Melvin and the Wallet #5


Melvin felt in a daze as he looked into his wife’s eyes. They carried a wild look like a tigress that stood before a dead prey and had a hungry litter.

“One question, Melvin, just one. Did you do this?”

“Do what honey?”

“The money, the wallets.”

“Of course not. How could I?”

Joanna paced the room and nodded. “I didn’t think you could. How could you get this much money and make up such a story?”

“Hey, what’s going on?” Melvin inquired.

Joanna went to her lunch box that she had put on the dresser along with her purse. She handed it to Melvin. “Open it.”

Melvin undid the latches on her metal lunch box with plaid squares painted on the sides, expecting to see her leftovers. Instead he beheld the familiar wallet stuffed with cash. He gaped at it for a full minute and then looked up at his wife.

“You kept it.” He reasoned.

“NO. I told you how they mocked me and made fun of me for turning it in. I went to the lunch room with Shirley and Mona like usual. We sit over at the side near the window where the big flower bed was. I sat down and we all said the blessing. I opened my lunch box and under my sandwich was that there wallet. I nearly ¬†went to the bathroom in my pants. I shut it fast after I pulled my sandwich out. I could barely eat.”

“Did you count it?” Melvin asked.

“In the rest room. Seven hundred and eighty.”

He sat on the bed in silence as she continued to pace the room.

“I thought all afternoon about this Melvin. I could barely wait to get home.”

“What are we going to do honey?”

“Ruth 2:16.”

“Huh?” Melvin was throughly confused.

“It’s in the Old Testament. ‘and let fall also some the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not’. You see Melvin, this was God all along, you were right baby. Ruth worked for Boaz as a field worker, kind of like you and me. Most owners were mean and cruel. Not Boaz. He took pity of Ruth and let her eat and drink with his maidens. He tells his field bosses to leave some grain on the ground for her, some “handfuls of purpose”. Melvin, this here wallet is a gift from God.”

Melvin sat in shock at his smiling wife. “You think?”

She sat beside him and kissed him warmly. “Let’s go downstairs and eat those beans and cornbread. After supper let’s go to Goldbricks and get ice cream. Then we’ll go to Freeze’s and buy a load of groceries, I’ll get their man to deliver so we don’t have to carry it. Honey, get plenty of Bull Dirham and even a quart of Macon’s Beer, heck get two, one for me too. I already too the day off tomorrow and told the school the kids had to be absent. After we go down to the bank in the morning, I thought we could ride the bus over to Dalton and visit the amusement park.”

Melvin sat in dumbfounded and began to cry. Joanna wiped his tears and tilted his chin up to her eyes. “Promise me you will start going to church with me.”
“Sure, but the beer?”

“Melvin, I love the Lord but I think he wants us to enjoy life sometimes.”

The next day, they did go to the bank and catch up their mortgage and visit Dalton and ride the roller coaster. But, that’s not all. Melvin found the same wallet and money in different places for the next six days. At the end of thirty days, the police dutifully called them to claim to other wallets. Melvin went to church for the next six months. His leg got better and he went back to work. He was hired to work more hours and stopped going to church. Joanna stopped going when they moved to Dalton and Melvin got a job as the assistant manager of a lumber yard. He never found any more wallets, but he remained a believer that the Lord wanted all of us to enjoy life. He employed an act he always called “handfuls on purpose” by being nice to people who never expected anything good to happen.

The End


This begins a new series that documents conversations between two homeless gents who live in a large cosmopolitan city: HOEHANDLE & FEATHERLEGS.

Hoehandle Burk

Featherlegs Dupree


The following conversation took place at a city park:

HH: Featherlegs! I thought you were …were uh maybe dead from those spring rains.

FL: Naw they made us break camp and go to a mission.

HH: Oh shit, which one?

FL: Catholic one on 3rd. Stinking feet and farts all night.

HH: Got any drinking liquor?

Featherlegs pulls out a plastic pint of Ancient Age from his tattered coat pocket. The men enjoy a drink.

FL: Where you hanging at?

HH: This park. Sleep over in those bushes.

FL: Cops?

HH: Not enough to speak of. Been a week of peace so far. The library’s over at that end and they are liberal with the shitters.

FL: Been keeping up with the news?

HH: Every day.

FL: Hoehandle, that’s what I always liked about you. I don’t see a newspaper for a month and I run into you and bam- you know every fucking thing going on in the world. So, what’s been going on out there since I last laid eyes on you?

HH: Putin mainly.

FL: What’s that? Farts?

HH: He’s pretty much the King of Russia.

FL: It’s a he. So, what’s the King of Russia been up to that affects me?

HH: Not much I guess that should trouble you. He’s been messing around with our government, trying to screw things up.

FL: What for? It’s screwed up enough as it is.

HH: Anyway, it looks like Putin liked Trump enough to give him a boost and well a shit storm has broke out.

FL: Sounds to me like the pock ‘a lips.

HH: The what? Pass me the bottle.

FL: The POCK A LIPS. My momma used to teach Sunday School before she became a drunk. Told us about the end times, Jesus coming back. The pock a lips.

HH: Apocalypse. You mean the apocalypse.

FL: What’d I say? You hungry?

HH: Always. Want to pool?

FL: Hell yes.

The pair unwrapped their possessions and dined on pork and beans, questionable hot dogs and three beers they purchased from 7-11. Come back soon for more of their interactions.

Until then, the boys say “see ya later”.