Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It is Sunday and that means two things: no mail and I get to talk to Juli. It has been 4 weeks since I last got a massage. As great a masseuse as she is, I missed the hour-long conversation more than the physical relief for my sore old muscles. Medical care really of my insides has really taken a toll on the calming effects of our conversations. I am really looking forward to this morning.
Here is what I know about the politics of Washington’s Third Congressional District. The incumbent has a “Safe” Republican Seat. She won the last election by 61.8% of the vote. This even though the Republican Central Committee of the largest county in the district (Clark County where Vancouver is situated), took a public stand against her (literally a vote of censure) because she was not, essentially, Republican enough for them. She spent less money than she raised in the last election cycle, so she does have a good healthy campaign fund going into the 2018 race. From casual conversations over the last ten years, the district is pro-gun, pro-life (an interesting potential contradiction), pro-God, anti-taxes and otherwise solidly Conservative. The only thing I have to offer, despite the fact I write fiction now and lie to my wife, is brutal honesty. So, even tomorrow evening visiting the Cowlitz County Democratic Central Committee, assuming I can get in, will be interesting.
Yesterday morning I took off to shoot a bird and sunrise. Neither cooperated. However, I did manage to get a shot of the clouds and sun over Silver Lake about an hour after sunrise when that section of the lake lost its fog.
This morning’s episode of the Agent Amanda story is still out of sequence and follows yesterday’s segment. We should be back in sequence by tomorrow. However, this one will not sound out of sequence, so we can still pretend they are in order.
I trust this finds you warm, happy and healthy.
Warmest regards, Ed
018A Alice Sets Up Housekeeping
Fiction in 1192 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Alice could see that Hugh was bust with stuff on the computer to finalize the sale and, as he put it, “git you on the road Missy.” He assured her it would only take 35 minutes, but he said, “Give me 45 and I can guarantee it.”
Alice walked into the lot, behind the little yellow building , thought, “If I don’t return to the transport base for individuals with temporary implants the darned thing will jerk me back.” So, she pivoted to the transporter base and immediately pivoted back again. ‘I ought to be ready to rid myself of this implant before it is time to do that again. She then went back into the small yellow building, picked up the book on the motor home she had just bought and sat down and started to read.
After reading tire pressures and fluid levels Hugh interrupted her, “Say, that cab you arrived in is back out front.”
“Thanks,” she said and went out to talk to Andy.
As she walked up to the driver’s side of the cab, Andy got out. “Where are we going this time, Sylvia?”
Alice handed Andy her learner’s permit and said, “I bought a motor home, but I need someone to drive it out and then teach me to drive it.”
Andy puffed up, smiled and said, “I’m your man. When do we pick it up?”
Alice replied, “In a few minutes. I have papers to sign; then, we can drive it off.”
Andy pointed down the street and said, “There is a parking lot a block down that way. I’ll park this buggy and hoof it back. Be less than five.” He jumped in the cab and took off toward the parking lot he had pointed towards.
Hugh moved the motor home to the front gate and waited for Alice. Alice in turn waited outside the gate for Andy. In less than 3 minutes, Andy returned. Pointing to the shiny, two shades of maroon motor home Andy said, “She’s a beauty.”
Alice smiled in appreciation and handed Andy the packet she got with registration, title, insurance, warranty and sales receipt. “Anything not there that should be?” she asked Andy?
Andy looked through the paper work and replied, “Looks to be in order.” The he looked at her with fresh appreciation, and said, “You had that much cash with you?”
Alice replied, “Cash is a girl’s best friend, but diamonds are closer. Traded some rocks for this, what did he call it, ‘rig.’”
Andy whistled. “We can do your first lesson where I parked the cab. It is a big parking lot and mostly empty. Whatcha’ say?”
“I’m as ready as I will ever be.”
After an hour of starting, stopping, turning, backing up and doing everthing but flips, Andy announced, “That is enough for the day. You can practice here under the lights if you want; but, my missus will have dinner ready when I get home. I’ll check with you first thing in the morning. OK?”
Alice handed Andy a $100 bill and said, “Thank you Andy. I do appreciate your help. Yes, check in the morning. Have a good dinner.”
Andy tipped his cap, got in his cab and tooted the horn when he drove out of the lot.
Alice pivoted to where she left Jessica Ann, in Jessica Ann’s time less than 5 seconds before. Then she pivoted to the motor home and put Jessica Ann in the big bed in the back. Next, she pivoted to the locker where she had left her collection of implant syringes and few belongings and pivoted back to the motor home. Next, she pivoted to a grocery store, bought some groceries and pivoted back to the motor home. After storing the groceries, she made a mental list, checked it twice and got out a syringe filled with blue “stuff” raised her arm and injected it. ‘Strange, I can’t feel a thing,’ she thought. ‘I’ll try to pivot in an hour or so. It only took fifteen minutes to implant; an hour should do to remove it. I should have asked. In the meantime, I’ had better practice driving my ‘rig,’ ’and smiled when she used the term ‘rig’ in her mind. ‘I might fit in after all.’
Andy awoke Alice when he banged on the motor homes’ door
the next morning. “Any one awake in there?
Jessica Ann squealed, “Mommy where are we?
Alice said in her husky morning, not quite awake yet voice, “We are home, Baby Jessica Ann, we live here now.” Alice dragged herself out of the passenger chair where she had slept, rubber her eyes and opened the door. “Come in Andy and meet, Jessica Ann.”
Jessica Ann, this is my friend Andy. He’s teaching Mommy to drive this rig. Andy this is my Baby Jessica Ann. Neither of us have had our coffee yet this morning,” said Alice.
Jessica Ann played the shy little girl act with Andy for all of 30 seconds and then said, “Mommy, what’s coffee?
Alice said, “It is milk and sugar with a little flavoring in it. Come on, we’ll get Andy to show us how to drive to a place where we can get some.”
Andy said, “You driver for the practice and I’ll be your navigator and critic.” He laughed. “It isn’t often a cabbie like me gets to ride and criticized at the same time; but, I have received a whole store of criticism about driving and am more than willing to share.” He chuckled, pointed and said “Turn left out of the lot” and pointed.
After coffee and breakfast for Jessica Ann, Alice drove for an hour under the watchful eye and astute comments of Andy. Then Andy said, “DMV is open now, let’s go get you legal to solo.”
Pulling into the DVM lot, Andy pointed and said, “You got lucky. Put her in those last six parking places.”
Since Alice had been practicing in the limited space of the parking lot a good four hours the night before, she was adept at diagonally putting her motor home across six parking spaces for regular cars in one try.
When they got inside, there was only one person waiting. They took a number and were called almost immediately.
The examination officer took Alice’s temporary driving permit and asked, “Who came with you?”
“I did, your honor,” said Andy handing him his driving license, and the paper work on the motor home.
The examination officer noted Andy’s information on his clipboard, and the information on the registration for the motor home and said, “This will be a first for me.”
“How’s that, your honor?” asked Andy.
Never had a new driver test in a motor home before. Most folks get a driver’s license for years before than tackle that, replied the examination officer. “Who parked it?” he asked pointing to it.”
Allice said, “I did.”
“Well then let’s get in and un-park it,” said the examination officer.
An hour later Alice had a brand, spanking new driver’s license as Silvia Chu; and Andy was $200 dollars further ahead of the game.