The List

Percy Collins had a list a mile and a half long filled with things he had to do. He wasn’t sure how many items actually fit on a list a mile and a half long. Of course, it was theoretical. If there were an actual list, the font size used to create it would be critical in determining the number. It was easier to just say, a million.

Of that million, missing amongst the stare at the moons, the climb the mountains, the take exotic trips to Canada, was ‘become a successful businessman.’  

He didn’t care much about becoming a successful businessman, and by much he meant, not at all. That said, he seemed to spend most of his time working toward just that. He joined his father’s business shortly after college. After his father got sick, he took on the whole of the business full-time. He worked hard. He worked long hours. He was good with people, and he supposed to some degree, he was good at business.

Still, when he rolled out of bed in the morning he was about as excited to get to work as one might be excited to go to the doctor, a doctor who kept trying to find the elusive cause to a dull and nagging pain or a spreading rash. There never seemed to be a cure or resolution. It never ended. It just led to another series of appointments, pokes, prods and tests.

A younger Percy fancied himself an artisan. He was good with his hands. He liked the notion of looking back and seeing something stand for a day’s work. He liked tile. He liked baking. They were simple concepts and honest trades, but often seen by some, mostly in the business world, as ‘less than” because they rarely garnered the potential of huge deals, huge payoffs, and a businessperson’s warped sense of professionalism.

He went to work. He did his job. He was honest, and dedicated and worked to improve himself. Then he would go home, eat dinner, have a nightcap and nod off in front of the evening news thinking of his list. Canada…

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