Patrick by Greg LaVergne

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When is the time for action?

Submitted: October 01, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 01, 2012



by Greg LaVergne

Not every sentence written will make it into the hearts and minds of mankind. Every sentence does, however, make it into mankind's collective unconscious. It is the same with every action, or inaction.

Patrick wasn't a happy man. He worked too much; he drank too much, and he smiled too little. Every member of the town knew it, too. A million questions a day followed him around each corner.
"What is wrong, Patrick?"
"Why the long face, Patrick?"
"Where's the deli, Patrick?"
While that last question was not an abrupt accusation of his own abandonment issues regarding happiness, it did, however, end his inward slumber that he maintained whilst walking around town. This inward slumber, and I do believe we've all felt it, was the best part of Patrick's day. Patrick would take the long way home just to feel it a little longer. He reveled in it, it was his own personal religion.
Patrick was not considered religious. He did not attend the services that the other members were sure to attend every Sunday. This would normally be a cause for distraction in the community. Many before him, many calm and decent people, had been run out of town for this very reason. The town did not run Patrick out, though. Patrick was special. Some people you simply cannot run out of town.

Vince hated the town. Every day it sucked the life out of him. Every day he hoped that somebody would show him a way out. He lost a little piece of his hope, each day passing. Luckily, he had a different piece. This one he held close. Slowly, the other pieces all fell away.

Patrick had the day off of work. He wandered around the town one morning in hopes of finding something that would pique his interest. While the reflections that come along with inward slumber are interesting, no doubt, they lack the necessary subsequent action. Are not thoughts precursors to actions? Patrick believed so. So he wandered and sought.
An interesting thing presented itself, indeed. It had a nice little sign that said "PUB" over the door, and a whole list of reasons to enter under the words "Drink List", posted neatly beside the previously mentioned door. Patrick, seeing the word "rum", was much obliged to enter and inquire about such interesting topics. He took a seat at a stool that had seen better days, though not recently. "Why the long face?" echoed from the bartender's lips. Ignoring the question, he stretched his back, cracked his fingers, and inquired politely about the accuracy of such a delightful posting outside. The bartender informed him that yes, they did indeed carry such an interesting item. Patrick, for a moment, showed delight.
Patrick was a polite man. While he was not a happy man, nobody would ever say a cross word about his hospitality and manners. A few have, I believe, and I think the town ran them out, as well. The point is, the town really loved Patrick.
Patrick lifted the glass to his lips. He brandished a half-smile. It was one of those smiles that you see people who are usually cranky attempt ever so often, but it's as if they don't understand the simple mechanics of it, so they give up halfway. Down went the interesting drink, and into his throat poured the confidence. It started to bubble up inside his belly, letting itself out in short burps of conversations with the neighboring patrons. An interesting story about hiking here, a treatise on some economic issue there. The mechanisms that equal the whole of Patrick were working together in mass, now. Full speed ahead, yelled the conductor.

There is no time to wait. The time for action is now. What would you do if it had already passed? What could you do?

Patrick got up the courage to talk to the bartender, who happened to be a pretty woman, named Aubrey. She also happened to be just Patrick's age.
Patrick conversed with her for a while, the usual small-talk, but could sense that he was losing her interest. He started down the philosophical road, which Patrick liked to do, in the usual Socratic method. He asked her why she believed in the things that she did. If he caught her slipping into contradiction, he would very respectfully inquire again. This game went on for some time, until finally, stuck on the question of "Why?" for the fifth time, Aubrey threw down some questions of her own.

Vince knew he had reached the end. He wasn't ready for all the growing up he still needed to do. There is a point where action comes. When it comes, you can only hope to guide it in the right direction. There was a picture on the stand of his ex-wife. She happened to be older than him. The picture stood next to a chair. Hanging over that chair was a rope that had been carefully knotted. Vince still held on to that one piece, and didn't know what to do with it.

Aubrey's inquisition began.
"Why do you care about all this knowledge, if it's not going to make you happy? Why are you so intent on knowing all there is to know, if you don't even know how to enjoy your day? What applicable use is there for any of this?"
Patrick sat back on his stool which, after nearly a dozen shots of rum, almost caused him to fall. He regained his composure, his thoughts, and his wit. He looked Aubrey dead in the eyes on that day. He looked into her beautiful green eyes and saw a part of him that he had been searching for until that moment. That day will always be remembered by the town.
Patrick meant to tell Aubrey that she was right. He had it in his mind to shout to the heavens that a new door had been opened to him and he knew his new path. He was going to live his thoughts, live his reflections. He was going to be the action that everyone needed. He was going to go down the hard road and clear a path for future generations to follow and investigate further. He was going to be a badly needed light for the world. He was going to change the course of history forever, because he was now motivated to do so! All he needed was that kick in the ass!
Patrick meant to tell Aubrey all of this, but he couldn't. He couldn't, because at that moment when he was staring at her straight in the eyes, and she was giggling at his misfortune with his barstool, Vince walked into the bar, took his 44 millimeter piece out of his jacket and shot his ex-wife, Aubrey, and her suspected lover, Patrick. He killed both of them, and then he killed himself.
Patrick never told Aubrey any of this, because the moment for action had passed.

© Copyright 2018 Gregory LaVergne. All rights reserved.

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