Across the path, on his bench, Aaron sat in silence and stared at the water. The cold didn’t get to him much there days.
Probably because he was dead inside.
“It was an exciting week, wouldn’t you agree?” Holly lobbed a softball from her bench in an attempt to get the conversation going.
Aaron nodded in agreement.
“Yes, it was,” was all he had to offer, much to Holly’s chagrin.
“Seeing President Biden take the oath of office really sent shivers down my spine,” she continued. “Not as much as I’m feeling right now in this cold, but it was comparable.
She chuckled. He merely nodded.
Talking about the changing of the guard at the White House would normally set off Aaron on a rant about the monster being banished from the building.
Not today, though. He stared at his bottle of Snapple as if, once again, trying to open it with his non-existent Jedi Powers.
“Earth to Aaron…”
That caught his attention, and he looked over at his best friend. “I’m sorry for zoning out. Yes, I’m thrilled the Moron in Chief is gone, and there’s an adult in charge of running the country again. But that’s not the most exciting thing that happened this week, in my opinion.”
Holly was intrigued and she perked up for more information.
“More exciting than a Clockwork Orange flying off into the sunset?” she challenged.
Aaron took a long sip of his Snapple, a clear indication that he had a story to tell.
“I went to Walmart for the first time since the pandemic hit!” he declared. “You know how strict I am about social distancing and not wanting to catch the virus due to some unnecessary contact with strangers.”
“I believe I’m acquainted with that concept,” she quipped. “What possessed you to go to Walmart of all places?”
“It had been ten months since I made an underwear, socks, and work shirt run,” he admitted. “I was folding my laundry, and I realized that my undershirts weren’t white any more. They were a sickly shade of grey. And I had to throw out a pair of boxers because they had several holes in them.”
Holly raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “How did you get holes in your boxers?”
Aaron shrugged. “I’m guessing it was caused by a rash of farts brought on by my eating some questionable looking burritos I found in the freezer the other day.”
“That’s gross, Aaron!”
“Don’t get mad at me,” he shot back defensively. “You asked and I answered. Can you honestly say any answer I’d given to that question wouldn’t have bothered you?”
Holly thought about it for a moment, and had to concede his point.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t ask questions when I know the answer is going to be awful.”
“I bought a ton of stuff, the place wasn’t at all crowded, and I used the self check out, so I barely crossed paths with anyone on my adventure,” he boasted. “I’m in no rush to go back any time soon, but I’m excited that I relaxed my self-imposed restrictions a little. Maybe I’m slowly moving towards normal again.”
“Your journey to normal has to be the slowest of any journey in recorded history,” she replied with a giggle.
Aaron flipped her the bird, but did smile. Sadly, she could not see that because of his mask. But his waving finger was quite easy for her to see.
“Still more exciting than a new President, though?” she pushed.
“So you were an actor on the show, but not a writer?” Holly sought clarification.
“Exactly,” he confirmed. “That’s why the dream is tied for second, and doesn’t beat out my return to Wally World for the top spot.”