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The Tinkered Mind
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April 18th, 2021
Lucilius could almost reach it, his fingers just barely grazing, but it was too far. He pulled back, wincing at the pain of his pinches shoulder released from the narrow space. He gazed again down into the abyss where his old ring had rolled off into, and grimaced.
Then there was a knock at the door. Lucilius answered it and found the little boy from next door.
“Mom working a double again?”
“Yea, you mind if I hand out over here?”
“Always a treat,” Lucilius said, he pushed the door wider so the kid could enter, and after he closed the door he rolled his shoulder back a few times to try and ease off the pain.
“You ok?” The boy asked.
“Yea, I just pinched my shoulder trying to get something that fell behind a counter in the kitchen. There’s this weird spot where they skimped on the splashboard…”. He trailed off, and shook his head so to make it seem as though it was nothing.
“What did you lose?”
“Did you get it back.”
Lucilius shook his head.
“Show me where it fell,” the boy said with a certain confident authority that came with the young pride of someone who had something figured out. Lucilius showed the boy and he inspected the opening and looked down into the crevice with a quiet, analyzing gaze. Then the boy seemed to come to a conclusion. He edged to the lip of the counter and then hopped down. Briskly he walked out of the kitchen and Lucilius heard his front door open and close. Lucilius looked down behind the counter again, wondering if maybe he could somehow hook it, but his front door opened again, and this time it clanked oddly several times. The boy came back into the kitchen wheeling a vacuum along with him.
Lucilius chuckled. “Smart idea, but then we’re going to have to dig through the vacuums to find it.”
The boy smiled deviously. He lifted a foot and pulled his shoe off. Then with a bit more difficultly he pulled his sock off and put it over the the long attachment of the vacuum so it made like a screen. Then the boy plugged in the vacuum, jumped up on the counter, stuck the noise frustrated attachment down behind the counter and pulled it back up and pointed it at Lucilius, and there, stuck to the sock screen along with a dime and a few pieces of detritus was his ring.
Lucilius pulled it off and smiled.
The boy killed the vacuum and looked up at Lucilius.
“I bet you could just almost reach it, right?”
“Uh huh…could just about touch it.”
“Yea,” the boy said. “I had the same problem the other day, but my arms are a lot shorter. Not even a hope. But..” The boy said, growing contemplative,“…not having hope can be a good thing I guess.” He looked at Lucilius again, “stops you from trying to make something work that just won’t work. Makes it a lot easier to give up and figure something else out.”