Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Chapter 3 - Getting to Know You

I let my brother gather his thoughts. After a few minutes he began again, the flicker of a smile on his face. “Sharon Lovejoy merely winks and says, ‘Oh! I also want you to meet my fiancé.’ She waves over a fellow sporting a spiky, pink do. ‘This is Con, Temporary Muse/Ichthyologist,’ she says.”

“‘Lovey, you’re so silly,’ he says and extends his hand. ‘Radley Conrad, actually, old chap. Transfer from the English District, you know. I write fishy songs by day, and I’m a stand-in for the local P.R.A.I.S.E theater group by night. Call me Con; everyone does.’”

“P.R.A.I.S.E.?” I ask.

“'Lovey started the “People Really Adore Insipid Song Experiences” theater group here about five years ago, and I joined after my transfer.' Then he offers me a couple of free tickets, but I tell him I'm more of a didactic kind of guy.

“Brother, I worry about the two of them. Con is nice guy, but doesn’t seem like one who would be able to put much meat on the table for himself and his Lovey. Unfortunately, it’s obvious her heart is “Conned,” and they only have eyes for each other.”

“Anyway, I turn to leave and run smack into a man I didn't know is behind me. I apologize, of course, and introduce myself. All he says is, ‘F.L. Bellows, Jr. is my name. No doubt you’ll be meeting my father soon enough.’ That’s it. No welcome. No how-do-you-do. Nothing. Of course, now, I’m wondering just what kind of situation I’d accepted, but decide to give it my all.” His haunted eyes looked straight into mine. “I know you understand, Brother. We’re Pastors, after all.”

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