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by Lynn Demarest in Mostly True Stories

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Female viagra uk Flying with MotherI was visiting my seventy-something mother for the day. Female viagra uk It was a Sunday, female viagra uk I’m pretty sure, female viagra uk because she had assembled a big breakfast: Sunny-side-up eggs basted in hot bacon grease, female viagra uk in order to hurry the albumen along before the yolk firmed up too much, female viagra uk  baked potatoes from the night before cut into big chunks and cooked until crispy, female viagra uk again in careless amounts of bacon grease. Female viagra uk And then there was the mound of bacon itself, female viagra uk and perhaps some sausage links.

Female viagra uk I was in my early thirties, female viagra uk still a bachelor. Female viagra uk I ate like a young man, female viagra uk with relish and gusto.

Female viagra uk “Delicious breakfast, female viagra uk mom, female viagra uk” I said, female viagra uk pushing away from the table. Female viagra uk “I’m stuffed. Female viagra uk What’s going on today?”

Female viagra uk “Jim and I have reserved a Piper Cub.” She looked at him. Female viagra uk “What time is the plane, female viagra uk Jim?”

Female viagra uk Jim looked at his watch.

Female viagra uk “Eleven o’clock, female viagra uk” he said. Female viagra uk “We have to leave in about thirty minutes.”

Female viagra uk I had loved the idea of flying since I was a kid. Female viagra uk The Wright Brothers and all that. Female viagra uk On this morning, female viagra uk my childlike airplane fantasies overwhelmed any memory of my last experience in a small plane. Female viagra uk It was supposed to have been a small jet, female viagra uk but it turned out to be twin-engine job with enough room for maybe twelve passengers.

Female viagra uk We flew from Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore and back again. Female viagra uk In Baltimore, female viagra uk a nurse assigned to come fetch me saw my sad condition – I was laying on the terminal floor with my feet up on a chair. Female viagra uk She pulled me into a bathroom. Female viagra uk I’m not sure if it was the Men’s or the Women’s. Female viagra uk Anyway, female viagra uk she had me drop my drawers and administered a shot of prochlorperazine to get me back on the plane. Female viagra uk The antiemetic tranquilizer, female viagra uk which is used on schizophrenia patients as well as  nausea sufferers, female viagra uk worked almost immediately: It made me not care a whit if the plane crashed. Female viagra uk Maybe that’s why I had forgotten the ride north. Female viagra uk The return trip south, female viagra uk with me soaring literally and figuratively, female viagra uk had been fun.

Female viagra uk And so I asked my mother: “Can I come?”

Female viagra uk “Sure, female viagra uk” she said. Female viagra uk “There’s room for two in the back.”

Female viagra uk She had never flown in her life. Female viagra uk Then she married Jim. Female viagra uk He was retired, female viagra uk but belonged to a flying club and still enjoyed flying short hops from Miami to points up Florida’s eastern coastline, female viagra uk most often to pick up his sister for a visit. Female viagra uk He always took my mother with him. Female viagra uk One day, female viagra uk he suggested he teach her to fly, female viagra uk in case he conked out one day in midair. Female viagra uk She wasn’t going to get a pilot’s license or anything. Female viagra uk She wasn’t that serious about it. Female viagra uk She just wanted to learn enough to get the plane down.

Female viagra uk We drove to the little airport. Female viagra uk It was a field of sun-baked asphalt flanked by an administration building and two steel hangers where they housed the executive jets. Female viagra uk Next to the administration building was a picnic area with one table under two trees. Female viagra uk The single-engine Pipers were arrayed on the tarmac, female viagra uk looking too much like toys.

Female viagra uk Our plane had been gassed up, female viagra uk inspected and moved to a spot beside the runway. Female viagra uk We could have just walked up, female viagra uk jumped in, female viagra uk started her up, female viagra uk and taken off. Female viagra uk But this was a lesson. Female viagra uk Jim, female viagra uk who’d been a careful chemist and fastidious engineer, female viagra uk insisted that my mother give the little airplane a pre-flight walk-around as he’d shown her how to do. Female viagra uk I stood to the side and watched as the old woman made sure the ailerons, female viagra uk elevators and rudder moved freely, female viagra uk that there were no tears in the fabric, female viagra uk that nothing seemed loose enough to be in danger of falling off.

Female viagra uk Then Jim helped her lift the cowling and she checked a few things on the engine. Female viagra uk I moved closer, female viagra uk but none of it meant anything to me. Female viagra uk As a mechanic, female viagra uk I make a great cook.

Female viagra uk Jim closed the hinged cowling. Female viagra uk It made a cheap clattering sound.

Female viagra uk He turned to me and said, female viagra uk “All aboard.”

Female viagra uk I got in first and squeezed into the back. Female viagra uk The little plane’s cabin was about as large as a good-sized steamer trunk and as hot as a car left in the sun with the windows up. Female viagra uk I fastened my seat belt and pulled it snug. Female viagra uk Jim sat in the teacher’s seat, female viagra uk to the right. Female viagra uk My mother took the pilot’s seat, female viagra uk to the left.

Female viagra uk Gauges were checked and controls were twiddled. Female viagra uk The engine turned over, female viagra uk sputtered a couple times, female viagra uk then started to roar. Female viagra uk My mother checked a few more gauges and said something into the radio. Female viagra uk A crackling response came back. Female viagra uk I understood none of it.

Female viagra uk I was sweating through my shirt. Female viagra uk I hoped once we gained some altitude I could catch a cool breeze, female viagra uk somehow.

Female viagra uk My mother gunned the engine, female viagra uk released the brakes, female viagra uk and taxied out onto the little asphalt airstrip. Female viagra uk I saw Jim look at the orange wind sock. Female viagra uk There was a crosswind.

Female viagra uk “I’ll take her off today, female viagra uk Barbara, female viagra uk” he said. Female viagra uk “You can have her once we’re up.”

Female viagra uk “OK, female viagra uk” my mother said.

Female viagra uk I felt a surge of relief. Female viagra uk I hadn’t given sufficient thought to what it would be like to be in a plane with my mother at the controls. Female viagra uk I didn’t even like to ride with her driving in the car.

Female viagra uk Jim gunned the Piper’s engine to the hilt and whatever relief I’d briefly enjoyed vanished as quickly as it had come.

Female viagra uk The little compartment that contained us shook like a jalopy as we accelerated down the runway. Female viagra uk The engine was deafening, female viagra uk loud as a lawnmower, female viagra uk but deeper in tone, female viagra uk and more throaty. Female viagra uk It seemed as though we’d accelerated for a long time, female viagra uk but had still not taken off. Female viagra uk I looked out the front window but could see only sky. Female viagra uk The view out the side window gave no clue as to where the runway ended. Female viagra uk I looked at Jim. Female viagra uk He was alert and calm. Female viagra uk Finally, female viagra uk he pulled back on the wheel, female viagra uk the little plane leaped into the air and I imagined its front landing gear just clearing the power lines at the end of the runway.

Female viagra uk As we slowly gained altitude, female viagra uk Jim circled around to the west and headed out over the Everglades. Female viagra uk The ride turned turbulent as we were tossed around by the drafts that reached up from the swamp and jostled us.

Female viagra uk Jim said, female viagra uk “OK, female viagra uk Barbara, female viagra uk it’s all yours. Female viagra uk Let’s practice a few ninety-degree turns. Female viagra uk What’s your heading?”

Female viagra uk “Due south, female viagra uk” my mother said.

Female viagra uk “OK, female viagra uk bring her around due west, female viagra uk” Jim said.

Female viagra uk Farther into the Everglades, female viagra uk I thought. Female viagra uk I felt myself going green, female viagra uk just as I had done in the twin-engine to Baltimore.

Female viagra uk A loud crackling noise came over the radio.

Female viagra uk “What did they say?” Jim asked.

Female viagra uk My mother didn’t answer. Female viagra uk Instead, female viagra uk she starting looking out the windows as if she were taking a Sunday drive on Miami Beach, female viagra uk trying to find a place to park.

Female viagra uk Finally she said, female viagra uk “I think they said something about another plane. Female viagra uk I don’t see any other planes, female viagra uk do you Jim?”

Female viagra uk Jim started looking out the windows, female viagra uk too.

Female viagra uk “I don’t see anything, female viagra uk” he said.

Female viagra uk While the two of them searched the sky for what I assumed was another plane – a plane that would hit us any second at hundreds of miles an hour – I felt my stomach do a loop-de-loop. Female viagra uk I had only a few seconds to act. Female viagra uk I dug into the bag I was carrying and found a sandwich-sized Zip-Lock in it. Female viagra uk It was full of spare change. Female viagra uk I dumped the coins into the bag and emptied my stomach into the Zip-Lock.

Female viagra uk The Zip-Lock brimmed and bulged. Female viagra uk I held it upright by pinching its corners between the thumb and first finger of each hand. Female viagra uk It was way too full to zip closed. Female viagra uk The zipper itself was submerged.

Female viagra uk My mother looked back and saw me holding the Zip-Lock. Female viagra uk My face was green and swampy.

Female viagra uk We landed.

Female viagra uk Jim taxied the little plane over to the grassy place with the two trees and the picnic table. Female viagra uk I got out of the plane gingerly, female viagra uk holding the full bag in front of me as I went. Female viagra uk I reached the picnic area, female viagra uk dropped the Zip-Lock into a trash can, female viagra uk then laid down on the grass and put my feet up on a picnic table bench.

Female viagra uk I didn’t notice when Jim gunned the engine to continue the lesson. Female viagra uk I was peacefully on the ground. Female viagra uk I felt the earth’s mass behind me and dreamed of Baltimore and tried in vain to conjure up a nurse carrying a syringe full of courage.

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by Lynn Demarest in Stories

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Viagra pills Sophia Flowers was baking a birthday cake for her grandson, viagra pills who would turn five years old the next day. Viagra pills Five was a big deal, viagra pills so a backyard party had been planned. Viagra pills The birthday boy’s assertive mother — Sophia’s daughter, viagra pills Abigale — had meted out various party responsibilities to the invited guests. Viagra pills One had chips and dip, viagra pills another the bounce house, viagra pills another ponies, viagra pills party favors, viagra pills hot dogs, viagra pills and so on. Viagra pills In all, viagra pills there were thirty-four assignments, viagra pills one for each family who planned to attend.

Viagra pills Everyone eagerly agreed to do whatever Abigale asked of them. Viagra pills Everyone knew they were lucky to have been invited at all, viagra pills and if they didn’t want to do whatever it was Abigale had set as their price of admission, viagra pills there were plenty of others who would take their place. Viagra pills There was, viagra pills in fact, viagra pills an actual waiting list. Viagra pills Abigale decided to create it after the third party, viagra pills when one of the invited guests died the day before the event. Viagra pills During the party, viagra pills the one empty seat created a palpable tension, viagra pills not because it reminded them of someone recently deceased, viagra pills but because there were conflicting ideas about what to do about the dead man’s share of birthday cake.

Viagra pills The dead man’s family — the now-widowed mother and her two children — made an unabashed pitch in favor of placing a sizable slab of cake on the plate in front of his empty chair, viagra pills in memory of his passing. Viagra pills That startlingly shameless gambit caused a commotion that prompted Abigale to think of prohibiting the attendance of families who should properly be in mourning.

Viagra pills “You can’t ask a dog not to lick itself, viagra pills” Sophia told her.

Viagra pills There was one cancellation for the fourth party, viagra pills but it was because of business, viagra pills not death. Viagra pills A substitute guest, viagra pills a five-year-old boy from down the block, viagra pills was invited at the last moment. Viagra pills His chain-smoking mother spent the afternoon on the other side of the six-foot-tall wooden fence that encircled the backyard party, viagra pills standing in flip-flops on a five-gallon plastic bucket so she could see over the fence and keep an eye on her son, viagra pills and so she could let Abigale know it was OK for him to have seconds, viagra pills should the opportunity arise.

Viagra pills The word about Sophia’s intoxicating cake got out soon after the first birthday, viagra pills but the implications were not realized until a month before the second, viagra pills when Abigale counted three-hundred-seventy-three requests for invitations to the boy’s party.

Viagra pills “Since when do people ask to come to a two-year-old’s birthday party?” Sophia asked her.

Viagra pills “It’s your cake, viagra pills mom, viagra pills” Abigale said. Viagra pills “People say you must put drugs in it.”

Viagra pills “It’s not drugs, viagra pills” Sophia said. Viagra pills “It’s love.”

Viagra pills After the second party, viagra pills a rumor circulated that Sophia spiked the cake. Viagra pills The rumor was so intense that it generated a spin-off rumor that said someone had smuggled out a napkin-wrapped pocketful of the cake and sent it to a lab. Viagra pills The scientists at the lab picked it apart molecule by molecule and found nothing but molecules that one would expect to find in a cake.

Viagra pills It was therefore decided that Sophia’s cake contained a secret balance of ingredients and perhaps a special way of combining them and applying heat to them that resulted in some sort of homespun elixir. Viagra pills This feat of kitchen alchemy was attempted by several accomplished bakers, viagra pills one of whom had gone to the Indiana finals of the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Viagra pills All of them failed. Viagra pills Everyone, viagra pills even the talented bakers themselves, viagra pills agreed it was not like Sophia’s cake.

Viagra pills “They left out the love, viagra pills” Sophia said.

Viagra pills Sophia’s prowess as a baker was, viagra pills of course, viagra pills well known to her daughter, viagra pills whose most vivid childhood memory was the sticky sweet smell of confectioner’s sugar in the air. Viagra pills Given this, viagra pills there was never a question about who would be asked to make the boy’s cake, viagra pills which Sophia lovingly constructed from scratch and without consulting a recipe, viagra pills so far as anyone could tell.

Viagra pills One thing was indisputable: There never was any cake left over, viagra pills no matter how many people attended or how large Sophia made the cake. Viagra pills For party three, viagra pills Sophia baked two cakes as big as cookie sheets and five layers thick. Viagra pills Both had vanished quickly. Viagra pills Such obscene amounts of cake had one of two effects on the three-year-old revelers: Either it made them run in circles, viagra pills usually with their arms outstretched like airplanes, viagra pills or it made them queasy.

Viagra pills One chubby three-year-old boy ate two big slabs and then finished his mother’s slice. Viagra pills (She gave it to him to stop his incessant and embarrassing begging.) The boy then went for a pony ride. Viagra pills When the pony was about half of the way around the path its hooves had begun to beat into the lawn, viagra pills the handler saw the boy’s face turn ashen. Viagra pills He moved quickly to lift the toddler out of the saddle – from behind, viagra pills away from the imminent spray, viagra pills but was not fast enough. Viagra pills The child hurled a sticky-sweet stomach-full of half-digested cake at the pony’s carefully combed mane.

Viagra pills The handler, viagra pills unsurprised by a toddler vomiting, viagra pills set the boy down, viagra pills pulled a cloth from his back pocket, viagra pills wiped the vomit from the boy’s face and then from the pony’s blond mane. Viagra pills The boy went running to his mother. Viagra pills The handler led the soiled pony to the trailer and brushed out the remainder of the vomit using a spray cleaner that left the horse smelling of bubblegum.

Viagra pills Delicious as they were, viagra pills Sophia’s birthday cakes did more than just taste good. Viagra pills They also looked good. Viagra pills She painstakingly decorated them with homemade marzipan sculptures teased together with toothpicks and tweezers.

Viagra pills “This is too beautiful to eat, viagra pills” someone would always say, viagra pills but of course they did eat it, viagra pills to the last crumb, viagra pills pressed between the tines of a plastic fork.

Viagra pills This year, viagra pills the cake’s theme was western. Viagra pills The giant slab (any larger and it would not have fit into Sophia’s oven) was to be decorated with candy cowboys riding candy horses and a herd of candy cattle grazing on a green-icing pasture. Viagra pills A lasso of icing would spell out Happy Birthday Cowpoke Jason!

Viagra pills The cake was cooling. Viagra pills Sophia already had finished making the candy cowboys in their ten-gallon hats and sitting astride chocolate-and-vanilla palominos. Viagra pills The candy cattle were completed as well, viagra pills five Guernseys and one longhorn made anatomically correct for the amusement of the five-year-old boys, viagra pills for whom there were few things funnier than wieners, viagra pills unless it was poopie, viagra pills a kindergarten fetish Sophia also sought to satisfy by fashioning a few tiny cow pies she positioned under each animal’s rear end, viagra pills leaving no doubt about what they were.

Viagra pills Even when it took the form of feces, viagra pills Sophia’s cake was delicious. Viagra pills And besides, viagra pills Jason and the other five-year-old boys would get a real laugh watching each other eat  candy cow poo.

Viagra pills Last year, viagra pills the theme was Insects. Viagra pills Sophia had placed a giant candy roach on her grandson’s slice, viagra pills which of course was the huge one with Jason written on it. Viagra pills The boy ate the insect with great relish while the little girls screamed with glee and ran crazily around him in mock terror, viagra pills squealing, viagra pills “Ugh! He ate a bug! Ugh!”

Viagra pills “Oh, viagra pills no, viagra pills” Sophia said.

Viagra pills The problem was the size of the pasture. Viagra pills After she’d coaxed the last drop of green food coloring out of the little dropper bottle, viagra pills the bowl of icing that was to become grass had only achieved the sickly green tint of hospital walls. Viagra pills If used as it was, viagra pills she thought, viagra pills the candy cowboys would appear to be herding candy cattle atop a wintergreen mint.

Viagra pills “Jack!” She called to her husband.

Viagra pills “Coming!” he answered, viagra pills pausing to fill in a crossword answer.

Viagra pills For years, viagra pills Jack Flowers had done the newspaper crossword puzzles every day, viagra pills not just the ones near the comics, viagra pills but the harder ones in the classified section. Viagra pills He done so many that their sameness had long ago diluted the challenge. Viagra pills Identical clues and answers kept showing up. Viagra pills “Sapporo Sash, viagra pills” for example, viagra pills always was “Obi.” Who but crossword addicts knew such a word! Anyway, viagra pills finishing for Jack was a fait accompli. Viagra pills He judged himself now by how fast he finished.

Viagra pills “Juvenile delinquent” was the clue for a four letter word ending with a T (the first letter of TERROR). Viagra pills “BRAT” Jack wrote.

Viagra pills “Come on, viagra pills Jack!” Sophia called.

Viagra pills Jack wrote down the amount of time he had spent on the puzzle so far (4 min) and went to her.

Viagra pills “My dove!” he sang. Viagra pills The kitchen smelled of cake baking and icing sugar. Viagra pills “You cooed?”

Viagra pills “I’m out of green, viagra pills my prince.” She tossed him an empty tube of green food color. Viagra pills “Can you please go get more?”

Viagra pills “Your wish is…”

Viagra pills “I don’t have time to play, viagra pills Jack. Viagra pills Please hurry.”

Viagra pills At 70, viagra pills Jack had only one speed: slow. Viagra pills He’d even taken to carrying a cane. Viagra pills Abby had given it to him for Father’s Day. Viagra pills He’d been put off by it at first (What was she saying – that he was an old man?) he eventually grew fond of the sturdy mahogany branch and swung it beside him with a confidence that recalled his graceful youth. Viagra pills He’d also discovered that its curved handle came in handy. Viagra pills You could pull a door shut with it, viagra pills fetch a bottle of ketchup from the other side of the table, viagra pills coax a hat off a high shelf, viagra pills fend off dogs, viagra pills and a million other things.

Viagra pills As Jack opened the door to leave, viagra pills Sophia called out to him.

Viagra pills “Get two bottles, viagra pills Jack. Viagra pills Just to be safe, viagra pills” she said. Viagra pills “And no dillydallying with the Bench Boys!”

Viagra pills The Bench Boys – an unofficial group to which it could be said Jack Flowers belonged – was a foursome of retired men who gathered on the green benches outside of the supermarket to watch the people come and go, viagra pills particularly the young mothers with their broods in tow, viagra pills proof positive of their youthful fertility.

Viagra pills The Bench Boys had been invited to Jason’s third and fourth birthday parties, viagra pills and so were among those who had jockeyed for invitations in year five. Viagra pills This time, viagra pills however, viagra pills Sophia told Jack that none of them could come. Viagra pills There were too many parents and children already coming from Jason’s new kindergarten. Viagra pills All of the kindergarten parents had heard about Sophia’s cake and anticipated it with such great relish that some of them were even driven to implore their children to be nice to Jason no matter how mean he is to you so as not to spoil their chance at a slice of it.

Viagra pills “You sure they can’t come?” Jack asked for the fourth time even though he already knew the answer. Viagra pills Sophia rarely changed her mind.

Viagra pills “Jack!”

Viagra pills “OK!”

Viagra pills He blew her a kiss (her head was in the refrigerator, viagra pills so she didn’t catch it) then pulled the door shut with his cane, viagra pills a smooth move worthy of Fred Astaire.

Viagra pills “Got nothin’ on me, viagra pills Fred, viagra pills” Jack thought to himself in a reckless moment of pride, viagra pills and before his ego had a chance to bask in the glory, viagra pills he stumbled. Viagra pills He nearly fell down a concrete stairway but was able to arrest his fall at the last moment with the help of the cane. Viagra pills He kissed it as a golfer might kiss a lucky putter, viagra pills as though it held magic.

Viagra pills “That could have turned out badly, viagra pills” he thought.

Viagra pills He walked to the elevator, viagra pills waited for the claustrophobic and stuffy car, viagra pills and got in.

Viagra pills The market was a short walk from the condo – maybe four-hundred yards – on the other side of a park that was across the street. Viagra pills First Jack noticed two joggers on the path that followed the park’s perimeter, viagra pills which was lined with shady banyans as big as hot air balloons. Viagra pills Then he spotted a man and a boy flying a virtual squadron of kites, viagra pills maybe fifteen or twenty of them, viagra pills most on auto-pilot, viagra pills the spool ends stuck securely into the grass, viagra pills angled against a strong and constant breeze that lifted the kites almost directly overhead and pulled their strings taut.

Viagra pills It was a blustery June day, viagra pills and warm. Viagra pills The wind was blowing from the south, viagra pills into Jack’s right ear as he walked toward the supermarket, viagra pills and toward the far edge of the park to the north, viagra pills where a ball field’s first-base fence gathered pieces of trash swept up from the park and blown against it. Viagra pills Huddled in a chain-link cage that served as the first-base dugout, viagra pills a small knot of teenagers were smoking cigarettes held in cupped hands.

Viagra pills “Who’s that?” one of them said, viagra pills flicking his fuzzy chin at Jack.

Viagra pills “Just some old geezer from the condo, viagra pills ass wipe, viagra pills” his friend answered. Viagra pills “Who gives a fuck?”

Viagra pills “Maybe he has some money. Viagra pills I need more smokes.”

Viagra pills “Better be careful, viagra pills” the third one said. Viagra pills “That cane looks like it could knock the stupid out of you.”

Viagra pills “Blow me, viagra pills” said the one with the fuzzy chin, viagra pills who flipped open his Marlboro box  and saw he had only one left.

Viagra pills Jack thought how nice it was to live near a park. Viagra pills He and Sophia sometimes strolled through it after early summer dinners, viagra pills when there was plenty of sunlight left. Viagra pills “Let’s pretend we’re in love, viagra pills” she’d tease once the dishes were done, viagra pills and Jack would grab his cane with his right hand and her hand with his left and they’d walk along the path that wandered beneath banyan canopies big enough to park a bus under.

Viagra pills This, viagra pills however, viagra pills was no time to stroll. Viagra pills Jack was on an urgent errand. Viagra pills His cane swinging with purpose, viagra pills he made a beeline for the market, viagra pills a cavernous single-story store that nonetheless stood two-stories tall and so was clearly visible from across the park. Viagra pills The grass was freshly mowed. Viagra pills Its aroma reminded Jack of his days playing golf, viagra pills before his hips went bad. Viagra pills (He was sure he could feel bone-on-bone contact on his left side, viagra pills the cartilage there having worn through.)

Viagra pills As he walked, viagra pills Jack noticed a discarded soda can. Viagra pills Dr. Viagra pills Pepper it looked like. Viagra pills He took a lazy swing at it with his cane.

Viagra pills “I can’t believe Baby Jay is going to be five years old tomorrow, viagra pills” he thought as he addressed the can a second time and prepared to take a more considered swing at it.

Viagra pills It seemed just a few months ago that he and Sophia had crowded into an austere hospital room with other family members, viagra pills many of whom he’d not recognized at the time and hadn’t seen since. Viagra pills Everybody loved a new baby. Viagra pills They hovered around Ally’s bed, viagra pills maybe twenty of them, viagra pills standing two-deep and taking turns holding the day-old infant, viagra pills whose miniature hands clutched at their fingers with surprising strength and super-sharp fingernails. Viagra pills It was fortunate, viagra pills Jack remembering thinking as the baby dug those little razors into his finger, viagra pills that the creature had not thought to claw its way out like a chick emerging from an egg rather than waiting to be ejected. Viagra pills Then again, viagra pills the womb must be a very comfortable place. Viagra pills Who’d want to leave?

Viagra pills Jack took another swing at the soda can.

Viagra pills As Baby Jason was passed from arm to arm, viagra pills each new temporary parent was equally astonished by the miracle before them, viagra pills this despite the newborn’s peculiar-looking cranium, viagra pills which due to a hard delivery had come out shaped like a butternut squash, viagra pills narrow at the crown, viagra pills fat at the base. Viagra pills A first-time mother, viagra pills Abby was understandably horrified, viagra pills especially considering the nurses’ well-meaning but poorly-worded assurances that her baby’s head would take on a more normal shape over the next few weeks.

Viagra pills Of course the head’s glacial metamorphosis took longer than Abby imagined it would, viagra pills and with no way of know how normal it would grow before it refused to get any more normal, viagra pills she ultimately convinced herself that her son’s head was to be forever shaped like a gourd.

Viagra pills “How can a head change shape?” she wailed to her father. Viagra pills “It’s made of bone!

Viagra pills “Babies heads are different, viagra pills” Jack said. Viagra pills He held his softly sobbing daughter as if she were a child again. Viagra pills He assured her the nurses had meant to say little Jason’s head would become completely normal. Viagra pills It was just going to take more time, viagra pills he said. Viagra pills “Maybe because it involves bone.”

Viagra pills Jack and the nurses were right, viagra pills of course. Viagra pills Over the next few months, viagra pills at a pace that made the change difficult to see unless you looked at old photographs of the boy, viagra pills the strangeness of the head subsided. Viagra pills Within two weeks of the day his diapers started to smell remarkably foul, viagra pills he was as perfect a baby as anyone could dare expect.

Viagra pills At thirty, viagra pills Abigale was still a young mother. Viagra pills Everyone assumed that she’d have at least one more child. Viagra pills But in five years she had not. Viagra pills Some thought maybe she feared having another baby with a deformed head – one that wouldn’t reshape itself as magically as Jason’s had. Viagra pills Or perhaps it was because she herself was an only child and so recognized the material advantages.

Viagra pills Abigale was born when Sophia was thirty-eight – late for a first-time mother. Viagra pills More than that, viagra pills once the doctors pronounced the baby normal, viagra pills Sophia began to insist on having her tubes tied before she left the hospital.

Viagra pills The doctors told her she’d have to come back.

Viagra pills “Why not do it now?” she asked. Viagra pills “I’m here, viagra pills you’ve got me all opened up. Viagra pills Let’s do it!”

Viagra pills “The human body is not a Buick, viagra pills” her doctor told her.

Viagra pills Sophia had always known she and Jack would never have a big family. Viagra pills The bulk of her childbearing years had been spent in Barrow, viagra pillsAlaska, viagra pills the northernmost point of theUnited States. Viagra pills The location was so remote that pregnancy was a risk accepted only by the native Eskimos, viagra pills who were in the majority and had big families despite commonly losing one or two infants, viagra pills and those who got pregnant by accident and could not bring themselves to have an abortion.

Viagra pills In Barrow, viagra pills the Flowers had owned and operated the Caribou Depot, viagra pills a general store of sorts that also slaughtered and butchered wild game brought in by the locals. Viagra pills Jack himself flew in provisions once a month from Fairbanks, viagra pills five-hundred miles to the south, viagra pills small special orders included. Viagra pills (Larger items came by boat, viagra pills in the summertime.) For two months in the summer, viagra pills they also ran Midnight Sun Tours, viagra pills which took tourists on rides around the bay, viagra pills where the low-hanging sun was visible not only at midnight but all night.

Viagra pills On Sophia’s thirty-fifth birthday, viagra pills she decided she had indulged her adventurous husband quite long enough and started talking about acquiring a normal life, viagra pills a transition that happened surprisingly fast, viagra pills since Jack was ready for a change, viagra pills too.

Viagra pills They’d both had their fill of snow and ice, viagra pills and so even though they were far from retirement age, viagra pills they migrated toFlorida. Viagra pills Sophia got a job at an accounting firm and Jack flew rich people around in their private jets.

Viagra pills InTennessee, viagra pills it is said, viagra pills you’re never out of view of a church steeple. Viagra pills InBoca Raton, viagra pills the same was true for golf courses, viagra pills and Jack made a point to play all of them, viagra pills even the private ones, viagra pills which admitted him as a guest. Viagra pills As a private pilot, viagra pills Jack Flowers knew a lot of rich people, viagra pills and rich people, viagra pills he soon learned, viagra pills had country club memberships whether they played golf or not.

Viagra pills The soda can was not a golf ball and the mahogany cane was not a sand wedge, viagra pills so it took Jack several swings – each one preceded by a motionless stance – to finally get the stubborn can near a trash receptacle stationed next to the walking path on the far side of the park. Viagra pills Looking into the receptacle, viagra pills Jack spotted a discarded cupcake and was instantly reminded of his mission. Viagra pills Leaving the battered soda can resting against the base of the trash bin, viagra pills he resumed his march toward the market with a renewed purpose and a silent prayer that Sophia hadn’t seen him dawdle mindlessly as if it were his fifth birthday tomorrow.

Viagra pills As he drew near the entrance of the market, viagra pills he saw the Bench Boys. Viagra pills Junior Jones, viagra pills a retired master welder fromLouisiana, viagra pills had brought his card table and three folding chairs. Viagra pills Junior weighed three-hundred-and-twenty pounds, viagra pills thanks to a passion for barbecue and corn bread, viagra pills and so had settled onto the sturdy concrete and wood bench while the other two sat in the folding chairs he’d provided. Viagra pills Marvin Sladewick was east, viagra pills to Junior’s right, viagra pills and Walter Pinchell was west, viagra pills to his left. Viagra pills The folding chair in the north position, viagra pills across from Junior, viagra pills was empty.

Viagra pills Marvin was the first to see Jack.

Viagra pills “Hey Jackie!” he called.

Viagra pills “Hey boys, viagra pills” Jack said. Viagra pills He stopped at the table, viagra pills thinking he’d only pause for a second or two, viagra pills especially since he’d spent so much time with the soda can.

Viagra pills “Jack! Glad you stopped by! We need a fourth, viagra pills” Junior said, viagra pills motioning a handful of cards at the empty chair. Viagra pills Junior, viagra pills a big black man with arms as big as jackhammers, viagra pills wore a white t-shirt and denim overalls, viagra pills as he had since he was a boy (except for weddings and funerals).

Viagra pills “Can’t do it, viagra pills Junior, viagra pills” Jack said, viagra pills holding up the empty bottle of green food coloring. Viagra pills “Sophia needs more green.”

Viagra pills “What’s she need the food color for, viagra pills Jack?” Walter asked, viagra pills but of course he already knew.

Viagra pills “Jason’s fifth birthday party is tomorrow, viagra pills” Jack said. Viagra pills “You already know that, viagra pills Walter. Viagra pills You asked me about it a month ago.”

Viagra pills “Sophia’s cake!” Marvin Sladewick said, viagra pills clutching his arms to his chest. Viagra pills “She needs the green for the cake!” Marvin was thin as a rail and didn’t normally like sweets, viagra pills but Sophia’s cake was, viagra pills as everyone agreed, viagra pills not to be missed.

Viagra pills “Already told you guys, viagra pills” Jack said. Viagra pills “Can’t get you in this year.”

Viagra pills “Seriously?” Marvin said sadly, viagra pills sounding like a disappointed child.

Viagra pills “Jason went into kindergarten this year, viagra pills and it seems like his entire school is invited, viagra pills” Jack explained. Viagra pills “So no go.”

Viagra pills “That is a damn shame, viagra pills Jack, viagra pills” Junior said. Viagra pills “I don’t suppose you can save us some cake?”

Viagra pills “Sure, viagra pills if there’s any left, viagra pills” Jack answered. Viagra pills “But…”

Viagra pills “There’s never any left, viagra pills” Marvin finished. Viagra pills “Deal the cards, viagra pills Junior.”

Viagra pills Feeling bad about disappointing his friends, viagra pills Jack walked through the market’s automatic doors and found the food coloring without any trouble. Viagra pills Then he started back to Sophia. Viagra pills He didn’t stop to chat with the Bench Boys this time, viagra pills but just shrugged and mouthed Sorry silently as he made his way past them. Viagra pills They gave him the cold shoulder.

Viagra pills As he started to cross the eastern edge of the park, viagra pills he noticed that the group of teenagers who had been smoking cigarettes and roughhousing in the first-base dugout now were gathered around the man and the boy flying kites. Viagra pills All of the kites were on auto-pilot.

Viagra pills The kite man was pulling his pockets out of his pants as if to prove they were empty. Viagra pills Suddenly, viagra pills and without apparent provocation, viagra pills one of the teenagers pushed the kite man hard against the chest and he fell to the ground. Viagra pills The kite boy ran to defend his father and pushed the attacker back for a moment, viagra pills but then he too was pushed to the ground.

Viagra pills Jack kept walking. Viagra pills He’d been gone so long that Sophia must know he stopped to fool with the Bench Boys. Viagra pills She might well be perched on the top floor of the condo right now, viagra pills watching him. Viagra pills The kite man, viagra pills still on the ground, viagra pills was taking off his shoes and socks for some reason.

Viagra pills Then Jack heard the kite boy scream. Viagra pills The teenager with the fuzzy chin had kicked one of the kite spools out of the ground. Viagra pills It was skittering along on the grass right toward Jack, viagra pills the kite boy scampering after it and crying, viagra pills “Catch it! Stop it!”

Viagra pills Jack grabbed the foot of his cane and hooked its crook around the escaping kite string, viagra pills which whizzed as it gnawed a small groove into the mahogany. Viagra pills Not a second later, viagra pills the wooden spool slammed into the crook of the cane.

Viagra pills “Got it!” Jack said just as the boy ran up.

Viagra pills The teen with the fuzzy chin was not done. Viagra pills With his two comrades standing watch over the boy’s protesting father, viagra pills who despite his protesting remained on the ground, viagra pills he starting kicking kite spools out of the ground one after the other, viagra pills sending them jumping along one after the other toward Jack and the boy.

Viagra pills It took some doing, viagra pills and the whizzing kite strings slashed their hands, viagra pills but Jack and the kite boy managed to stop every kite before it got away, viagra pills each time securing the spool in the crook of Jack’s cane.

Viagra pills When the last kite had been successfully captured, viagra pills the boy gave Jack a high-five and looked back in triumph at the kite vandal.

Viagra pills “Good try, viagra pills loser!” he cried.

Viagra pills Just then, viagra pills a gust came up and the combined pulling power of the squadron of kites was more than Jack could hold. Viagra pills He was pulled to the ground.

Viagra pills “Umph!” Jack said as the air was pushed from his chest.

Viagra pills The kite boy leapt on top of Jack and helped him hold onto the cane. Viagra pills He saw that the kites had become hopelessly tangled around the curved crook. Viagra pills If they let the kites go, viagra pills the cane would go with them.

Viagra pills “Hold on!” Jack cried out. Viagra pills “I don’t want to lose my cane!”

Viagra pills “I’ve got it!” the kite boy said, viagra pills and then they both started laughing.

Viagra pills The teens, viagra pills humiliated that they’d been bested by an old geezer and a boy, viagra pills had wandered off penniless. Viagra pills The kite man came hopping up, viagra pills still trying to get his right heel into his sneaker.

Viagra pills “That was amazing!” he said. Viagra pills “I’ve never seen an old man move so fast! An old man with a cane no less! How old are you, viagra pills anyway, viagra pills mister?”

Viagra pills Jack, viagra pills still laying on the grass, viagra pills still grasping the tugging cane with the kite boy, viagra pills discovered he couldn’t answer. Viagra pills Even though the boy was no longer laying on top of him, viagra pills Jack felt as though he was still there, viagra pills but much heavier. Viagra pills He found it hard to breathe.

Viagra pills “Heart…” Jack said. Viagra pills He released his grip on the cane and grabbed his chest. Viagra pills The pull of the kites immediately brought the kite boy to his feet. Viagra pills Then it lifted him easily into the air.

Viagra pills “Whoa!” the kite boy said, viagra pills not yet aware of his dire situation.

Viagra pills As Jack lay on the freshly mowed grass, viagra pills the kite man ran after his airborne son, viagra pills leaping and clutching for his feet, viagra pills which remained just inches out of reach.

Viagra pills “Let it go! I’ll catch you!” he called out to his son.

Viagra pills The kite boy clung to the cane. Viagra pills He either didn’t hear his father calling out or he was too frightened to let go. Viagra pills Or maybe he didn’t want to lose his kites, viagra pills or Jack’s cane. Viagra pills In any case, viagra pills he held on tight to the jumbled ball of wooden spools and kite string that had been wound around the top of Jack’s cane, viagra pills then wrapped his legs around its shaft as if climbing a rope.

Viagra pills The kite man, viagra pills out of breath and realizing that he could not catch his son, viagra pills stopped and watched the boy fly away. Viagra pills By the time the boy reached the infield, viagra pills he was twenty feet high and rising.

Viagra pills “Shit!” the man cried. Viagra pills He looked back at Jack, viagra pills who was laying motionless on the grass. Viagra pills The man ran in a small circle twice before dashing off to his car, viagra pills where he’d left his cell phone. Viagra pills He dialed 911. Viagra pills One ring. Viagra pills Two rings. Viagra pills Three rings.

Viagra pills “Come on!” the kite man said, viagra pills tapping his foot.

Viagra pills “911, viagra pills is this an emergency?”

Viagra pills “Yes!” the kite man said. Viagra pills “I’m at TreetopsPark. Viagra pills There’s an old man having a heart attack and my son is …” The kite man paused to think how best to explain his son’s desperate situation. Viagra pills “He’s being dragged into the air by a bunch of kites! Up! Into the sky!”

Viagra pills “Please stand by, viagra pills” the dispatcher said.

Viagra pills They must hear it all, viagra pills the kite man thought. Viagra pills Then he heard the dispatcher come back.

Viagra pills “Paramedics are on their way, viagra pills” she said. Viagra pills “An officer should be there within two minutes.”

Viagra pills The kite man looked up to see his son easily clear the first-base dugout where the teens had been smoking cigarettes and then the tall banyan trees at the far northern edge of the park. Viagra pills The boy’s sneakers just brushed a banyan’s top branches as he floated past.

Viagra pills “Oh my god!” the kite man said.

Viagra pills Two policemen drove up and leapt out of their car.

Viagra pills “Where’s the heart attack?” one of them said.

Viagra pills The kite man didn’t take his eyes off his son. Viagra pills He pointed to Jack and the cop who’d asked ran to him. Viagra pills The other cop followed the kite man’s gaze and saw the boy being dragged away.

Viagra pills “Come with me!” he said, viagra pills and the kite man ran with him back to the police car.

Viagra pills It was lucky the wind that day was blowing straight north, viagra pills right downUniversity Drive. Viagra pills With the police lights on and the siren blaring and the kite man sticking his head out the passenger window, viagra pills the boy was easy to track.

Viagra pills “There he is!” the kite man cried once the police car turned ontoUniversity Drive, viagra pills headed north. Viagra pills They followed the boy’s flight for several miles, viagra pills with the kite man sticking his head out of the window every few seconds and yelling to his son.

Viagra pills “Hold on, viagra pills Spider! Hold on!”

Viagra pills Maybe the wind will die down and he’ll land softly, viagra pills the kite man hoped. Viagra pills But he could see by the trees that linedUniversity Drivethat the wind was strong and steady. Viagra pills It was, viagra pills after all, viagra pills why they’d decided to fly kites in the first place.

Viagra pills After the kite boy had cleared the tall trees that lined the northern edge of the park, viagra pills he’d felt his arms begin to weaken. Viagra pills It was hard to hold himself up by clinging to the cane alone, viagra pills so he struggled to lace the shaft of the cane through his belt, viagra pills so that his pants helped hold him up and he could just hang there and enjoy the ride, viagra pills or at least not have to worry as much about falling. Viagra pills (He still kept a firm grip on Jacks’ cane.)

Viagra pills Looking down, viagra pills he saw people onUniversity Driveshading their eyes and pointing up at him. Viagra pills Some of them seemed to be calling to him, viagra pills but he couldn’t hear their voices over the sound of the wind. Viagra pills He looked around and saw theWestCardinalHigh Schoolfootball stadium (where his brother played quarterback) and the Boca Raton Mall (where he and his younger sister had eaten pizza two days earlier) and theBoca RatonAirport, viagra pills where he could see a jet taking off. Viagra pills Suddenly he was struck by the fear of being hit by an airplane, viagra pills or having one fly through the long trailing kite strings, viagra pills which surely not even an eagle-eyed pilot could see. Viagra pills He looked around but saw only two small single-engine planes far off in the distance and a jet liner far above him, viagra pills drawing chalky trails against the sky.

Viagra pills Looking down again, viagra pills he saw a police car speeding up University Drive, viagra pills its lights on (and probably the siren blaring, viagra pills by the way it was blowing through red lights.) Someone was sticking their head out of the passenger window and then disappearing back into the car, viagra pills then reappearing.

Viagra pills “Dad?” the kite boy said, viagra pills knowing he could not be heard.

Viagra pills A black bird appeared next to him in the air, viagra pills easily keeping up. Viagra pills The bird cocked its head and looked at the kite boy over and over.

Viagra pills “Caw!” the bird said.

Viagra pills “Caw!” the kite boy answered.

Viagra pills Then the bird was gone.

Viagra pills The boy was a thousand feet high when it occurred to him that he might be able to get down by cutting away one or two of his kites, viagra pills hopefully no more than three. Viagra pills But which ones? Not the Spiderman kite, viagra pills and he wouldn’t want to cut away the largest of the kites, viagra pills which would have too great an impact on his altitude. Viagra pills Could he even tell which string went to which kite? Probably not. Viagra pills He’d just have to chance it. Viagra pills Cut one away and see what happens. Viagra pills He dug for the pocket knife his father insisted he always carry. Viagra pills It was that very second, viagra pills just as his fingertips touched the knife, viagra pills that he hit something hard.

Viagra pills By this time, viagra pills Sophia was sure Jack had stopped to gawk at young mothers with the other Bench Boys. Viagra pills She untied her apron in disgust and stormed out after him. Viagra pills Jack had always been absentminded, viagra pills easily distracted by one thing or another that caught his quirky attention. Viagra pills His forgetfulness increased as the years passed. Viagra pills Now that he was seventy, viagra pills it seemed to happen at least once a week.

Viagra pills The week before, viagra pills she’d sent him down to the car to get something (she’d forgotten what, viagra pills exactly) and he’d ended up taking two hours to come back because he’d decided the car needed to be washed, viagra pills and, viagra pills once it was washed, viagra pills needed to be driven down to the Chevron to be vacuumed out.

Viagra pills The week before that, viagra pills she’d asked him to get a bottle of aspirin in the bathroom medicine cabinet and found him fifteen minutes later on his hands and knees next to the toilet, viagra pills studying a trail of ants that had entered through the window. Viagra pills He was trying to figure out where they were going, viagra pills where the trail led, viagra pills what they were up to. Viagra pills The mystery ended when Sophia returned from the kitchen with a bottle of insecticide and killed them all.

Viagra pills It wasn’t until Sophia got to the edge of the park and saw paramedics loading someone into the ambulance parked in shallow center field that she began to fear that Jack’s delay had been caused by more than just absentmindedness. Viagra pills She peered into the back of the ambulance just before the doors slammed shut and saw what she thought was her husband.

Viagra pills “Stop!” Sophia cried from the park’s edge, viagra pills but the man in the white uniform who closed the ambulance door didn’t hear her in the strong wind. Viagra pills Sophia started to trot toward the ambulance.

Viagra pills “Is that Jack?” she called to a jogger passing by, viagra pills pointing at the ambulance. Viagra pills The jogger looked at her queerly. Viagra pills Jack who? her face said. Viagra pills Sophia, viagra pills in her panic, viagra pills had mistaken the jogger for someone else.

Viagra pills Still trotting across the grass, viagra pills Sophia called after the ambulance, viagra pills “Jack! Is that you?”

Viagra pills She reached the ambulance just as it was pulling away and beat with the palm of her hand on the driver’s window. Viagra pills The ambulance stopped. Viagra pills The driver rolled down his window.

Viagra pills “Lady, viagra pills we’ve got a heart attack, viagra pills” the driver said.

Viagra pills “I think it’s my Jack!” Sophia said, viagra pills pointing to the back of the ambulance.

Viagra pills “OK, viagra pills get in, viagra pills” the driver said.

Viagra pills Sophia ran around the front of the ambulance, viagra pills rendered temporarily breathless by the suffocating heat of the radiator, viagra pills and climbed into the high passenger seat. Viagra pills She looked toward the back and saw a tangle of hoses and wires and tubes connected to lighted panels that blinked and beeped. Viagra pills All she could see was the top of Jack’s head resting on a small white pillow.

Viagra pills “Oh my God!” she cried. Viagra pills “What happened? Will he be all right?”

Viagra pills The paramedic adjusted an oxygen mask on Jack’s face and looked up with a smile.

Viagra pills “He had a pretty mild one. Viagra pills His signs are stable now, viagra pills” the paramedic said. Viagra pills “He should be fine.”

Viagra pills Should be. Viagra pills Not will be. Viagra pills Sophia held back the urge to cry. Viagra pills She felt terrible for having secretly accused Jack unfairly of dawdling with the Bench Boys.

Viagra pills Jack woke up a few hours later in the hospital. Viagra pills Sophia was there, viagra pills and so was the kite man and his son, viagra pills even though the doctor had told them he was unsure how long Jack would remain asleep. Viagra pills As they waited, viagra pills Spider told Sophia about his adventure, viagra pills about the teenagers looking for cigarette money and how Jack had worked with him to save all the kites, viagra pills how Jack had then grabbed his chest and how he’d been suddenly lifted away by the kites.

Viagra pills “I didn’t want to let go because he said he didn’t want to lose his cane, viagra pills” Spider said, viagra pills looking at Jack, viagra pills who was sleeping soundly.

Viagra pills Spider had hoped he would be able to catch a branch on one of the trees at the far end of the park, viagra pills maybe just with his feet. Viagra pills But by the time he’d gotten there the tree tops were just out of reach. Viagra pills After that, viagra pills he had no choice but to keep hanging on. Viagra pills He was at 200 feet and climbing.

Viagra pills “I thought I was gonna pee my pants!” Spider said, viagra pills smiling and looking at Sophia, viagra pills who kept looking at Jack.

Viagra pills “For a minute, viagra pills I worried that airplanes would hit me. Viagra pills Then a bird started flying next to me. Viagra pills Then I started to think I should maybe cut some of the kites free and wham!

Viagra pills Only after he had been carried fourteen miles across the county, viagra pills forty minutes or so after his take off, viagra pills the police car following him the whole way, viagra pills the sirens blaring, viagra pills his father’s head sticking out the passenger window, viagra pills waving his arms and screaming something he couldn’t hear, viagra pills did Spider’s wild ride finally end when he hit a cellular phone tower.

Viagra pills “Want to see my bruise?” Spider said, viagra pills lifting his shirt to reveal a perfectly straight line across his abdomen, viagra pills where he’d hit the tower. Viagra pills (X-rays taken downstairs had shown there were no broken bones.)

Viagra pills Stunned by the collision, viagra pills Spider had nonetheless held on to Jack’s cane, viagra pills which as it had saved Jack earlier that day on the stairs also saved the boy from falling off the tower. Viagra pills Once he’d recovered from the collision, viagra pills the boy made his way to a nearly work platform and wedged the cane into a section of the scaffolding. Viagra pills He then worked to carefully free the kites from the cane one by one and reel them in.

Viagra pills In all their years flying kites together, viagra pills his father had stubbornly refused to help him with string tangles, viagra pills so Spider was an expert at untangling such messes. Viagra pills Even so, viagra pills he admitted, viagra pills he had to cut two or three of the kites free with his pocket knife and retie the shortened string to its spool before reeling it in.

Viagra pills The cop and Spider’s father had arrived at the base of the tower before Spider had the first kite freed. Viagra pills They spent the next hour gathering up each kite as it floated down. Viagra pills When the last kite had been retrieved, viagra pills the boy tossed Jack’s cane down.

Viagra pills “My dad caught it before it hit the ground, viagra pills” Spider said. Viagra pills “Then I started to climb down from the tower. Viagra pills I was a long way up, viagra pills so it too a few minutes.”

Viagra pills When Spider’s feet finally hit ground, viagra pills he felt so weak he might fall, viagra pills but his father held him up and smothered him with hugs and kisses.

Viagra pills Spider looked at his dad, viagra pills who was standing over his shoulder. Viagra pills “You were shaking like you were being electrocuted, viagra pills” he said.

Viagra pills “I thought you were going to die, viagra pills” his father said. Viagra pills “Do you realize how far up you were? If you had fallen, viagra pills you would have hit the ground at well over a hundred miles an hour.”

Viagra pills “I wasn’t going to fall, viagra pills” Spider said. Viagra pills “I threaded the cane through my belt, viagra pills so I was tied to it pretty good. Viagra pills It’s why I didn’t let loose of it when I hit the tower. Viagra pills Gosh that hurt!”

Viagra pills Sophia say Jack’s eyes crack open. Viagra pills “He’s awake!” she whispered. Viagra pills She’d never taken her eyes off him.

Viagra pills “Here’s your cane, viagra pills mister, viagra pills” Spider said. Viagra pills “Thanks for helping me with my kites.”

Viagra pills Spider placed the cane on the bed beside Jack’s right leg and pushed its crook into his still tremulous hand.

Viagra pills “Thank you, viagra pills” Jack said, viagra pills patting the cane without looking at it.

Viagra pills “It’s a little bashed up, viagra pills but I saved it, viagra pills” the boy said.

Viagra pills “Thanks, viagra pills” Jack said.

Viagra pills “You had a heart attack, viagra pills Jack, viagra pills” Sophia said, viagra pills “But you’re going to be fine, viagra pills thanks to the quick action of your friends here.”

Viagra pills Jack turned his head to the boy, viagra pills “Your kites?” He’d been asleep during Spider’s retelling of the tale.
“We got ‘em all back!” the boy said, viagra pills “even the Spiderman!”

Viagra pills “Good…good, viagra pills” Jack said, viagra pills smiling a small smile.

Viagra pills Just then there was a knock on the open door. Viagra pills Junior Jones stepped into the room. Viagra pills They all looked at him.

Viagra pills “How you feelin’, viagra pills Jackie?” Junior said.

Viagra pills Jack seemed to grow more alive. Viagra pills “OK, viagra pills Junior. Viagra pills I’m doing fine. Viagra pills Thanks for coming to see me.”

Viagra pills “I didn’t come to see you, viagra pills Jackie. Viagra pills I came to see Miss Sophia.”

Viagra pills Sophia threw Jack a quizzical look, viagra pills but saw in his face no clue about what possible business Junior might have with her.

Viagra pills “What do you want, viagra pills Junior?” Sophia asked. Viagra pills She crossed her arms over her chest, viagra pills tacitly daring the huge black man to ask yet again if he could come to the party.

Viagra pills “We were playing cards in front of the market. Viagra pills You know, viagra pills Jackie. Viagra pills You stopped to jaw with us.”

Viagra pills Sophia looked at Jack.

Viagra pills “It was … a minute!” Jack protested. Viagra pills “I did not … play cards! … Not one hand!”

Viagra pills “Yeah, viagra pills yeah, viagra pills” Junior said. Viagra pills “That’s right. Viagra pills He didn’t play cards. Viagra pills He was in quite a hurry, viagra pills he was, viagra pills Miss Sophia.”

Viagra pills Junior drove his big hands down to the bottoms of his overall pockets as he spoke.

Viagra pills “Anyway, viagra pills I was feeling kind of bad at how we pressed Jackie about the cake and everything.” He threw Sophia a toothy grin that shone like a lighthouse in his big black face. Viagra pills “You know that is a mighty fine cake, viagra pills Miss Sophia.”

Viagra pills “Get to your point, viagra pills please, viagra pills Junior, viagra pills” Sophia said, viagra pills waiting for the begging to start.

Viagra pills “Like I said, viagra pills I was feeling bad about how it all happened, viagra pills and it ate at me and ate at me until finally I got up after maybe a couple hands – you know we don’t play so fast with so much to look at – and so I got up and followed after Jackie so I could tell him I was sorry for pestering him, viagra pills that it was OK if we didn’t get any cake.

Viagra pills “That’s when I saw you, viagra pills Miss Sophia, viagra pills running after that ambulance and beating on the door so they’d stop and let you in. Viagra pills I was going to call out, viagra pills but I figured it would be best if I just let them get Jackie to the hospital right away. Viagra pills You know seconds count. Viagra pills So I didn’t yell out.

Viagra pills “The ambulance pulled away and that’s when I noticed the plastic bag blowing across the grass. Viagra pills And it wasn’t moving steady like it was empty, viagra pills you know? It looked like it had something in it. Viagra pills Jackie told us that he was getting green food coloring for you, viagra pills Miss Sophia, viagra pills and I figured maybe that was it and when I got to it I knew I was right, viagra pills because inside that bag were two tubes of green food coloring – these two tubes right here…”

Viagra pills And with that, viagra pills Junior Jones pulled the two tubes of green food coloring out of his overall pocket and presented them to Sophia.

Viagra pills “Oh, viagra pills Junior, viagra pills how sweet! You didn’t have to do that.”

Viagra pills “Yes, viagra pills Ma’am. Viagra pills But I know how everyone loves your cake, viagra pills and I didn’t want to see so many disappointed people on Little Jason’s birthday, viagra pills so I thought I should bring them to you right away. Viagra pills Sorry it took so long. Viagra pills Took us a while to figure out which hospital you were at.”

Viagra pills Sophia looked at Jack.

Viagra pills “Jack, viagra pills” she said, viagra pills “I think we might have room for one more tomorrow, viagra pills what do you think?”

Viagra pills “Junior, viagra pills you’re coming to the party!” Jack said, viagra pills and then coughed.

Viagra pills Just then, viagra pills Marvin Sladewick and Walter Pinchell, viagra pills who had been in the hallway listening for their cue, viagra pills shuffled into the room.

Viagra pills “Us too?” Marvin said, viagra pills pointing at Walter and smiling with too-big dentures.

Viagra pills Jack looked at Sophia. Viagra pills Sophia just smiled at him and, viagra pills without turning to look at the two men, viagra pills said, viagra pills “OK Marvin. Viagra pills You and Walter can come too. Viagra pills And Spider. Viagra pills You and your dad are certainly welcome. Viagra pills After all, viagra pills we have more to celebrate tomorrow than just a birthday.”

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Viagra order canada Carly Ryan was her name. Viagra order canada She’d learned how to tie bowties from her grandfather, viagra order canada a former watchmaker and World War Two veteran named Clark McAddams. Viagra order canada She’d gone to live with him after his wife died.

Viagra order canada She was only twenty-two at the time, viagra order canada fresh out of college. Viagra order canada Her mother warned her that caring for an eighty year old man was not something to be taken lightly.

Viagra order canada “For one thing, viagra order canada” she said, viagra order canada “the man refuses to be seen without a bowtie under his wattle, viagra order canada whether he’s going out or staying in. Viagra order canada It doesn’t sound like much, viagra order canada but it can drive you nuts. Viagra order canada Grandma Dee – you know she did his tie every day for the last two years, viagra order canada on account of it hurts him so because of his arthritis – she said he would stop to put on a bowtie before fleeing a house on fire at three AM.”

Viagra order canada Carly suggested the old man wear clip-ons, viagra order canada or maybe the pre-tied kind that go on with an elastic neck band.

Viagra order canada “I suggested that, viagra order canada” her mother said. Viagra order canada “He made a face like I’d farted. Viagra order canada He was a wine connoisseur, viagra order canada he said, viagra order canada and I was asking him to switch to chardonnay in a box.”

Viagra order canada The day Carly moved in with him was the six-week anniversary of Grandma Dee’s funeral. Viagra order canada They visited her gravesite in the morning. Viagra order canada The weather was perfect: dreary and drizzly. Viagra order canada When they got back home, viagra order canada they changed into dry clothes and spent the rest of the afternoon together.

Viagra order canada “You insist on living with me, viagra order canada so go fetch my ties, viagra order canada” he said to her, viagra order canada pointing toward his bedroom closet with a gnarled finger. Viagra order canada He pulled a chair in from the dining room, viagra order canada positioned it facing a full-length mirror, viagra order canada and sat down.

Viagra order canada Carly hooked the rack high on the mirror so he could still see his reflection below it. Viagra order canada The rack held about a hundred ties. Viagra order canada There were silk ones and cotton ones, viagra order canada solids, viagra order canada paisleys, viagra order canada polka dots, viagra order canada stripes. Viagra order canada There were ties for Halloween, viagra order canada Thanksgiving, viagra order canada Christmas, viagra order canada New Year’s, viagra order canada Easter, viagra order canada Independence Day, viagra order canada President’s Day, viagra order canada Labor Day.

Viagra order canada “Let’s start with the black one, viagra order canada” he told her.

Viagra order canada She pulled down the black tie and draped it around his neck.

Viagra order canada “I’ll show you how first, viagra order canada” he said.

Viagra order canada She looked puzzled and said, viagra order canada “I thought you couldn’t do it.”

Viagra order canada “I can, viagra order canada but it hurts like hell and never looks any good. Viagra order canada Pay attention now. Viagra order canada I don’t want to have to do this more than once.”

Viagra order canada “OK.”

Viagra order canada Carly watched carefully as his crooked fingers proved they still knew how to turn a flimsy cloth strip into a sturdy bow.

Viagra order canada “Now you try, viagra order canada” he said.

Viagra order canada The first few times the tie drooped like an overcooked lasagna noodle, viagra order canada but after the tenth try, viagra order canada Grandpa Clark looked in the mirror and said, viagra order canada “Let’s try another.”

Viagra order canada Carly undid the black tie, viagra order canada returned it to the rack, viagra order canada then looked back at him.

Viagra order canada “The big yellow one, viagra order canada” he said, viagra order canada “with the blue dots.”

Viagra order canada She found the tie and began tucking it under his collar.

Viagra order canada “I wore this one when I took you to the circus. Viagra order canada It was a small circus. Viagra order canada Not Ringling. Viagra order canada You probably don’t remember at all. Viagra order canada You were three. Viagra order canada Your little fingers tugged at this tie and you asked me if I was one of the clowns.”

Viagra order canada Carly didn’t remember the circus, viagra order canada but the yellow bowtie with blue dots looked familiar. Viagra order canada She had it around his neck in twenty seconds.

Viagra order canada “That one’s easier than the old black one, viagra order canada” she told him.

Viagra order canada “Yep. Viagra order canada You’ve already passed the toughest test, viagra order canada” Grandpa Clark said. Viagra order canada “But let’s keep practicing. Viagra order canada We might need to get out of here in a hurry one day, viagra order canada and I don’t want you telling me we don’t have time for a bowtie. Viagra order canada You should be able to do it in the dark.”

Viagra order canada She returned the yellow tie to the rack and waited.

Viagra order canada “Purple, viagra order canada” he said. Viagra order canada “Black stripes.”

Viagra order canada She took the tie down and draped it around his neck.

Viagra order canada “This one’s my brother’s funeral. Viagra order canada He was a loner. Viagra order canada Ended up shooting himself in the head one day, viagra order canada you know. Viagra order canada Never could figure out why some people do that. Viagra order canada Some of them do, viagra order canada though. Viagra order canada I think you were only five.”

Viagra order canada Carly learned to tie bowties in the dark and the two of them them had just more than a year together. Viagra order canada It was a good year, viagra order canada even if you counted the time he literally lost his shit and she drove him home with the car stinking to high heaven and she cursing at the stench and he roaring with laughter until he thought he might die right then.

Viagra order canada He died a few months later, viagra order canada in his sleep, viagra order canada on the night of their four-hundredth day. Viagra order canada Doctors said he just faded away, viagra order canada like a flashlight some kid left on.

Viagra order canada Carly wore a bowtie to his funeral, viagra order canada and every day after that, viagra order canada too. Viagra order canada It wasn’t any sacrifice. Viagra order canada She liked the look. Viagra order canada She was pleased to be known as the Girl in the Bowtie. Viagra order canada And what else was there to do after Grandpa Clark willed her the ties one day in a note scrawled on a cheap paper plate from which he’d just eaten a tuna sandwich?

Viagra order canada The spy on the balcony watched anxiously as a fit young man jogged up and started talking to her. Viagra order canada The intruder extended his hand. Viagra order canada She shook it. Viagra order canada The spy ran out of his apartment and down onto the street. Viagra order canada When he got there, viagra order canada the interloper was gone. Viagra order canada She was still there, viagra order canada gazing into a drugstore window.

Viagra order canada He swallowed his fear, viagra order canada crossed the street, viagra order canada and worked his way to within three feet of her. Viagra order canada In the window were adult diapers, viagra order canada bed pans, viagra order canada canes, viagra order canada tub rails, viagra order canada aluminum walkers.

Viagra order canada He waited. Viagra order canada In the corner of his eye he saw her look at him. Viagra order canada He looked back and thought of Lot’s wife, viagra order canada stupidly facing Sodom. Viagra order canada He was transfixed, viagra order canada overwhelmed, viagra order canada terrified, viagra order canada in love.

Viagra order canada “I used to change my grandpa’s diapers, viagra order canada” she said. Viagra order canada “We pretended he was a big baby. Viagra order canada He’d say ‘goo goo ga ga’ and we’d both crack up.”

Viagra order canada She looked into his eyes as she spoke.

Viagra order canada “That’s funny, viagra order canada” he said.

Viagra order canada He saw tears welling in her eyes.

Viagra order canada “Everybody told me I shouldn’t live with him. Viagra order canada They said it was too much, viagra order canada that I was too young. Viagra order canada But I loved him. Viagra order canada I wanted to get as much of him as I could before he was gone. Viagra order canada So I went to live with him. Viagra order canada It was a win-win. Viagra order canada He needed a woman around the house and I needed more time with him.”

Viagra order canada “It’s a good granddaughter who would give up a year of her life to care for her dying grandfather.”

Viagra order canada “Nobody knew he was dying. Viagra order canada We thought he’d live another ten years. Viagra order canada But I guess he grew lonely, viagra order canada and there wasn’t anything I could do about that. Viagra order canada He missed my grandma.”

Viagra order canada “I think that happens a lot with older couples, viagra order canada right? One dies and the other follows.”

Viagra order canada “That’s what they say.”

Viagra order canada He took a deep breath and wondered whether he should just ask her out for coffee or risk lunch.

Viagra order canada As he pondered, viagra order canada another young woman came bouncing out of the drugstore, viagra order canada took the girl of his dreams by the hand, viagra order canada and pulled her away.

Viagra order canada “Gotta go!” she said, viagra order canada smiling as she departed.

Viagra order canada “Wait!” he called out.

Viagra order canada The two women stopped and turned, viagra order canada and as they did he recognized in their easy intimacy a declaration, viagra order canada tacit but unmistakable, viagra order canada that they were a couple.

Viagra order canada “Never mind, viagra order canada” he said, viagra order canada waving them off. Viagra order canada “Nice meeting you.”

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Viagra order canada (1, viagra order canada492 words)

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