The summer seemed to last forever. The heat and humidity, the worst anyone could remember, even oppressed the passage of time.
“Gonna be another scorcher, huh Bub.”
“Yep, reckon so Jimmy.”
Time inched forward on Bub’s front porch, Bub in his rocker, Jimmy on the steel glider. Flies buzzed, birds chirped, cicadas sang. Creation’s symphony.
“Never known it like this for such a spell, have you Bub?”
“Nope, don’t recall the likes a this’n.”
Bub was the resident historian, having spent his entire 82 years in the house. His family arrived with the first wave of settlers in the area. Bub was the third generation born to the house. There had always been Clarks in Stringtown. But Bub was the last one, a childless widower who clung to the traditions in the face of the exodus from the area. Time crept on. The symphony continued.
“Bub, you reckon it’ll rain, break this humidity?”
Bub opened his eyes and surveyed the horizon, solid blue and cloudless. “Nope, don’t reckon so Jimmy.”
Jimmy shifted his weight in the old metal glider. The glider creaked its disapproval, stopping time. All of creation was quiet.
“Bub, you ever thought about leavin’ here? You got your sister and her family in Center City, don’t ya?”
“Nope, never crossed my mind Jimmy.”
Time started again, but more slowly. The symphony changed tempo.
“How’s come Bub?”
“Just never did Jimmy. Don’t know nothin’ else.”
Jimmy began slowly moving the glider back and forth. “I heard Momma and Daddy talkin’ ‘bout selling the place and leavin’ for Center City.”
Jimmy stopped his gliding, and time and the symphony slowed again. “Daddy said he reckoned he could get a job at the mill there.”
“Reckon he can Jimmy. Your daddy’s a good man.”
Jimmy took a moment to digest what Bub had said and started gliding again. The rhythmic creaking woke time again. The symphony resumed.
“You reckon I’ll like it in Center City Bub?”
“I reckon you will Jimmy. There’ll be fellas your age there.”
Jimmy thought about that. He’d never known anyone his age. Bub was his only friend, the only person he knew that wasn’t family. Time and creation slowed again as Jimmy thought.
“Bub, will you still be my friend if we move to Center City?”
“Yep, I reckon I’ll still be your friend Jimmy. Nothin’ to change that.”
Jimmy glided again, the glider creaked, and Bub’s eyes slowly closed while time and creation stopped to watch.
When Jimmy heard the light snore from Bub he knew all was well. “See you tomorrow friend.”
Time slipped forward again, and creation resumed its symphony, as Jimmy stepped off the porch on his way home.