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Stanley C. Brown 1035 Scott Drive #475

Stanley C. Brown 1035 Scott Drive #475

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Published by lpsable3482
Shap is a single 30-something fellow who is bored with his life until he meets Luli Manchester, the vision who leaps from her scrap book in the book store into his life. Small incidents in one's life can lead to radical changes in life-styles.
Shap is a single 30-something fellow who is bored with his life until he meets Luli Manchester, the vision who leaps from her scrap book in the book store into his life. Small incidents in one's life can lead to radical changes in life-styles.

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Published by: lpsable3482 on Jan 21, 2010
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Stanley C. Brownemail: wed1949@msn.com1035 Scott Drive #475
Prescott, Arizona 86301INCIDENTSByStanley C. Brown
An "incident" is "something that happens as a result of or in connection withsomething more important; a minor event or episode..." For Marian Louise Shapleigh,
making love with the man she hoped to marry, was, in the scope of things, only one incidentin her busy life as a student. Giving birth to a boy-child was a major event, for mother, for son, and for the father who used that event as the spring board from which
to leap out of their lives.Marian's life for the next months was filled with the major events of dropping out of college and returning to the home of her parents in Illinois. It was 1930, and a major eventin the life of countless Americans was getting under way - The Great Depression.However, that was only an incident in the life of her son, William Shapleigh. The
major event he remembered was when at the age of seven he decided his first name was toocommon. There were two others in his second grade class who also answered
to "Bill."
"I think I will be called 'Snap.'" And so he was, from then on.Except for the slow, slow dripping of water from a spigot into a shallow pan on theground, everything was totally quiet. Shap sat in the shade of the lanai near the pool,watching the gardener, Jose. The man stood like a statue, propped by a long handled weeddigger, staring at the spigot. One drop of water every
fifteen seconds, according to Snap'scount as he turned his sun burned arm back from
looking at his watch.
The passing of timewas not how the caretaker for the Santa Cruz Town House
Association assessed momentslike these. Jose Moreno had no such orientation to gringo watches and date books. Hisworld view was of place, not linear time. Just now he was here, contemplating the formationof water drops on the rim of the faucet, and their occasional descent into the little pan. Alizard came to drink, and Jose did not
William Shapleigh had laid the newspaper across his legs, open to long columns of tiny stock market statistics. He was glad to pull his attention away from squinting for the fewstocks his broker managed for him and try to enter the world of the gardener. He becameaware of the comfortable contours of the lounge chair pressing his back. That back of his
still ached from a week of long hours over a computer, and climbing in and
out of a countyvehicle to call on welfare recipients."Why does Jose stand there and do nothing; onour time?" Shap wondered silently,knowing that part his monthly association fee paid the man. This negative thought was aninvasion into his hour of peacefulness. He tried to put this needless anxiety
aside andleaned his head back, tucking the bone at the top of his neck into the
lounge's plastic ribbing.This was his Eden. Though not the fanciest of town houses it nestled beside thefoothills of adjoining mountains. He laughingly called it "the lower rent district." The townhouses were in groups of four, sharing common walls, on either side of the single, curvingstreet which formed a large "horseshoe." The innermost portion of the horseshoe was acommon area landscaped with desert bushes, trees and meandering walkways. At thecenter was a large swimming pool and lanai. It was here Shap often retreated for solitude.Most of the residents were much older than he, being retired and either away on trips or off to bridge games and volunteer tasks. He had the pool area much to himself whenever hewanted it.Whenever he wanted it! That was a sort of life philosophy, he supposed. At least,there was no one else to live for but himself. His mother was in another state, and his father had been missing since he was born. There were some half-brothers, but they never communicated. As for a wife, well, that was a painful subject every time
it came bubbling upin his consciousness. God knows he had tried. Or had he? His
lack of self assurance pulledthe rug out from under permanent relationships everytime.Being short didn't help either, five foot six, although his body was well shaped andhe kept his muscle tone by hiking, watching his diet, and occasional workouts onhishome gym.The "Shapleigh" name came from his maternal grandfather, but his mother was moreEnglish, like her own mother and she told him once that his natural father was Scottish.Although Shap had always accepted his ruddy complexion, he often wished for the darker skin of southern France, or brown skin like Jose who had just moved his weight from theweed digger and renewed his task. Shap grasped the short sleeve of his shirt to wipe hisblue eyes, which were burning from the sun-block lotion. Maybe he should grow amustache, or a beard, or let his hair grow long, instead of being so trimmed and neat all thetime. Some change was called for, as this feeling of dissatisfaction lately reminded him.Being a county social worker did not seem to be going anywhere. But then, how could he
know where he wanted to go?He sat up, folding the business section and tossing it on the lanai table as he movedto the edge of the pool. He pulled his shirt over his head, tossed it aside and dove in. Thecool waters refreshed him, soothing the growing agitation of the old dilemma. How do other people decide to change a lifestyle? How could a single,independent guy make room for someone else in his life; in his home and his routine? It did not seem possible! The silence of the deep water was shattered by the thought. "Making room for someone else in his life."He pushed his feet against the bottom and shot to the surface, gasping for air andthen kicking out into a crawl for the far end of the pool. To surrender his life to somethingbigger than himself would mean letting go, giving up his dreams and hopes and desires for another person's dreams and hopes and desires.The kick of his legs and splash of his arms took on a sudden surge of vigor. Threelaps, maybe four, and he would go in, grab a bite of lunch, and head for his other secretgarden - The Book Store.Saturday was crowded at The Book Store. The spring afternoon in Tucson
broughtout more traffic than Shap had hoped to see. He was elated when someone pulled out of aspace right in front as he drove up. He backed his leased BMW against the curb, andchuckled when he saw there was even enough time on the meter to go another hour.Parking meter coins mattered on his salary and Shap reminded himself again that if he werenot a bachelor he could never afford such a luxury car. "Think twice about making room for someone else," he thought cautiously.Upon entering the store he immediately became transfixed before one of thetables. The shuffling and shoulder rubbing crowd faded from consciousness as he
looked at the fragile album in his hands. Embossed in gold on a dark green cover werethe words, "Cuttings From Wood And Field."The heavy cover was detached from the rectangular volume, and he handled itcarefully. Laying the book upon the backs of other books regimented along the table, hegently turned the cover over and began to study the pages. On each yellowed page realflowers and leaves were artistically glued and crisply dried by thick blotter-pagesbound intothe volume.Her name was there in the upper right hand corner of the first page, in faded butopen and delicate handwriting. It read, "Lulie L. Manchester," and then, "London," andthen the year, "1873."

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