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Bob Aahl: A Short Story

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Early June sun shone bright as I set off into town. I drove down the winding road. My mind drifted into oblivion. I knew this road's every twist and turn when CRUNCH. I stepped outside to assess the damage. To my despair, I found a tree had viciously mutilated the right side of my Volkswagen Jetta. I drove home in a sorrowful state of self pitty. The rage of my parents was inevitable. After countless hours being lectured, they calmed down and came to the conclusion that I must get a job. Bob Aahl was a short portly man. I met him through my grandfather. In Mr. Aahl's deteriorating health and increasing age, he told my grandfather he needed a young man to help him work on his boat, a 1948 Annapolis. My grandfather instantly thought…show more content…
Aahl that night. We arranged to start working the next morning at 7 a.m. Once aboard, Mr. Aahl informed me that I would clean the engine room. I lifted the wooden floor panel of the boat, only to feel my heart sink. The space below was dark, vile, and soaked with oil. Two robust engines leaked black tar into troughs below. I looked at Mr. Aahl with pleading eyes as if to say, "Please don't make me do this". He confronted my soft eyes with those of stone. He instructed me on how to clean the engine, then commanded me to begin. My mind turned off. I became a machine. My only objective was to obliterate all traces of scum. Hours later I turned my neck from my work to gaze upon that weathered face of Mr. Aahl. He conveyed a look of true exuberance. I drug my oil sodden body from the dungeon like crevasse that was so dear to Mr. Aahl. "Eli, I have not seen the engines this clean since the day I bought this ship," he…show more content…
Aahl and I decided to go out and get some food at a local Taqueria. We each ordered some carne asada tacos. Enjoying a good meal lead us into fascinating conversations involving his obsession with the UW football team, his old red mustang, and his two energetic corgis. After only a day of working for Mr. Aahl, I already felt like I knew this man inside and out. I knew what made his life worth living and what provided him with joy and with sadness. With each minute, Mr. Aahl became less of an employer and more of a
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