The House of Happy Mayhem - A book by Trent Zelazny(7)
Author:Trent Zelazny


    For thenext several days I don’t see them at the park. I see the guyshooting hoops again, and decide that he drinks too much and can’tlet go of his glory days as a high school or possibly a college ballplayer. He never made it to the big time, though, and he probablyworks construction or at Home Depot and has a wife and child at homewho resent him. I decide that the Lakers are his favorite team.

    Ituck away the Mark Twain book I have this time, make my way to theleft to the fence opening, and just as I exit the park, the couplecomes in, the man guffawing about something.

    “Excuseme,” he says as he sidles past.

    “Excuseme,” she says, and her voice is as lovely as she is.

    Istand aside and let them through. Then I stand on the other side ofthe fence and watch them stroll hand in hand down into the park. Ibat at an insect that buzzes by my ear and want to know what the jokewas about. I want to know what she said that made him laugh the wayhe did, or what hesaid that cracked him up so. Instead I watch them for a moment, andthis time make a left up the sidewalk, along the chain-linked fence,running my fingers on it, looking at the houses to my right. I takenote again of how sweet and cozy they are. Probably fairly expensivefrom the looks of them, though not too large. Nice, modest homes—theright kinds of homes for the right kinds of people, and I determinethat my couple must live in one of them because they are, without adoubt, the right kind of people.

    Whenthe fence and trees end, I reach the main street, at which point Imake another left. Down the sidewalk and across a bridge, then aleft curve and the river is on my left. I walk parallel with ituntil the bridge serving as the entryway to the park appears, and Iwalk in and enter the parking lot. There’s a couple making out ina parked car and the other guy is still shooting hoops. I retrievemy Mark Twain book and take a seat on one of the swings and stareacross the grass field at the couple, listening to the bouncy-bounceof the basketball and the rattling sounds the backboard or the rimmake when the ball hits.

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