The Money Will Come

  • You keep saying it’s a matter of time. But it’s not! It’s a matter of money.

  • The money will come. Just be patient.

Again and again he said it.

  • The money will come.

He rocked back and forth.

  • The money will come.

By now he figured he would believe it. He looked at the ground, eyes drifting to a timepiece. The sundial’s measurement was dampened in the dusk. He looked up to his brother. Wild eyes stared back. He blinked. His brother softened for second, eyes pleading before storming up the steps and into the house. The wreath fell from the hook as the door slammed.

He gazed up, along the narrow driveway, stones and scattered leaves, yellow, red, orange pockmarking gray gravel surrounded by half empty trees. The setting sun echoing the leaves, yellow, red, orange above.

The chair creaked as he rose. He sighed as he bent down and flipped the wreath over. On the back, paint on wood, “Christmas ’82.” He eased it onto the hook, but thistles still fell. They always did.

  • Soon you won’t be a wreath.

His brother opened the door, unseating the wreath, now airborne, now bouncing off the porch, now with fewer thistles. By the time he looked up, his brother was down the steps and at the car. They looked at each other one more time, his brother’s eyes red and nose running.

He had wondered about this moment. Every time he thought of a new thing to say, a new idiom, a new idea, a new goodbye, but in this moment there was nothing left. He smiled. It was the one thing he hadn’t thought of. His brother smiled back, grimaced, and shook his head.

The car came to life and rolled down the narrow driveway, faded maroon rolling over the yellow, red, orange, gray. Dust kicked up. It followed the car, rising above the half empty trees. It blanketed the sky and then frayed into a million threads.

In a breath a new dust rose in the distance.

He reset the wreath. Some thistles fell. The chair creaked as he sat. The dust approached.

  • The money will come.