The first time the peculiar man visited Jeremy Buck's quiet home was on November 16th 1976. He was sitting on the squeaky kitchen stool, the one closest to the fridge for quick ginger ale refills. His parents were in the living room, having their fifth argument of the evening, this one about the best way to salt the icy steps (an unnecessary argument, really, as it never got cold enough in their town). The ring of the doorbell (this week programmed to play Rhapsody in Blue)* interrupted a very angry sentence that was gushing out of Mrs. Buck's twitching mouth. Jeremy lifted his head from the Math textbook, the unexpected visitor far more interesting than the drawing of male genitals that he was meticulously doodling on the page. Mrs. Buck ran a nervous hand through her graying hair, staring at the door as if she could telepathically shoo the stranger away. Her husband let out an exasperated sigh and yanked it open. He was greeted by a cloud of cigar smoke, hiding the face of a tall man, dressed in a black suit with a house plant in his gloved hand. Later on when recalling the peculiar events, for they were very peculiar, he would realize that in fact he never did quite catch the man's face. Jeremy and his twitching mother stood together in the kitchen, watching as Mr. Buck and the suited stranger exchanged a few words. The angry slam of the door, followed by the aggressive destruction of the potted cactus declared the end of the strange meeting. Mr. Buck's refusal to explain what it was about heightened their curiosity, and even after hours of arguing with no cooperation on his behalf, the subject was dropped and shortly after that, forgotten.

*Mr. Buck was the proud owner of quite a sophisticated doorbell business. He was the first person in the town of Milton to own such a business, in fact he was the first person in the state of Delaware to do so. His hobby (much to Mrs. Buck's frustration) was to reprogram the Buck household's to different tunes. He was fond of Gershwin, so the doorbell would mostly play his pieces.





Social Media