By: Bruce Levine
Friday ended without incident. Another week over and Robert Jamison felt that he’d earned his weekend off.
As he got ready for the evening he wondered what he’d do. Actually he had no idea. There really was nothing that he had to do and nothing that he wanted to do.
His weeks seemed to pass quickly because he had the routine of getting up and going to work each day. It was the evenings and weekends that presented the problem of figuring out how to fill the empty hours.
He’d tried a number of hobbies, but discovered that he enjoyed vegetating in front of the television more than any of them.
Facing the empty weekend, even one filled with empty hours in front of the television, presented Robert with the dilemma of choosing something else that he could do that would keep him from simply watching the clock until Monday morning and slipping into the doldrums of boredom.
Robert had just turned on the television and sat down to think when the phone rang. Robert got very few calls; he was startled by the ring, and picked up the receiver only after he was certain that it was actually his phone and not on the television.
Robert listened carefully for several minutes before hanging up. He then turned off the television and returned to his chair to think. But he wasn’t thinking about what to do to pass the weekend hours, he was thinking about what he’d just been told.
As unbelievable as it sounded, it appeared to be absolutely true. Now he no longer had to think about filling empty hours that weekend. Now he knew and all he had to do was to follow the instructions he’d just been given on the phone.
Robert looked around his apartment as if for the last time.
Yes, he decided, he’d accept.
He sat for several more minutes before going to his bedroom to pack a small suitcase with the basics and a limited wardrobe, enough for only a couple of days. No matter, he thought, he’d only need enough for a couple of days. Maybe only the weekend, the weekend no longer empty.
Robert left his apartment and got a cab to take him to the airport where he’d be met and handed a plane ticket that would change his life.
Robert had always known that his ancestors had originally come from Australia and he had wondered how far back and if they’d been sent there when it was a penal colony.
It had actually been his one pleasurable fantasy to imagine that he was distantly related to some famous scoundrel of the early 1800s.
Now it seemed that there was really truth in his ancestry being from Australia and he was being invited to fly to Sidney where a very distant cousin had invited him to visit.
Robert had no idea why the invitation had suddenly come, and all he had learned from the phone call was that his cousin had been working on the family genealogy and discovered that Robert was one of the last of the Jamison family still alive.
It seemed that Robert’s cousin was collecting the whole remaining members of the family together.
Robert thought that it might be interesting to meet all of his formerly unknown relatives.
As he sat in the cab on the way to Kennedy Airport, Robert imagined himself in the chair in front of the television and realized that, at least now, he knew how he would spend his weekend.
Bruce Levine, a 2019 Pushcart Prize Poetry Nominee, has spent his life as a writer of fiction and poetry and as a music and theatre professional. Over three hundred of his works are published in over twenty-five on-line journals including Ariel Chart, Friday Flash Fiction, Literary Yard; over thirty print books including Poetry Quarterly, Haiku Journal, Dual Coast Magazine, and his shows have been produced in New York and around the country. Six eBooks are available from Amazon.com.