We pick up our story in the year 2060. Two retired Animal Control officers sit on their front porch in upstate New York as the sun sets on the horizon. The clouds are red and brilliant and our heroes have had a few beers at this point, as is tradition.
Billy: … and that’s how I got the alligator out of the bathroom with a candy bar.
James: (feigning waking from sleep) Huh…what…is this heaven? Did that story finally kill me after the hundredth time?
Billy: No, seems not. Maybe the hundredth and first tomorrow will put me out of my misery. laughing
more sips of beer are taken as the quiet sunset captivates them for a moment
Billy: You remember today is the Day of Change?
James: Yeah. Not much for celebrating with my back the way it is. I can’t moose wrestle anymore like we did that one time. But c’mon, Day of Change. You know what Balimora call that? Thursday!
Billy: The Day of Change isn’t on a Thursday every year, you know?
James: Dammit, Billy. What’s our one rule?
Billy (repeating earnestly) “Never tell me the rules”.
James: Sure is.
(The old friends chuckle…that one never gets old.)
Billy: So what’s your favorite Day of Change memory?
James: Easy. 2022, after everything calmed down from the alien invasions, and the monkey uprising. That was the year I was gonna be the man I always wanted to be. Never look back. Never doubt myself. I went right up to that Jenny from accounting and you know what I did?
Billy: You asked her out.
James : Sure did. No fear. No doubt. Just went and did it. And you know what happened?
Billy: She laughed at you.
James: Yes. Yes she did. But I did it, and after that I knew it wasn’t going to be that bad every again.
Billy: You cried for three straight days.
James: My point is…if you’d stop interrupting … things were different after that. Kinda glad it ended up that way or I wouldn’t have met Holly later that year. She was a good woman. How about you?
Billy is silent for a while, lost in thought: I think the year I lost Ed.
James nods respectfully: About eight years now right? But he passed in Februrary?
Billy: Yeah, eight years. It was the day of change and all the hallaballoing and stuff going on that made me think about him. He loved that day. Anyway, that was the day I really thought about him, about how much moping I was doing. My thoughts about him during his life weren’t all sad and dreary. Why should my thoughts about him after he passed be then? So I let myself be happy when I thought of him sometimes, and sure sad sometimes. And once in a while, I even let myself get mad at him again for the way he never did the dishes.
James: That’s for sure. Remember that one time Holly and I came over for dinner and I swear I heard something growl at me from the sink?
Billy: Yeah, that was a great summer.
James: Sure was.
The pair sit a bit longer. The night is almost fully upon them.
Billy: Sorry to bring down the mood. I guess I never outright told you that before.
James: It’s alright. I kinda knew you came to some sort of reckoning. You seemed a bit lighter after that, and we knew you did what you had to to make it right.
The pair reach crack open two new beers and salute each other before continuing to drink
Billy: So anyway let me tell you about the time I got that racoon out of the peanut butter jar…
James: Oh great beast of chaos please take me now…I’m ready.
Billy: Oh hush you…