Everyday Life, Fiction

Episode 7 – Volunteering

I was tired on Friday. I had been up since 4:00 a.m. Another one of the symptoms of whatever it is that hits us later in life.

At home Denny was roasting a turkey, but he took time to come to my work for an hour. I had purchased two paper towel dispensers for twelve dollars each. Denny put one up in the kitchen. He was fascinated by the tiny level it had on the inside, making sure the air bubble was in the middle before he fastened the dispenser to the wall. The job turned out to be a bigger than he thought because he had to switch the hinges to the other side since they butted up against the soap dispenser. Otherwise it wouldn’t open all the way which meant you couldn’t insert the paper roll.

There were also two large nails I wanted Denny to remove from a wall where I had taken down a bulletin board. Denny grasped the nails with his pliers and jerked hard. Literally the entire wall shook off it’s base.

“They found the studs,” he exclaimed when the nails still didn’t budge. With the help of a wooden door stop, he used for leverage, he finally managed to pull out the nails.

Then he carried a glass bookshelf upstairs for me. I asked for one more small favor. Would he change the batteries of the safe? Well, that didn’t go so well. Apparently he pushed in the lock which requires a key, not just a combination, to open it. And the key is missing.

The safe is still open and Denny has ordered some new keys. There wasn’t anything needing securing anyway so I stuck a note on the safe door saying it was being looked after, in case a senior staff or board member comes by.


When I got home from work the turkey was done. All I had to do was make the gravy.

Denny looked pleased with himself, and I never saw a nicer bird. I told him to take a picture.

“It didn’t even have any missing parts,” Denny says about the turkey. “Except the head.”  He laughs. Our previous turkey had an entire thigh missing.

The meal was wonderful. Mashed potatoes, peas with carrots, turkey dressing.

“You don’t need to have a couple of salads and three desserts to make a great turkey dinner,” he tells me.

“Nope. It’s great just the way it is.”

“What more could we want?”

“Cranberry sauce.”

“Oh, yes,” Denny quickly gets up and opens the can of cranberry sauce and slides it into a bowl. It keeps it’s shape perfectly. “I like it when it looks like the can.”

I grin. I always stir it to conceal the fact that it came from a can.

“Perfect. Just perfect. This is the best turkey dinner I’ve ever had,” I say and I mean it. “And the stuffing is perfect too,” I add. I’m very fussy about my stuffing.

“I buttered each slice of bread and then I cut them and added the onions and the stuff and put it in the bird.”

I chuckle. By “stuff” he means the poultry seasoning. I’m also picturing him taking the time to butter each slice of a loaf of bread. I just melt the butter and drizzle it.

“Couldn’t be better,” I tell Denny.

“And there’ll be lots of leftovers.”

“Yeah, there will.”

“Eighteen pounds of turkey. It’s a good idea to cook a big one if you’re going to go to all this work. Actually it wasn’t even that much work. I got a lot of other things done too while it was baking. I think basting is highly over-rated. I only basted it once an hour.”

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