It was always a grey day when Uncle came to visit, lurching his big, black car into the drive—not in an uneasy or melancholy way, but a drab, more literal way, for he only came to us when the sky was overcast and ripe with storm. Whether he planned this or not I don’t know but it did seem to suit his personality, which was very dull, though not without its poignancies.
As children, we’d hold the door for him and after he grunted past in his brown duster we would gather the things that had clung to his coat or fallen from his pockets in passing. Mostly this was just clumps of hair and occasionally one of those sticky strawberry barrel candies you find a lot at Chinese restaurants, but best of all were the strange keys, one of which turned out to open a walk-in freezer at a butcher shop in the next county.
The only games he liked were cards, so we never played with him much, but he did pay us a lot of money just to make him coffee. If I had saved all the hundreds he slipped me just to fill him the biggest vessel I could find with as much coffee and sugar as it would fit, well, I’d probably be off enjoying myself elsewhere.
After his coffee, Uncle always went to bed. I suppose he snored louder than anything I’ve ever heard. Louder than the ocean. Maybe it’s why he always picked days when it looked like rain to come over and rest. Figured we might just chalk it up to thunder. It would make sense for someone like him to think that way. He was a very literal man, Uncle. What you saw was what you got.
Seth Blake is a writer from New Hampshire.