Abraham picked his head up from reading the most important documents he had ever seen in his life, then looked around the room he was sitting in. He looked at the cheaply framed diplomas and sparse pictures on the barn wood walls. The well used on loan law books set in milk crates had started to get mildew from the weather. Abraham looked at the donated cot folded up in the corner of the room and then at the card table he called a desk. No matter how hard he squinted it still was the same tool shed around the back of Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester Vermont. Even the Attorney at Law shingle on his door had “STOP” in red letter stenciled on the reverse side. So what was he really looking at? He was looking at the life of a man who really did not know what he was, let alone who he is? Or maybe he was just looking at a man who would probably live and die with a small amount of change in his pocket and if lucky a few people he could call friends. Like a melody of the slow sad song, “Is that all there is” began to play over and over in his head. That sing song drone on long enough for the soft fog of discontent and disillusion to set in. Was he going to be just another unsatisfied and unfulfilled dreamer drifting through history? Not now or ever again he thought and breathed out, “I will not be a failure, I am Abraham Lincoln the Third.”
The next morning came early as a banging on the other side of the office/tool shed wall. It was Mandy the owner of Ye olde Tavern. All she said was that breakfast was ready and would not stay ready very long. The newly awakened Abraham Lincoln III rubbed sleep from his eyes and took his tattered and burned box with him to the restaurant side of the Tavern. He sat at a window seat just below old framed pictures of men in beards and women in bustled dresses. They were standing in front of the tavern as if it had always been there and always would. Abraham just looked out at passing traffic until the head waiter brought his favourite breakfast bowl of country scrambled eggs on top of spiced diced potatoes with a three link of sausage overlay, beside that was a wedge of glazed cornbread. The coffee was hot and filled a large mug with the words, “Boss” stencilled on the side. Mandy created this breakfast for him and never served it to anyone else. She called it the, Linc 3 special but would not tell him why. As far as he knew, he was the only one served breakfast at the Tavern, because the doors opened for business at 5 o’clock pm.
“Lawyer my ass,” the waiter said to him when passing his table. “You’re just a free loading bum drinking out of the Boss’ cup”.
“Two seconds later Mandys voice came from the kitchen, “yeah, and he’ll be drinking out of that cup when your looking for another job if you have anything else to say.”
The waiter was quiet all the way to kitchen with a rather worried look on his face. Only Mandy cooked his breakfast. She let him use the shed as payment for representing her in court on a expansion zoning law for her restaurant. It was an old law that was more bent than broken, but he managed to convince the Mayor on a Sunday that the statute was unfair to her and should be removed. She became impressed not so by his knowledge of the law but his sincerity and powers of persuasion in court. She won the case and told him she couldn’t pay him in money by would allow him the use of the shed to conduct business. She knew he needed a place and regular meals far more than the fifty dollar charge for his services. He accepted and had been living and working there for the past six months.
After breakfast he had about 20 minutes to get to the Manchester town hall. He arrived early and stood outside the building. The town clerk could see him though the window. It was five minutes before opening. Abraham tapped on the window and she looked at him and shook her head. She knew him. He had been there often enough to be an annoyance, with his long lean face and those penetrating eyes, searching eyes that seemed to probe her very thoughts if they strayed from the information he was looking for. He would have to wait until nine am like any other person, because he was not special, even if he did grow up on the Heldene Estate.