Emil the Target


The bald spot on Emil’s head has begun to grow in — but only in the centre. Is this the kind of thing you mean, Reta, when you mentioned the Bartley men?

Emil is basking in the Cancun sun, Everett is hefting drywall (wild guess; he could be clerking, counting, delivering; whatever they do at lumberyards), and Scott and I are going to drive to the dump to drop off that old couch before SadieSue has it spread all over the yard.

Then we’ll go to town and start prepping Emil’s room for painting. I’m dressed in my shabbiest pair of jeans and a shirt that doesn’t fit Scott anymore but has a ragged collar. It’s only weeks ago that clothes I’d saved for rough work were thrown out because they were never worn. Sure enough, this week I could’ve used them.

We couldn’t tell Emil we were going to paint his room this week, because he would have fretted. He prefers most things to remain exactly as they are, whether it’s wearing a falling-apart jacket instead of a new one or whether it’s covering puke-coloured walls with a more palatable tint. If his room ever had to be painted, he told me when asked, his favourite colour is orange. We won’t paint it orange, but white with an orange tone. Just brightening it up.

I’m to gather up supplies (wall cleaner, paper towels) so had best get hustling.


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