by Torrance Stephens, Copyright 2007 Bloggers Delight Vol 1

There is nothing more certain than that a man will be a man, and
that for his seed, he is the first line of defense…if there is no dog
outside. The simple truth is that such a person is never off guard;
his only fear is not being able to feed and provide for his children.
Unfortunately, this makes such an individual diabolical and
sinister--the worse attributes for anyone who feels that all his
children have in the world to protect them is his strength.

It was one of those nights in between spring and summer, but
this night seemed more reflective of winter than either of the
aforementioned. The only difference was that, unlike winter
months, the sun could still be seen allocating pastel hues into
the cloudless and anticipating dark. The crickets were also in
full sonic bloom; as if they were some species of perennial audibly
calling nature to order, and it was time now for the rest of the
flowers to catch up. The flowering trees stood at attention, good
soldiers in an eternal precision drill of beautiful growth, obeying
the crickets’ chirped command. They always seemed to be the
first to bloom, after the bulbs, and they flowered in the order
of the pink and purple crab apple tree, the white of the pear trees
and the opaque shades of the box woods--which were really shrubs,
but in his yard, the bushes were the height of a tree.

He was outside as usual. It was beverage time and a good time to
just enjoy life for its own sake. His cup held no distillate of the
Agave plant but rather, this time, sake--sake and a 24 ounce can of
Tecate beer. He walked out onto the “chat-rock” gravel road. In any
urban area outside his Georgia residence, it would be a driveway,
with the exception that it was 110 yards from his house. He, Jones,
Mac Jones often marveled at the oddity of the distance, since it
seemed strange…even to a Memphis nigga.

Mac walked inside; his glass was empty. His son and daughter were
in his son’s room. The boy was making music while his sister was
bellowing into the microphone. Unintelligible certainly, nonetheless
she was jamming. Mac peeked in then decided he’d walk to his room
on the other side of the dwelling. The house was large and gave any
stranger the semblance that the 4,000 square feet was divided into
wings. Upon seeing daddy, Mac’s daughter followed quickly, as
quickly as any child a few months before the age of two could waddle
in a straight line. To Mac, she walked like Bobby Cox.

On his floor in front of the muted television, Mac Jones sat down and
began folding clothes. He had been at work since early morning, and
his son’s baseball game was rained out. Thank goodness for
leftovers. But before he could finish the towels, his princess Bobby
Coxed in. She only had a few words in her vocabulary, but affection
was what she communicated best. Crawling over him and placing her
head on his chest, she wrapped her legs around his and started to go
to sleep.

When she went to sleep, Mac got up from the floor and placed his
precious girl down for the night. Again he returned outside, to the
crickets and the night air. The stars seemed to talk to him, but he
could not decide if it was the stars or the sake.

He looked over by his fruit tree. The backhoe was still there. The
plumber needed it to replace the drainage pipe--$1700.00 worth
of pipe. The thought of the cost made him sick at the stomach. But,
he had the lot, and it made his property better, more valuable he
was told, if he replaced the pipe. Mac worked hard for his dollar--no
slavery, just hard work--and he could handle the cost if it improved
his castle…especially for his children’s sake. The queen mother--well,
she earned her exile from home and its comforts. He had just broken
up with his woman. All he could repeat to himself was their last
verbal exchange.

“I’m gone have someone come out here and take care of you,”
she said,
somewhere in between a manic rage and cynical rant.
"Well send them on,” Mac said,
coolly while raising the nature of
the threat. “ If they come out here, let
them play cowboy…and
I’ll make it the Okay Corral.”

He erased that from his mind and looked again to the stars. The
night’s emissaries of peace made him feel full, removing the restive
anxiety, while leaving Mac placated and at ease--a feeling he had not
felt in a while. He walked down the gravel driveway, sipping a fresh
cup of sake. A few rabbits ran-hopped across his path, but Mac was
undisturbed by their presence. He sat patiently in his stance looking
at the pine trees around him and the cars passing by.

It was strange to him, at this time of night, to see the lights of a
vehicle turn in his direction. Maybe it happened all the time;
perhaps he was just outside at the right time. This vehicle did not
seem like the others, as if it was a mistake--an accident. But, maybe
it was, for they waited and dimmed the lights. Maybe they’re being
respectful, he thought. Nonetheless, he went to his truck and pulled
his yellow bag from under the passenger seat and returned to his
musing spot. He had anticipated that the vehicle would have backed
up and turned around by now, but it had not. They, that vehicle’s
occupants, were still there, silently sitting, speaking an
unspoken threat. So, he stood, shoulders square and head high,
as if to provide the nonverbal locution that this was his
property--Mac Jones’ property.