Another Old Railroad Man
Reg moved into the co-joined Commission house in 1964. He was 48. People said his wife had died. His kids were long gone and were not far off having their own littlies.
Reg planted his front garden with poppies, tulips and a hedge the year before the pound became the dollar. He watered his back lawn every morning, spraying flat weeds and thistles until his square yard was bowling green perfect.
Chooks cluttered and laid in a special coop up the back of the garage. Finches tweeped in a tiny homemade aviary. Lawn clippings were scattered behind the treated pine garden edge where pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, beans, sprouts and lettuce slumbered beneath the soil.
Decimal currency changed very little, the metric system even less. He would measure in inches, yards and miles til they put him six feet under; probably til the day Midford stopped making sky-blue long sleeved business shirts and wide-legged grey slacks. Come washing day the Hills Hoist was wooden pegged full of them. He'd hang his undies closest to the centre pole, as if even the clothesline deserved dignity.
On warm days he'd sit in the doorway out front, screen door baling twined open, thinking of nothing. Or his wife. Or his kids. Or how different Tassie was nowadays, all short skirts and ridiculous music. Sunday mornings he'd listen to the country music station on the wireless. Sunny Sundays were sad songs in the sun.
For some folks, life if simply one fine day repeated.
The day the ambulance came, a truckload of men dug up his lawn so he could have faster internet.
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