Casey’s Shack

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 07, 2018

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Submitted: February 07, 2018

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Casey’s Shack
Driving down the narrow street that leads to my uncle Casey’s house, I cant help but think that it was the first house built on the west side of redwood road around 2800 south,  65 years ago long before redwood road was ever even thought of. While the house was being built by my great grandma’s husband they lived in a tent in the middle of a field with nothing in sight, except the wilderness that surrounded their campsite and creatures that scavenged the grounds. 
When I pull into the driveway the house is surrounded by what looks like wild Argentina spitting plants that act as if they are magnetized towards anything walking by, with what rednecks would call yard art unrecognizable junk  that’s been swallowed by the spitting grass itself. A small square portion about 13ft by 15ft has been tamed down to about 4 inches while the surrounding man eating vegetation still towers from 3ft to 6 ft. I have been waiting to see the yard since I talked to my uncle a few days ago, he told me he mowed his yard I had laughed at the thought and pictured him outside with 13 workers picked up from the home depot parking lot decked out in camouflage and face paint, swinging machetes and chain saws battling the elements. 
So I pull into the rocky driveway with a prayer that he is still alive. As I feel each rock pushing back against my tires I wonder how long this house will keep standing. A small gust of wind is all it would take for complete destruction. The house is very small just a step above a cracker jack box, paint chips still clinging onto the dry rotted wood beneath the blood red roofing shingles covered by  various patch work that is easily identified on the slanted red roof. The front porch is held together with splintered wood that lost its paint many moons ago with all the foot traffic. The two small windows in the front of the house have deep framing which brings character  to  the shredded screen door. After crashing through the debris scattered on the splintered steps and fighting the cob web infested porch, my uncle swings the front door open and his face lights up when he greets me with “you’re on my shit list!” I ask “for what?” his response, “cause you let CJ (his son) drive your car and I been begging you for 6 years!” Dressed in a dirty black cut off T-shirt, black post surgery hospital pants and a pair of old Nike running shoes I had given him a year ago, he manages a huge smile. Struggling from severe alcoholism I worry about his health, and cherish the time I get spend with him. I’m at home and comfortable when I’m in his company, so he leads me inside where his Pittsburgh Steelers garb takes up all his space and is what he lives and breaths. He sits down on his light blue flannel couch with a loaded pellet gun rifle pumped and ready to go leaning against the arm rest. 
I love the stories I get while visiting, most I get are R rated but today’s was about his step dad Roy, he was about 15 or 16 and his mom used to wake him up and give him money to get carrot cakes, so his step dad had a little Toyota pick-up, that he would take and go to 7 eleven to get the carrot cakes. When he returned from the store he had to park the truck the exact same way he took it so his step dad wouldn’t know that he had taken it. Being winter time once he returned he attempted to back it up but the truck got stuck, well not having much common sense (his words) he had to get the truck back in the driveway and like an idiot (his words) he jumped out of the truck and left it in reverse with the tires spinning and he stood at the front of the truck rocking it trying to get it unstuck. Well it grabbed and the truck took off in reverse hitting the fence and ripping the driver side door right off the truck. He ran to his cousins house and told him “dude you gotta help me get this back on.” So they got it back on. Meanwhile his step dad is sleeping, Casey waits up all night to watch his step dad go to his truck in the morning and open the door. The door was rigged on and spring loaded so when he opened it the door flung off and hit him hard knocking his coffee all over him while everything else flew out of his hands. He looked up at Casey’s window spotting him before he ducked out of sight. His step dad just threw the door in the back of the truck and drove it to work  30 miles away without a door.
While listening to him I can’t help but think about all the walls in the house are insolated with old newspapers since that is how it was done just after the Stone Age. Asbestos lingers on the ceiling looking like old dirty popcorn littered with trout colored sliver glitter. After that was the story about him blowing himself up and all the way out his back door, losing every hair on his face and head. Right in the middle this story he jumps up and grabs his pellet gun, all dramatic and serious telling me to hold on. I watch as he aims the gun at a corner of the house, steadying it and cursing to himself every profanity word you could call someone. I figure out he is talking to a little white mouse that he is trying to hit. He shoots and misses causing him to curse even more and pump up the pellet gun as fast and as hard as he possibly can, meanwhile the bb is heard ricocheting off what seems like everything in the house. Aiming once again he says “well I broke the clock,” and continues with his story. 
I watch his worn and lined face while he is talking, I can see the pain through his deep brown eyes. Short salt and peppered hair matches his short beard. Always the entertainer I’m thinking he’s never run short of stories. I imagine the scar under his sleeveless shirt that runs from his solar plexus and goes all the way down and around his belly button from an Emergency Surgery procedure they had performed last month due to his battle with alcohol. The story has me on the end of my seat and my face hurts from laughing, but in the back of my mind these days are coming near an end and I cant believe he is only 46 years old he looks much older. 
My computer is in my lap and he’s asking what I’m doing. I tell him an assignment for school, but I find its more then an assignment. I have been particularly aware of everything today and it has struck a certain sadness within and makes me want to help him. He asks, “is there anything I can do to help?” As he takes another sip of vodka.

Codie Carver...
 


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