Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Ed Nichols

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

My neighbor, Smitty, came over to my house the other
afternoon. We were sitting in the living room talking. About
the world situation and so on. The talk finally got around to
the problems everyone in town were having with the mayor.
Smitty said, “I don’t know how the goof-ball got elected.”
I said, “I don’t get involved in politics.”
Smitty said, “It seems every time someone asks him where
he came from he just sluffs them off and changes the subject.”
“That’s strange,” I said. “They say he lies a lot, too,”
Smitty said. I got up and went to the kitchen and fixed us a
glass of ice tea. When I came back, Smitty was standing up,
bending over touching the floor. “Just limbering up.
Got to do my run before dark,” he said. “You need to start
running Jack.” “No I’m fine now,” I said. “I don’t like to exert
myself like that.” We sat down and drank our ice tea in silence.
“Say, have you ever walked the Appalachian Trail?”
I asked Smitty. “No. They say it’s really hard,” he said. “About
twenty years ago, I walked the Appalachian Trail,” I told him..
He said, “Damn, I didn’t know that Jack. That’s really something.”
“It was very hard,” I said. Then I added, “The next summer I
walked all the way to New Orleans. I was in excellent shape
from all that walking. I finally figured that was enough walking.
It would do me for the rest of my life.” “Damn,“ Smitty said,
“I had no idea. You are a great neighbor Jack. You ought to
start back walking.” “Maybe,” I said. “Maybe I’ll think about
running for mayor next year.” “Damn,” Smitty said. “Jack that
would be something. You are the greatest neighbor anyone
could have.” He got up and stretched some more and said,
“See you later, pal. I’ve got to hit the trail.” After Smitty left
I realized I should not have told him I would run for mayor.
But, what the heck. One more lie doesn’t matter.


Ed Nichols lives in Clarkesville, Georgia. He is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. A chapbook of his prose poems was published in April 2021 titled, I Wish I Could Laugh. A collection of 60 prose poems was published in September 2021 titled Perfect Land. He will be publishing a collection of short stories this spring.

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