Jack's Later Years

Story Sent in by Joan:

I was out on my first date with Drew, and something was clearly not quite right. He was twitchy, for one. Also, he kept looking up in the sky with his mouth slightly open, as if he was looking at a UFO battle overhead, or else just trying to catch bugs.

We had been walking around the same five-block area, looking for a restaurant. As we passed some, I'd say, "Let's look at the menu here" or "Let's check this place out," but Drew seemed to be on a mission.

He'd say, "Not that place. No. I'm looking for... there's one place I want to take you to, but... where..." and mumble off.

Not long after I promised to give him one more minute of indecisiveness before putting my foot down, he spun to me and held out a small metal tin. Breath mints.

"No thanks," I said.

He replied, "We'll do dinner, but then there's something I have to show you!"

He led me into an Italian restaurant, where we promptly sat and thankfully ate. He packed away pasta as if he was in an eating contest, and snorted with every bite.

Once dinner was done (in record time), we left. I said to him, "Well, it was very nice meeting you, and–"

He pulled out the metal mint box again. I told him, "No, thank you." He opened the tin and held its contents up, so that I could see them: kidney beans in sauce. I asked, "What are those for?"

He replied, "They're for planting. I mean to plant them in a public park tonight, and you will help me."

I shook my head. "I don't think so. I'm going home."

He looked aghast, swiveled his head around, and focused on a tree growing out of a patch of dirt on the sidewalk. The road was lined with such trees. He descended upon the dirt patch, knelt over it, and asked me, "Have a shovel?"


He nodded, then turned back to the dirt and dug away with his hands. He snorted as he dug. "Yes," he muttered, "Magic beans, magic beans, magic beans," and then he giggled.

"Goodnight," I said. He didn't look back at me, and I went home.


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