The Rocker

Short Story Day 60 of 365

Mr. McKinney sat on the porch in his white rocker, watching the squirrels, listening to the birds and the wind chimes, and feeling the warm, humid breeze ahead of the approaching storm. His was an easy life, a simple one.

McKinney had no debts, no family nearby, and very few friends. He liked it that way but it got a tad lonely during the holidays. No kids or grandkids or nieces or nephews to play with and watch their faces as they opened yet another present they didn’t need.

Was he a cynical old coot? You bet he was.

Was he uncaring and unfeeling about it all? Probably, but he also felt nobody really cared about him either, none except for those relatives who wanted to cash in on his death tomorrow or 20 years from now. But they lived far enough away that they weren’t a menace more than once a year.

The 82-year-old liked rocking and wasting time thinking and remembering when life was different and less complicated.

Less than a year after retirement, he downsized, realizing that the more home you have, the more you have to take care of it.

For 56 years, McKinney worked a monotonous factory job where thinking wasn’t encouraged. Becoming a low-level or even a mid-range manager would’ve boosted his bottom line a bit, but he didn’t want the hassle of dealing with people issues every day. He retired comfortable but lonely. Not fat-cat wealthy but comfortable enough to afford first class vacations, cruises, and hotels for the rest of his life, if that’s the way he wanted to go.

But none of that mattered.

Ronald G. McKinney just wanted to sit in his rocker and gently rock his days away.

No TV.

No computer or internet.

Just him and his rocker.

He owed nobody and nobody owed him.

Still able to feed and clothe himself and come and go as he pleased, Mr. McKinney was a contented man.

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