As usual, I rode with Alvin to open the shop. He seemed preoccupied, like he had something on his mind.

“Old man,” I said, “what’s bothering you?”

“Look who callin me old. I think, but correct me if’n I’m wrong, you’re older than me.”

“That is neither here nor there. What I want to know is are you sick or something?”

Jabo and Leroy were standing at the backdoor of the shop. “We though yo’all was never gon get here,” shouted Leroy as we got out of the car in the parking lot behind the shop.

“Yeah, where yo’all been,” added Jabo.

“It is only eight, you turkeys, and Alvin don’t open till nine. So, what’s your problem?” I said.

Alvin unlocked the door and preceded us inside.

“Louis, what’s up with Alvin,” Jabo asked, “he looked like he worried.”

“I don’t know. I’ve been trying to get him to talk to me but he’s not saying anything.” I couldn’t tell them no more than that.

Alvin took up his position in the barber chair and rattled the newspaper he had unfolded. He was ready to talk to us.

“That boy ain’t no miracle worker. Everybody wants a piece of’m. He ain’t no miracle worker.”

Leroy was the first to ask “Alvin, whatya you talkin bout?”

“Yeah,” I asked, “who ain’t no miracle worker?”

“Alvin, stop talkin in riddles, and say sumpin we can understand,” advised Jabo.

“What’s wrong with you turkeys,” Alvin shot back. “I’m talkin bout our new president, Obama. Look here, them pu…pu, Louis what they called, them dudes on TV what always talkin and talkin?”

“You mean pundits?” I answered.

“Yeah, them. They all sayin he got to hit the ground runnin. Well, I ain’t disagreein with them, but the boy is takin his time, as he oughta do. And then, there’s them groups and others them environmentalists who want him to do sumpin now bout the environment.” He took a breath.

“Well, Alvin,” I said, “you right a whole lotta folks want him to do a whole lotta things even before he officially becomes president. But that, I think, he expected since he promised change from what Bush did.”

“Yeah, but how gon acted immediately on the economy, Iraq, and that country where the other war is, and I just read in the paper, somebody wants him to straighten out the law department right now. He is one smart dude, but ain’t no miracle worker.” Alvin paused again for breath.

“He just a man.”



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