Charlie’s Room: Visiting Kangaroo
“Guess what?” Charlie said at dinner.
“You lost a tooth?” Isaac guessed.
“You did well on the math test?” Marianne guessed.
Charlie smiled. “Well, yes. But that’s not what I was thinking about. Guess again.”
“You’re wearing your lucky socks?”
Charlie shook his head at Isaac’s guess. “Nope. Do you give up?”
Isaac and Marianne nodded.
“I get to write an essay about my favorite movie. I need to watch it again for research. I have a list of things to watch for. Can we watch it together after dinner?”
Marianne smiled. “I can, but your dad has some paperwork he was planning to do.”
“If Charlie needs help with his schoolwork…” Isaac began.
“I think we can handle it,” Marianne said. “Let me know if you need any help.”
After dinner, Marianne and Charlie popped some popcorn and took pens and papers and the list to the living room. Isaac put off the paperwork a little bit longer by doing the last of the dishes. But, when he heard the movie start, he knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.
He trudged over to his desk and sat down. It was his least favorite part of the week. But he’d agreed to be in charge of the paperwork when he and Marianne divided up chores as newlyweds. Allergies prevented him from doing yard work, so Marianne really had the harder list of things to do.
He hummed along with the soundtrack of the movie, imagining the scenes as he worked. Slowly he worked through the bills and such for the week. As long as he regularly kept up on it, it really wasn’t so bad. It was just really, really boring.
He checked income versus expenditures and compared it against their budget. Things were going well. He could even add a little extra to savings. Having a little extra in savings always made him nervous. It seemed to attract trouble.
Marianne thought this was a ridiculous idea. She said that trouble would come, no matter what, and weren’t they lucky that they always seemed to have just enough in savings to cover it? Perhaps Charlie’s lucky socks were more powerful than they guessed?
It looked like he was going to finish up in time to catch the ending of the movie. Isaac filed things away with extra focus. He was so intent on his work, that when he heard a knockg on the sliding glass door near his desk, he jumped.
He turned and looked through the door. There was a kangaroo in the backyard. Isaac blinked.
It was still there. Why was there a kangaroo in the backyard? Did it escape a zoo? And why was it knocking on the back door? Was that normal behavior for kangaroos?
Isaac stood up and walked over to the door. He opened it, but not wide enough for the kangaroo to go inside without permission. “Hello. How can I help you?”
“I was passing through, and I wondered if I can graze in your backyard? The trip home is a bit long, and I only brought a tucker bag.”
The kangaroo held up his paws. “No worries, I can find somewhere else.”
Isaac shook his head. “No, you are welcome to graze here. I just wasn’t expecting you.”
The kangaroo chuckled. “Too right, I’m not your normal kangaroo.”
Isaac raided the vegetable drawer and fruit bowl. The kangaroo stood by the door, telling him which things he’d prefer. Isaac paused at the cupboard. “Would you like a water bottle? Can you open one?”
“I’ve got teeth, don’t I? Who needs thumbs?”
Isaac added the water bottle to the pile of food. The kangaroo tucked it into his bag. “Why are you traveling so far away from home?” Isaac asked.
“Haven’t you ever had something that you just felt like you needed to do?” the kangaroo asked.
Isaac glanced at the desk. “Well, I do have paperwork that I was just working on. It isn’t pleasant but it needs to be done.”
The kangaroo clucked. “I don’t think it’s the same thing.”
Isaac shrugged. “It’s not an adventure into the unknown in order to find myself or the meaning of life, but it is a way for me to take care of the people and things that are important to me. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it to me.”
The kangaroo nodded slowly. “Maybe you do understand.”
Isaac shrugged. “You don’t always have to leave home to learn the important things. The lessons can find you when you’re ready for them.”
The kangaroo nodded again and turned to leave. With a thump, thump, thump he’d bounded away and was gone. Isaac closed the door.
He finished filing away the last few bills and left out the things he would put in the mail on his way to work. The soundtrack to the dinosaur movie got louder and he could hear roaring. He’d finished working just in time to watch his favorite scene. He smiled, turned out the lights and left the room to join Charlie and Marianne in the living room. He hoped they saved him some popcorn.