[ Chapter 1.1 is here. ]
John paid the daily pass at the entrance of Cismigiu Park next to the Cretulescu palace. Hachi was pulling at the leash – he needed to do some business.
They walked down the steps to the swan and duck pond. Looking around, John didn’t see any park guards, so he let Hachi off leash. Hachi stopped to bark at a flock of black swans making a commotion. Then he ran past the long line for the spring and disappeared.
“K- Message to Steve. Dad said that he’d love to do the speaking engagement. You know my account. Catch you laterz.”
“Ok. Sending message to Steve.”
“Incoming call from Zach…”
John heard a commotion on the other side of the call. It sounded like cows, chickens and pigs.
I’ve got three trucks here with 12 milk cows, 48 chickens and 24 pigs. That’s crazy! We already have cows, chickens, ducks, catfish, pigs, sheep, and turkeys.
Did I mention the feed we got yesterday? It’s enough feed for a year for all the animals. Like we didn’t have that already!”
John started laughing.
Anyway, I can’t get hold of your dad. The internet is off, out here. So I can’t email him either. Tell him I’ll inventory and sort it out. He’ll get an email when I get the internet back.
Oh- George should be in Bucharest tonight. He has to sort out some papers for the university.
“Awesome! The guest room is waiting for him,” John said.
When you coming up?
The grandmother from yesterday waved at John from the line. John smiled and waved back.
“Cristina doesn’t have a holiday until August,” John told Zach.
If you get a free weekend, you should come.
I have some good country wine ready for you. Anyway, come whenever you want, John. Georgina says that you don’t come without Cristina!
Now I’m going to see about these new animals. Don’t forget to tell your dad. And tell George to give me a call when he gets there.
“Yes, sefu!” replied John.
John walked past The Library (La Biblioteca) and around the back of Cismigu Park toward the playground. On the way, he spotted Hachi running with Maximus (a rottweiler) and Kelly (a Caucasian).
“K- Zoom. Shoot. Six.”
Ok. Six shots of Hachi, Maximus, and Kelly. jpgs are in your inbox.
Over at the Monte Carlo atrium, a wedding party was kicking off. Dad had mentioned that he and mom used to have coffee at the Monte Carlo – back when it was a grubby restaurant. That was before their shortly marriage. It was a seven story atrium now with an underground spa and hotel. The Sanctuary.
What was really cool about The Sanctuary were windowed ceilings that were windows at the bottom of the lake. You could see Japanese carp and turtles swimming underwater from your bed. John stayed there with Cristina on the night of his high school graduation. It was just like heaven.
There were also several waterfalls and rain gardens down there that weren’t just decoration. They actually cleaned the air. The air was actually better down there than above ground in Cismigiu Park.
His father and uncle Mihai had designed it. John often wondered how they did all the things they did.
The groom and bride were photographed on a balcony. They gave speeches and made bold declarations of love. The guests cheered and toasted the happy couple. And then the groom threw a stack of Euros into the air.
The Euro bills floated down to the lake below and peddle boats raced to collect them.
It’s early in the day to start a wedding party, John thought to himself. That is going to be some party.
“Incoming call from a private caller.”
“K- Record call,” said John.
Hello, John. This is Lumi. Steve sent me. Are you home?
“Hi, Lumi! I’ll be home in a few hours. How was the flight?”
Business class is comfortable, thanks. Can we meet at your place at three? I’d like to drop off the package and head to the hotel for a shower.
“Sure. Let’s meet up at three. Tonight, Cristina (my girlfriend), George (my cousin), and I will pick you up at seven for dinner, drinks, and karaoke. Bring one or two friends – if you like. Cool?
I’d love that!
Steve said you were cool.
John heard a song playing on Lumi’s end.
“K- Amplify the background music.”
‘Cause sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbing is just a grain of sand
What you’ve been up there searching for
forever is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
seem so small
“What song is that?” John asked.
It’s an oldie. But a goodie…
Carrie Underwood. So Small.
Tell me John…
Have you climbed a mountain only to find that you already had what you’re looking for,” Lumi asked with a grin.
“There’s things we gotta have in order to keep going. Love. Hope. Faith. You know…
And there’s things we’re always reaching for because we’re still incomplete.
The irony is that we don’t always know what these things are. Or in what proportion we need them in order to keep going… to keep our hearts open… to keep growing,” John answered.
Lumi was impressed. She blushed.
“It can be very confusing – if you are human,” laughed John.
“Are you saying I’m not human?” asked Lumi with a grin.
“We’ll see…” John answered with a smile.
“Hmpf! You’ll see for yourself at three! Bye-bye…” replied Lumi and ended the call.
The woman that John had given his entrance receipts was there in the playground with her son at the swing set. He waved and laughed. She was too embarrassed to wave back.
John wasn’t troubled with the futilities of being indignant of a woman who lived desperately. He felt badly for her. Because her shame was a terrible price for her to procure the smallest of joys for her son. Tears welled up in his eyes.
He waved again with a smile, walked over to her, and gave her a few Euro coins.
She took the coins.
“You think highly of yourself,” she said.
“It’s easy to hand out money when you have money. Isn’t it! But what will you do when you don’t have money? Do you think you’ll be so generous, then?” she snapped.
“I’m sorry if I offended you,” John replied.
“Get the fuck out of my face,” she said. “You don’t know anything about how hard life is. You’re just a spoiled brat walking around your father’s garden.
Go on. Get the fuck out of my face!
You don’t even know how to speak like a real person! Idiot! Get going or I’ll scream for help…”
John shrugged, turned around and walked over to a bench.
He sat down amidst the ringing squeals, laughter and shouting of kids at play.
“K- Open book. G.K. Chesteron. Thomas Aquinas.”
“K- Play Song. Claude Debussy. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.
Incoming video call from Cristina.
John thought about the last words in his reading:
… when he lifted at last his head and spoke with, and for, that almost blasphemous audacity which is one with the humility of his religion; “I will have Thyself.”
“Love you,” he said.
Love you too.
“We’re going out tonight. Me, you, George and Lumi.” He began.
Lumi is Steve’s courier. George is on his way to Bucharest. The refrigerator is empty…
But I washed the dishes…”
“Good boy!” Cristina said with a grin. “What time?”
“I told Lumi we’d pick her up at seven,” John answered.
Ok, I’ll call George now. Kisses.
The call ended.
John’s thoughts returned to G.K. Chesterton and Thomas Aquinas.
Where John had left off reading, Chesterton describes one of the few miraculous stories about Thomas Aquinas. The story goes that God presented Aquinas with the choice of anything he wanted. And, the young Aquinas, chose God.
Wow! It was a strange, exciting and wonderful choice.
John got it.
In John’s mind, it was a choice that made Solomon’s own wisdom pale in comparison to the genius of Aquinas. It was a genius that exceeded the scientific mind of Einstein! Einstein was distracted by Creation – when he could have known everything he wanted to know about Creation in knowing the Creator.
A blog post? He wondered.
This was way out there. Most people will think Aquinas was a dumb ox. Aquinas’ own school mates thought the same of him.
Aquinas could have asked for anything! An apartment. A car. A hundred billion Euros!
People just woudn’t understand that you don’t need anything if you got God. Completely. That’s the elegant simplicity of Aquinas’ choice.
John could hear the fat jokes already.
Hachi jumped up on the bench next to John and licked his face.
John looked at Hachi suspiciously.
A park policeman and a high school girl walked up to John and Hachi.
“K- Film it.”
“My name is Sam Roma. B-P-P-9-2-9. It’s a 500 Euro fine for letting your dog off leash. You can pay it now or we’ll take the dog.”
Uncomfortable with the situation, the girl kissed the policeman and left.
“500 Euros?! That’s your salary for two months!” John replied.
“Maybe, that’s why I don’t have a dog.” said the policeman.
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John put his arm around Hachi and smiled.
“You must be new, Sammy. So here’s the deal…
The fine is 100 Euros. My father is on the board of directors for Bucharest parks. But the thing is that your boss is a fan of this dog’s blog,” explained John.
“He’s going to be upset when he sees this on the blog.”
“Hey, I was pulling your leg. Everybody knows who you are!” replied Sam with a big smile. Sam stretched out his hand to shake John’s hand.
“It’s a beautiful dog you have there. So fluffy and cute. You must pick up a lot of girls with him.
And a blog! A dog with a blog! Wow! He must be famous.
What’s the race?”
“Poodle,” John said as he looked at Sammy’s outstretched hand hanging there in the air.
“I have a blog too,” said Sam.
“It’s about fancy bitches. It’s about who’s the best bang for the buck. It’s at askthesammoth.com. And, let me tell you, I personally know who rocks the junk in Bucharest.
Have you heard of my blog?”
“No,” said John, nodding his head. Sammy’s outstretched hand was still hanging there in front of him.
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“I’m a business partner with Orlando. We own the internets. We own 3000 bloggers. That’s influence! We make topics trend. We are the social media!
Maybe, I can help you. I can drive some traffic to your dog blog. Of course, if you want a topic to trend, that’s going to cost you more than 500 Euros,” Sam said with a big grin.
Sam took his hand back. Hachi made a gesture to bite it.
“I’ll give you my number. What’s you number? I’ll just send my number with a beep,” offered Sam.
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“I’ll see you around the park, Sammy,” said John. Hachi growled at Sammy.
“Yeah. That’s great. We’ll see each other around the park,” replied Sam.
Sam was still standing there. John leashed Hachi, got up, and headed to the central walk.
“Loser,” Sam said under his breath when John and Hachi were a few meters away.
“I heard that, buddy. You should work on those friend skills!” John said over his shoulder with a laugh.
“K- Upload vid to Hachi’s blog.”
Sam wondered what the guy’s name was. He wondered where the dog’s blog was at. He’d find out and maybe he’d get someone to hack it.
Stupid poodle, he thought to himself.
Who likes poodles, anyway? Poodles are a chick dog. Poodles suck. Dudes with poodles are fucking loosers.
He looked around. John and Hachi were out of sight.
“Fucking Loser!” Sam shouted.
Sam’s phone rang.
Baby! It’s great to hear your voice. I miss you. How you doing? Miss me?
How’s little Sammy doing? Of course, I love you. With all my heart, baby!
I’m sorry I missed his birthday party. He’s growing up so fast. Little Sammy is already 10/ I can’t believe it.
You’re wrong, Cristina Roma! I don’t love him less because he’s autistic. I love him just like I would if he was normal boy.
I didn’t come home last night because I had to pull a double shift. They can’t run this park without me, baby. You know how it is. I have responsibilities. I’m going to be a manager. They love me that much!
A pretty girl walked by and Sam waved. Her skirt was so short he could almost see her ass. She smiled. Sammy made a gesture for her to wait a minute. She stopped, took out her compact, and applied red lip stick thickly.
I don’t know why you get calls in the middle of the night, baby. I don’t know why they’re laughing at you. Crazy, stupid people, baby.
Don’t cry, baby. Please don’t cry…
John held the solid state silver CPU out in front of his face. And grinned for the camera.
“Now that’s a looser…”
Ok. Filming stopped.
“Upload vid to Haichi’s blog.”
Claude Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon with a Faun
The next chapter section (1.8) is [here]. Enjoy!
Your feedback (comment) means much to me.
24 April 2011
Copyright 2011 by Stan Faryna. All Rights Reserved.