“What is the date?” A scruffy old man in a formally smart suit stumbled out of a dumpster. “Anyone tell me the date.”
“Um,” My friend Vicki turned to me outraged at his impropriety, “Like we’re going to talk to some dirty old man.”
She tugged on my arm as she locked hers around mine. I resisted. He didn’t look like a bum. He had an assortment of debris on his jacket and a few scuffs from crawling out of a dumpster but was clean otherwise. He looked dizzy and disoriented, not drunk. But mostly he smelled good. I can usually smell a bum a mile away. You can see the stink on some people, especially vagrants, but he looked more like the absent-minded professor on a bad day.
“Today is Thursday.” I pulled my arm out of Vicki’s icy grip. She shrieks and grabs for me again.
“No,” the man propped himself up on the side of a building. “What is the exact date and year.”
I blinked at this and exchanged a look with Vicki whose gum had just fallen onto her shoe. She hadn’t noticed yet. She blinked back at me, flashing me with her baby blue eye shadow. I chewed on my lip for a minute and nodded to myself. I’d follow for one more answer just to see where this would go. Vicki squealed and stepped back about a hundred feet. She wasn’t a fast runner.
“It’s 1985.” I said waiting for a reaction. “I can’t remember is it the 10th or 11th?” I shot a glance back to Vicki who was shaking so hard I could hear her bangles shake like a slinky. Her hot pink fingernails scratching at her stirrup pants. She shook her head.
“Your watch?” I rolled my eyes.
Vicki just nodded and dug through her bangles to check out one of her Swatches that told her the date.
“The 11th.”She croaked and cleared her throat. “September 11, 1985.”
“1985” The man slunk into a puddle dropping his head into his hands. “I missed it again.”
He looked so sad. I couldn’t imagine why a date could be such bad news.
“Anniversary?” I remembered how mad my mom got when my dad forgot theirs one time.
“Not exactly. This isn’t New York is it?” He glanced at both of us.
Vicki and I burst into laughter. No, Springfield was the opposite of New York.
It doesn’t have to be good. It just needs to be done. Fix it later.