Sunday Morning. It’s raining, and it’s early, barely 5:30. My German Shepard is growling about something or at someone. I’m not sure because I’m in bed and hoping that if my house is being robbed or invaded, it will happen quietly.
Then I hear my doorbell ring and I hear tap, tap, tap on the door. The dog is now ballistic. Being a retired cop, I know early morning visits are not always good. My wife is awake and is asking too many questions, and with somewhat flowery language, blames me for the racket. I put on my N.E. Patriots pajama bottoms and open the door.
A pick-up truck is parked sideways in my driveway, and the engine is running, lights on high beam, windshield wipers cranking. A big guy is at the door asking me where to leave the morning Boston Globe newspapers, “You know, for the paperboy.” ”What?” I ask. “The papers, for your kid to deliver.”
“Kid, there’s no kid here, and if I there was I’m sure he wouldn’t be up at this ungodly hour to deliver the Boston Globe.” He asks, “Is this # 66 River St.?” “What? “No, next street over, toward the river!” ”This is Ocean Drive,” and he follows my pointing finger to where the waves are crashing and to where a flock of gulls are trying to join our conversation. Seagulls, God’s little terror-filled, flying garbage disposals.
“Oh shit, I’m sorry man.”
“Who is it, is everything alright, what’s the matter, is anyone hurt?” These questions come from the peanut gallery that is now wide awake and not happy about it.
“Everything’s fine, go back to bed,” I yell in one direction while eye-balling the big guy soaked from the rain and holding a bundle of dripping papers.
He lumbers off, but before he goes I ask for a paper. He says, “No can do, you’re not on my list.” “You’re on my stairs,” I say with about as much offense as I can muster at 5:30 in the morning.
“Not on your list, my ass!” I take one and he stops short and stares at me for a long second then leaves, saying something under his breath, and throws the wet papers into the back of the wet truck and drives away toward the river.
So I make coffee and read the morning news. Everyone else returns to slumber-land and the house is quiet again. Even the dog is quiet, sitting beside me, tail wagging, looking at the counter where we keep her treats.
Now, since you don’t know Jack, you will.
My mornings often start off this way, and by-the-way, I’m Jack.