why are they up?


I used to pass a farmhouse on my commute. My work schedule was erratic. I often was called in at odd hours in addition to my scheduled hours.

This particular farmhouse had a large window which appeared to look in the house over their kitchen table.

Whatever day or time the light over this kitchen table was lit. I could often see a TV playing in the background of the room.

In my mind this kitchen table was Formica with metal legs. Again, in my mind, those legs were "hairpin shaped" and the Formica table top had gold stars on a white background.

I was never in this house. I still don't know the people who lived there.

Whatever day, time, Holiday or not, there was someone sitting at that table. They were always looking at the television and it appeared there was a cup in front of them.

Every. Single Day.

The house clearly had other rooms. The front door was to the left of the window. There were other windows but their shades and curtains were always closed.

I had actually seen the figure in the window move, so that rules out them being a mannequin.

I am hoping it is an odd coincidence that no matter the day or hour this person was sitting at that table. I am hoping that there were other people in the house. I picture this as a man, sitting watching the morning or evening news. Perhaps on occasion he had a late night at work, in the field, in the garage, and needed to unwind watching a late movie with some Sanka.

I've never drank Sanka, but I understand it is decaffeinated coffee. A person could drink Sanka at midnight, right? It wouldn't keep them awake. Right? Anyway, in this fairy tale I have created, there is a woman living in this house as well. She works also, a secretary at the local farm implement dealer, perhaps. She has shorter brown hair with a soft curl style. She wears reading glasses on a chain around her neck at times. She wears polyester pants with matching vests over colorful matching blouses. She packs their lunches every morning and fusses at this Sanka drinking man about his cholesterol and his cuffs getting frayed. She does crossword puzzles sitting in her arm chair in the evening while they watch the evening news (on days he isn't sitting at the kitchen table drinking Sanka). They watch "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" together.

They don't have pets.

I don't think they have plants.

Perhaps, a plastic plant. Perhaps.

I think her name is Wilma.

Is it strange I have created an entire life for the wife of the Sanka drinking man and not the Sanka drinking man?

He's an accountant, I think. He likes toast and eggs over easy for breakfast. That's as far as I got with him.

I haven't take that route in many years now.

But I still think of them.

I still wonder

Why was someone always at that table?





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