UKArchive ID: 36369harry
Originally published on March 25, 2016 in Fiction
Happy Birthday Chester, and I'll share it with you.
It’s Chester’s birthday and nobody knows it. Not in this town anyway. You’d think in the thirty years Chester’s lived here in Old Field somebody would remember him on his birthday.
On his way home from work, Chester stopped off at the market and bought himself a half-dozen chocolate cup cakes and a box of birthday candles. He thought he’d stick one in the chocolate icing, light it and sing happy birthday to himself after supper.
Pretty exciting evening, Chester. Too bad nobody knows you – after being in this town thirty years nobody knows today is your birthday.
As a matter of fact very few people know your name is Chester, except maybe the guys on the assembly line. You’ve been attaching the brush spindle on the two hooks inside the housing of the model 23050 Oreck vacuum cleaner and the two ladies on the line next to you know your name is Chester; and of course there’s the guy from accounting who comes around with your pay envelope every Friday.
Days go by when even you forget your name is Chester. Sometimes when you look in a mirror if you’re passing by you have no idea who that was.
Why ... suddenly ... today of all days did you remember it was your birthday, Chester? Nothing happened today that didn’t happen the day before yet here you are with a poor man’s excuse for a birthday cake.
Maybe it’s because you’ve been here in Old Field exactly thirty years and you stepped off the freight on the very day you turned twenty.
Maybe something in the back of your mind – the half century button clicked over and reminded you ... “I’m fifty years old ... how about that? No wife with a kiss. No kids with a package tied with a ribbon. Better get myself my own birthday cake.”
Well, whatever it was, you’re starting out on the second fifty years tomorrow and if they’re anything like the first fifty maybe it’s better if you tell old man Oreck he knows what he can do with the brush spindle on his vacuum cleaner.
Archived comments for Nowhere Man
pdemitchell on 25-03-2016
The vacuum in some people's lives explicitly writ - had me humming the Beatle's song... "wearing the face she keeps in a jar by the door" Happy Birthday Chester! Paul