Brady was outside getting ready for another day of collecting when the newspaper boy arrived. Brady greeted him and made a joke, which the boy thought was hilarious. “Hey Mister, you going out collecting in the fields again today?” “Yep,” said Brady.
“Why do you go out there everyday?”
“To collect gems and meteorites that I sell for money.”
“Why not get a real job?”
“When I was young, I promised myself I wouldn’t work a day in my life.”
“Them fields look like work to me. Don’t you get lonely out there? Do you have friends that come with you?”
“No. No friends. Yeah, it can be tiring, long days.”
“Why don’t you do something more fun?”
“Maybe I will, as soon as I make money. Then maybe I will be come a famous journalist, like I’ve always wanted.”
“You only live once, sir. And you are already mighty old, sir.”
The child then scampered off to complete the rest of his route.
Brady began to think…he IS getting old. Today was his birthday, time to transition to elder. Who knows how much longer he has left? He hasn’t exactly taken care of himself all these years. Life has certainly not worked out like he had planned.
When Brady decided he didn’t want to work, he thought his days would be filled with parties and laziness. Boy, had he been wrong. Maybe collecting in the fields WAS work. Some days it certainly felt like it. It was great to not have a boss, and to make his own schedule. But he had to collect a lot, just to make enough money to get by.
Brady decided to throw a birthday party for himself. One last party before he became an old man.
He had a great turn out for the party…friends that he hadn’t seen in ages many of whom have gotten old, and his children showed up for the occasion.
Curt looked a lot like Brady, and he was fun and crazy just like Brady. Actually, he was a bit too crazy….legally, Curt was insane. Brady wondered how he was going to get on as an adult. Brady wondered how he could help.
There was plenty of dancing.
While Madison played the guitar.
The newspaper boy also showed up…in his swimsuit. As it turns out, the paperboy attends the same special needs programs in school as Curt does. The paperboy watched the party from the side, tapping his foot along to the music. When Brady looked at him, the paperboy gave him an intent stare. Brady got the sense that the strange child was telling him to look around…his children are practically grown, his friends are getting older, and he is spending every day out in the field collecting gems. Was this what he wanted?