“All this pushing around of dirt is making the flies go into the house”
“Sorry honey… but I said… I would do it… as soon… as… the monsoon season… ended” he dropped the shovel and prepared to push the wheelbarrow, “and that is exactly what I have been doing and will continue to do until this street is as good as when we first moved in,” he began pushing the wheelbarrow towards the few remaining holes.
“What’s he doing?” she asked, pointing at their neighbor.
“He’s just watching me. He’s been doing it all week,” he grunted as he pushed the load off.
“He hasn’t offered to help you?”
“Nope. As soon as he hears the shoveling at 5am he comes out, waves a ‘good morning’ with a smile, sits on his recliner and just watches me. Damn old man.”
“Be nice,” she waved away another fly. “Anyways,” she continued, “I don’t think the street will ever be as nice as it was when we moved in. That was before the rains hit.”
“Well,” he replied, “it hasn’t rained since I came out here a week ago. So I think we can all agree it’s time we fix this road.”
“He doesn’t,” she said mockingly pointing to the old man.
“You’re not helping,” he replied. He pushed the empty wheelbarrow back to the pile of dirt and began shoveling it onto the beat up cart. His calloused over-and-under hands were now starting to bleed; it didn’t matter to him, it was about something else now; about being able to say within the first year of living here, he alone patched the whole street by himself, making it his street not the old man’s living across from his brand new house. “Just a few more…” he said between his teeth. “…and it’ll be all mine.”
The old man reclined.
“DONE!” he yelled as he finished leveling the newly dumped dirt onto the last hole. He rushed to his wife in a moment of triumph.
They both stared at the patched street. Bugs swarmed around them.
“I can’t get over these damn flies! Every day there’s more and more of them and I don’t know why!” she said out loud.
“It means it’s going to rain” answered the old man and continued reclining.