When Pat Jenkins told us that he was heading south to work on the Panama Canal we all believed him. How were we to know that he'd been drinking on credit for weeks? He wasn't the type to get inside your head and ricochet off bone like a brazen .22 round. That time he mentioned his desire to design a kaleidoscope for that new female friend of his we laughed for a song-and-a-half on the jukebox and suggested that he check the antique shop in town. Nothing ever came of it--his gift--and he swore off trinkets and blondes for awhile; possibly until Doomsday. It was around that time when his mother's card came in the mail and beckoned his better senses. After a few gins he whispered that he could smell her perfume in the envelope. It was almost enough to lure him back home, but that definition had changed in Pat's mind. The rest of us knew it before he did though no one had the heart to tell him. What happened back there could have never been avoided since nobody got close enough to smell it on his breath. As far as I know he's living in a hut on a Pacific beach with a shovel and a shotgun propped up in the corner. When Pat Jenkins told us where he was going we had no reason to doubt his intentions.