Uncle Charlie died a month ago today. He was nine years older than Pop, but he lived twenty years longer. Pop was a nose-to-the-grindstone man; Uncle Charlie wasn’t. I suppose that’s the difference.
It’s funny how something like this suddenly gets you thinking about your own life. I look back and I don’t like what I see. I see me too busy to come for a visit, too busy to take time for frivolous things like fishing. I’m Pop all over again. I’m even starting to look like him.
I try to recall the last time I was truly happy. Happy enough to let go of a belly-shaking laugh like Uncle Charlie’s. I can’t remember a single one. I’m not unhappy I tell myself, but I’m beginning to wonder if not-unhappy is the same as happy. I don’t think so.
I wasn’t always like this. When I started working at the bank, I was young and full of great ideas. I figured I’d stay a year, maybe two, get some experience under my belt, and move on. It never happened. Thirty years I’ve been there. Day in, day out, the same routine, the same complaints, the same weary faces.
Summer before last Herb Kramer retired and I thought for sure I’d get the district manager spot, but I didn’t. A kid thirty years younger than me got it. The president’s nephew.
So why do I stay? That’s what I’ve been asking myself. Unfortunately, I’ve got no answer. Something has to change, but I’ll be damned if I know what that something is.
Please come back on Monday to meet Louise Palmer. WHAT MATTERS MOST is scheduled for release on April 15th.