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Comments Off on Our Town – November 30, 2017

Our Town – November 30, 2017

| Our Town, Seasons, Vampires | November 30, 2017

The Soupster chats up a night owl – well, not really an owl.

Our Town is a tolerant place, the Soupster thought, but it takes time.

He thought about Vladimir, who was standing in front of him in line at the bank. Vladimir had first come to town with not much English, no money and strange nocturnal habits. But the foreign man stayed through a whole winter, the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree in Our Town, and after that people took him seriously, even if they kept their distance.

This afternoon, near closing time, Vladimir looked terrible – always pale, he now had enormous black circles under his eyes. He slumped forward as though his arms were too heavy for his shoulders.

The Soupster caught Vladimir’s eye. “Gee, Vlad, you look awful,” the Soupster said, “like death warmed over.”

Vladimir chuckled, not altogether friendly. “Und you, Zoupster, you zmell like death needs a zhower,” he said, in his strong accent. “But you are accurate. I am zleep deprived. I am too active.”

Vladimir’s nocturnal habits were well known to everyone – the man slept all day and stayed up all night. And on the edge of Solstice in Our Town, night occupied most of the clock.

“I’m sympathetic, Vlad,” said the Soupster. “In the summertime — when the days last nearly till midnight and start again a couple of hours later? — I run myself ragged. It seems like every night at 10 p.m. or so, I think of some new project that needs doing that second.”

“Yes, Zoupster,” Vlad said. “Und you turn Zummer Zolstice upzide down und you get Vinter Zolstice.”

“Or you’re in Australia,” the Soupster joked.

“Yes, you must jest, Zoupster,” said Vladimir. “It is in your nature. As it is in mine to move across nearly the whole world. To come to the New World and leave my Old World ways behind.” Vladimir lifted his arm to cover most of his face, leaving only his dark eyes.

The Soupster remembered that he found Vlad a touch over-dramatic. But he was glad to see the other man looking more alert and awake. Vlad moved to the front of the line.

“So what did you leave behind in the Old World, Vlad?” the Soupster asked.

“Now, my favorite drink is tomato juice,” Vladimir answered with a dark laugh, exposing an impressive set of teeth. “With an egg well beaten into it!”

The teller free, Vladimir took his place at the counter. Although the Soupster’s turn came a moment later, his business was briefer and the two men found themselves standing outside the bank at the same time.

The Soupster zipped his coat tight against his neck in the chill darkness. Vladimir’s deep breaths came out in puffs of icy fog.

“Maybe you should take it easy this evening,” said the Soupster. “Kick back.”

“Oh, don’t conzern yourzelf vith me, Zoupster,” Vlad said with a wicked smile. “I am always groggy ven first I vake.” Then he changed into a bat and flew off.

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Comments Off on Our Town – February 23, 2012

Our Town – February 23, 2012

| Darkness, Our Town, Seasons, Vampires | February 23, 2012

At the hardware store at closing time to buy a paintbrush, the Soupster said the same thing he always said when he ran into the local vampire, “Hey, Ed, drinking that fish blood still working for you?”

“Fine,” said Edward, who was not hearing the question for the first time. “Hey Soupster,” he countered, “you still eating the flesh of mammals?”

“Not the same, not the same,” said the Soupster, shaking his head.

“That’s right,” said Ed. “I catch my own dinner.”

“All right, you win,” said the Soupster, noticing that Ed’s arms were filled with plumbing parts, building insulation and a large roll of electrical wire and that he wore a serious expression.

The Soupster could hear the background whirring of the cash register at the counter. Customers stood in line to check out. A few other people wandered the aisles, glancing anxiously at the big wall clock.

“Sorry if I seem testy,” said Ed, “I’ve just been vorking, vorking, vorking.” At the Soupster’s questioning look, Ed added. “You know, I’m coming to the end of my busy season.”

“That’s right, you live at night,” the Soupster said, acting as though he didn’t already know that.

“And the nights are getting shorter,” said Ed.

“I have noticed that,” said the Soupster. “I actually tell people during the black nights of late fall that they just have to hold out until February and it’s remarkably lighter by then…Eddy? Are you listening to me?”

“I vas just thinking about the ‘black nights of late fall,’” said Ed dreamily. “You ewoked that magical time wery vell.”

“I know it’s not officially Spring until March 21st,” the Soupster continued, “but it seems like it’s Spring here by the end of February. At least it’s staying light later and later and getting light earlier and earlier.”

“Please don’t vave your depressing theory in my face,” said Ed.

“Which makes sense,” said the Soupster, ignoring him, “because Fall starts on September 21st, supposedly, but in our town — by late August — the alder leaves are falling and the raindrops getting bigger.”

“I have so much to do and so little time to do it,” Ed complained. “And so no time to talk vit you.”

“I’ll try and keep a good thought for you night people,” said the Soupster.

Ed nodded assent. “In the vords of Paul Simon, `One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.’”

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What is Our Town?

Our Town is a bi-weekly column that tracks the life of the Soupster and his friends and neighbors.

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

The first Our Town was published December 22, 1999.

Read Our Towns published before February 2009 HERE.

Who is the Soupster?

The Soupster is a long-time resident of Our Town who seems to have all the time in the world to traipse around, visit friends and neighbors and get into minor scrapes.

Want to submit a piece for Our Town?

Contact us with your idea or completed piece. Our Town’s must be 450-500 words long, take place in or near Sitka and the Soupster must make an appearance, however brief.

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