Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Guest for Lunch

It pays to keep a little extra food around the house. You never can tell when you might have unexpected guests. THat's what happened yesterday.

There I was watch a few folks up on the parkway zooming to unknown destinations. This time of year with most of the trees bare and gaunt I can focus in on the Parkway with my telescope. Why do I watch cars on the Parkway? There isn't much else to watch since most of the Florida folks have made a bee-line back to the hurtricane state until spring.

I heard a crunching on the road leading up the hill and looked down the way. I saw someone walking my way. We normally don't have too many people walking up the mountainside to visit unless they call us on the telephone first. Friends know better. We might be down in Asheville looking at stuff that people call art work and try to sell for obscene prices. It takes art to sell crap for one hundred times more than it will ever be worth.

So I waited to see who was coming up. I figured it was eith a hiker totally lost or maybe someone with the Church of Latterday Saints. That's about all the drop in traffic we get. It was a man. Sort of nice looking chap dressed in some dungarees and a flannel shity with an old military jacket.

"Howdy. Can I help you?" Anyone coming up my road probably needs help.

"Just passing through. How are you doing?"

Now I knew that passing through probably wasn't exactly what he was doin but I give folks the benefit of the doubt. "You looking for the Lufetarg place?"

"Nope. Why?"

"Because you found it."

"Could do with a drink of water." He was shaking my hand friendly like.

"That we can do. As a matterr of fact we're fixing to eat a bite shortly. Welcome to stay a bit."

"That's neighborly of you."

So pretty soon he'd washed up and we were making outselves at home in the kitchen. Now some of you folks have seen our kitchen. We've got this big old school laboratory table dead center that I routed out and embedded a green stone into. It spells out the word MAN. Like most folks our visotor takes a peek at it and says, "Where's woman?"

I laugh. "First, I don't think a woman needs to be slaving around in a kitchen so I put a man in here. Second, it's not really MAN- you know no man is an island."

I'm standing there layering some turkey slices and tomatoes and swiss cheese with a slather of home-brew mustard. I pass it to my new friend.

"Folks around here as friendly as you?"

"Some are. Some aren't. I know most who are and learn to avoid the others.

"Saw the sign down below. Where is the "First Day of the rest of Your Life Meditative Ashram and Church?"

"Oh that? that's just a sign I wrote. It keeps folks guessing. I tell folks it is going to be built here as soon as we get enough donations."

"How much have you got?"

"Sixty three cents or so."

"Guess you need a bit more." He smiles through a bite of the sandwich and reaches for his ice tea glass.

"Heck no! More than twice as much as I intend to spend building the place. Don't need no fancy building to attract folks. Heck look at you. You're here."

"You've got a point. You've got a point.

After a slice of fresh apple pie and some more tea my visitor stood up. "Help you do dishes or anything?"

"Nope. Got it covered. You headed out?"

"I guess. Like to stay. You're a pretty nice guy but I guess my work is done here. Lots of other folks probably looking for me."

"Why's that?" I'm the curious type.

"They claim something is missing in their lives and accusing other folks of having it missing there too."

"You a detective?"
"More of a missing person sort of guy." He smiles. He turns on my walk.

"Stop by any time your in the neighborhood. Door's alway open. Most times we've got a bite to eat." He was headed down to the track down the mountain. "Hey, what's your name?"

"Me? Some folks call me Jesus."

Well now that caught me way off-guard. "What'd you say?"

"Jesus Riveros. I'm a Latino."

We don't get many Mexicans in these parts. Come to think of it, we don't see Jesus type folks around here much either.