May arrived, late, this past Tuesday.
Yeah…I was half asleep, half watching Letterman’s monologue, when I heard a tapping on the big sliding door in back; the one off the back porch.
I just thought I was dreaming so I began to doze back off…but there it was again…tap, tap, tap.
"Hmmmm, that's odd", I said to myself, and whoever else was listening in.
Since it’s been my experience that maniac, serial killing, axe murders don’t normally knock, especially during Letterman, I figured whatever it was had to be fairly innocuous, so I thought I should go and check it out.
And it was…it was May…silhouetted in the glow of the outdoor spotlight, tapping on my back door like some prodigal son, returned from wherever it is son’s go to be prodigal.
“May,” I said. “You’re here…early…but not a moment too soon!”
“Yeah…I heard,” May replied. “April pretty much blew it this year, huh?”
“Shhhhhhh…she’s still here, for another 10 or 15 minutes. I don’t want her to go off in a sulk. If she does, who knows what harsh feelings, not to mention weather, she’ll drag back with her next year.”
“You mean if she even bothers to come back next year,” May sneered.
I was surprised by the harshness in May’s remark, but then recalled there’d been some whispers, a couple of seasons back, of more than just a working relationship between April and May...that, as those things tend to do, ended badly...at least for May.
I guess the whispers were justified, which also explained why May had popped in before the official start of his shift.
I said, “Well, she was a bit on the cool side, this year—especially after the warm April we knew from last year.”
“Yeah…tell me about it,” May muttered.
“But, she relented a bit the last week and a half, especially after I kind of baited her with that whole ‘Sprinter’ stuff.”
“I saw that!” May said, with more than a degree of delight in his tone. “That was an excellent piece of writing…really, really clever!”
(What…that’s what he said. You think I’m making this up?)
“Thanks,” I replied. “You know, that just sort of came to me, in the bathroom, where most of my ideas come from, so I—”
May cut me off, which I found rude, because I hate missing any opportunity to talk about my creative technique and masterful application of such…even if I do say so myself.
“She’s good at that, you know. Teasing with, what might have been, just as she’s getting ready to walk. That’s what April does best…tease.”
I didn’t like the look I was detecting in May’s shadowed eyes, so I quickly changed the subject.
“Well, you’re here now, so what do you have up your sleeve for us, this year? Believe me we’re ready for anything…you know, especially after April.”
I thought disparaging April would make May feel a little better, which I think worked, but only to a point since I noticed his eyes were still scanning the distance beyond me, hoping to catch a glimpse of his star crossed, former soul month.
“Oh, you know, the usual,” May said, fixing his distracted gaze back onto mine. “Of course, there’ll be May Day—my personal favorite—and then we’ll slide right into Cinco de Mayo, The Derby, Mom’s Day, Indy 500…yada yada yada…you know, until we top it off with the big daddy of them all….”
“The American Idol Finale!” I blurted out.
“No…Memorial Day weekend, dum dum.”
“Oh right, Memorial Day. Sorry….”
American Idol Finale? You did have a bad April, didn’t you?”
“Well, there were a lot of reruns….”
Just then, there was a rustling from the back corner of the yard, over by the holly bush.
May, not missing a beat, quickly picked up his shoulder bag and said, “There’s something out there, I’d better go check it out. My shifts about to start anyway.”
“Be careful,” I said. “It might be a raccoon or muskrat. We’ve been seeing a lot of them around here, lately.”
May turned back just as he was about to step out of the spotlight’s reach and nodded, but we both knew…it was April, slipping out of town, as quietly as she had arrived—could it be—just a month ago.
“What about the weather?” I shouted after May, now, barely discernible, swallowed in the darkness of night. “Is it going to warm up…anytime soon?”
The rustling from the bushes began again and I could hear the smile in May’s voice.
“Oh, I’d say things are going to get pretty hot around here, pretty quickly.”
“So I should put my air conditioners in, now?” I shouted back…but received no response, other than a slight brush of humid air slipping deliberately across the porch.
With that, I smiled; bid farewell to April, and looked forward to my time with May.
Back inside, I fixed myself a glass of lemonade and returned to Letterman.
He was just beginning the “Top Ten”.