New Policy

He sits down at his desk.  That same desk.  He could do it, today.  Why not.  Why not today.  He missed the drives by the vineyards, his parents’ house that overlooked that canyon, and again with vineyards just down the road, Highway 12.  Int he East Bay all there were, freeways.  Traffic.  Angry people honking and not caring if they almost hit you with their car or actually do hit you.  He’d tell Rick that he was quitting, today.  How much notice should he give?  How should he do it?  Should he tell him, just tell him, or give some kind of lead in…

“When you get a second, I need to see you.” Rick says, hovering over his desk.  He always did that, but Jack usually saw him approaching.  But this morning he was so deep in his ‘what would he say’ inner laboratory and workshop that he forgot he was at his own desk.

Rick walks away and back into his office to make a call.  “Okay,” Jack thought, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving, I’m going back to Sonoma County.” And it wasn’t just the job, it wasn’t the insurance business, it wasn’t even really the East Bay.  He just wanted to do what he wanted, or start on his path to.  Wine.  Wine.  He wants to make wine.  He’s wanted to make wine for a few years, now.  Made wine with his sister a few years back, but it just sat in barrel and became more or less and experiment, to see how long it could stay palatable in barrel.  He dreams of his label.. his bottle types and what wines he’d make.  “Cab…. Merlot… a blend… Chardonnay like Rachel.” He always admired his sister and what she’s done, how she got to where she did, just working hard and not compromising, ever.

“Jack!  Come here, please.”

Jack’s thought stream and visuals, the inner gallery of possibility and dreams torn in half by the agent’s voice.  He walks in, knowing what he’d say.  He would do it.  Tell him. Take back his life and be back in a vineyard, starting somewhere, doing something, something with wine.. no more auto policies or deductible talk, no more working up quotes for people that know they have to have insurance but don’t want to spend money on something not at all fun….  He wanted barrels, early mornings cutting fruit from vines, a glass.

“Okay, sooooooo….  You forgot to call back a couple clients and they’re not too happy with us.  I need you to work up new quotes for Patria Mockey and Derrick Smote, and then I need you to drive out to 68th Avenue and do some measurements on a house.  What’s going on with you, lately?  Do you even want to write insurance, get your license one day, have your own office?  ‘Cause I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“I’m moving back to Sonoma County.”

Rick doesn’t know what Jack just said.  Stares.  Stuck.  “To do what?”

“Make wine.  Be happy.  I don’t want this.”