unrepaired after a minor wreck a few years back, it had faded from luxury to junk.

In the house she had coffee ready for him. She handed him a cup, kissed him goodbye and left for work. She was a longtime teller at the bank. It wasn’t much fun anymore. These days it seemed like there was always a new system being implemented and a learning curve to go with it.

He was so tired. The October sunshine was too loud for sleeping. All he could think about was how tired he was. He had a couple of hours before he had to be at his other job. He was also a part-time security guard. Leaves needed to be raked. Not today. He picked up the newspaper and wondered if he could justify mixing himself a highball at this time of day.