Red Hand Truck: Part 8 – Taking Stock

Taking Stock

I left the exam room thinking on high. Who was I going to call? Someone who wouldn’t drive me nuts. I needed someone smart so I decided to call the Scorpio. I’d just met him but so what. He was the guy.

I’d been in this town more than a year and he was the first person I’d met whose idea of “normal” matched mine. I met him a few days after he moved to the town. See how I hone in? I didn’t know it yet but in the future we’d marry.

“Brinnnnnng! Brinnnnnnnnnng!”


“Yeah. Hi Elsa.”

“What are you doing after work? I need to know what you’re doing every minute,” I said, smirking.

“I was gonna call you,” he said with a chuckle. I laughed too. There was nothing to do in the town. There was no one to know and no one else to call and that was a fact.

“I need a favor,” I said.

“I’ll do it.”

“I hurt my hand. I need prescriptions picked up at Safeway.” There was only one Safeway in the town.

“Okay, I can do that. What’s wrong with your hand?”

“It’s burned.”

“Burned? How did you burn it? How bad is the burn? Is it bad?”

“Yeah, I guess it is. I don’t know. I can’t see it and I can’t feel it anymore but the doc says it’s bad. I’ll tell you later, I’ve got to go.”

“Where are you? Are you okay?”

“At the doc. Yeah I’m okay. I can’t feel my hand so I’m okay. I’ll see you later, okay? Thanks.”

“How are you getting home? How did you burn your hand?”

“My truck is here. I burned my hand on my hand truck. I’ll tell you later.”

“Your truck? Can you drive with a burned hand? Should you?”

“I’m gonna. If I leave the truck, I’ll have to come back and get it.”

“I can drive your truck to your house for you.”

“No, no, I can do it. But thanks for picking up the scripts.”

“There is more than one?”

“Three. Do you need money?”

“No. Okay, you’ll be home when I get off work?”

“Yeah. I’ll be home by five or so. Thanks Scorpio”

“No problem. I’ll pick up the drugs after work and just head out there,” he said. I lived in out the country outside of town. “Sorry about your hand,” he said.

“No problem. Thanks again. See ya.”



I left the office and hopped in my truck. That’s right, I hopped. I had a numb hand and I felt  fine.

Sitting in the driver’s seat, I thought a minute. I thought a good long minute and then started the truck and drove to my warehouse because I decided I needed information in case the doctor was right.  I needed to know if I could do my job with one hand because if I couldn’t, I’d be in a world of hurt.

See, I didn’t think he was right. I thought he was sorely mistaken in thinking that I would not be able to use my hand because I was at step one of the grieving process and it’s called DENIAL.

I had a mortgage to pay and had my mother’s mortgage to pay as well. Yep, by then, I’d logged about 12 years or so paying my mother’s bills to one degree or another and the bottom line, like always was that I needed a job. I needed this job, because it paid well. Basically, I felt I needed to know right now what the deal is because there was so much at stake. Well, actually everything I knew of was at stake because if this doctor was right, all I could see is my wildest fear. Total crash and burn.

This was a by-product of being a homeless 15 year old. 10 years later, the memory had not faded so like I said it just couldn’t be and if it was?

Well there had to be a way around it and I thought I’d better find it. I was pretty much in a situation that I couldn’t fathom, and I needed facts.  Go ahead. Call me practical, I won’t mind.

My warehouse was close by. Looking ahead, I see Will XXXXX’s truck there. That’s one of the guys I work with. Frank is the other. We worked independently but shared space in the same shack that served as our warehouse.

Will was on one side with Frank and I was on the other by myself. I was the third man, that’s why. My warehouse was on the cold side, the side where the sun didn’t shine and the ground was crooked because I had no seniority. 3 years was nothing in this game. The men I worked with had 20 years in and then some.

I liked Will quite a bit, but I didn’t really want to talk. Too bad for me, because he did.  He was waiting by my door when I backed up. The garage door, this is. The one I smashed into all the time because I needed glasses but I didn’t know it.

“Elsa! You’re not dead! I heard you were,” he said.

Skip to Part 9 – Buzzards and Various Other Sundries

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