I’d like to think Abe was repaying me by treating me to a Leafs game because I helped close his cold case, but honestly, I think he was doing it out of friendship.
But that put a lot of pressure on me. The truth is we just met, and gold seats at the Air Canada Center seemed pretty lavish—and scared the hell out of me because what if our friendship didn’t work out? I’d feel I owed him something.
And come to think of it, we were kind of opposites—I’m a History Professor and he’s a detective. So, you’ve got a man of thought versus a man of action.
But then I had to stop and remind myself that was typical of me too—I tend to question everything.
Abe had finally dropped the litany of questions about the Camaro we were driving, and that was a relief, but he kept glancing over at me curiously.
“What?” I asked.
“C’mon—what’s on your mind?”
“Okay—What’s a cool, hip guy like you doing spending your nights alone and your Saturdays shopping for produce at the market?”
“Have you seen the chicks at the market?”
“Well, no—can’t say I have.”
I burst out laughing. “Just putting you on Abe.” I grew serious. “I’m actually not the kind of guy this car suggests.”
“Well Pal, there seems to be a serious disconnect—I thought you were some geek fixated on the past.”
“I am,” I smiled. “I’m obsessed with the past—especially the Thirties—and I am a geek. You want to see teary-eyed nostalgia? —Just stick around—that’s me.”
“I gotta feeling that’s Sam talking—am I right—or am I right?” he growled out the last phrase.
“Yeah—you’re right. Come to think of it, I met her just after I bought the car, so maybe she was misled by it too.”
He looked at me with compassion. “But why the car, Scott?” he asked softly.
“A vast discrepancy in my character? Hell, I don’t know.”
“But you’re all about the past and you come off as pretty down to earth.”
“I know what you mean. I love antiques—I get off on feeling I’m in the 1800’s or 1930’s depending whether I’m in my front room or in my study—but then, I insist on a completely modern kitchen and bathroom.”
“Or, an ultra-modern car.”
I shrug. I’m beginning to feel pretty vulnerable.
Abe ignores my discomfort and goes on.
“They say the kitchen and bathroom are where you live—that’s why those two rooms always sell the house.”
“Yeah,” he says seriously. “That’s some wisdom I picked up watching those home reno shows—you know the ones where they redo a house and give the owners the option of loving or listing it?”
I nodded sagely, but, there was another difference between us—he was in his life and I in another. It didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. Ultimately, I might join him tending crab grass and worrying about the real estate market.
Just not yet. But then again, who knows?
Subject to review, as they say.
“How much did this beast set you back?” I knew he would have to ask.
“Sixty five thousand,” I say flatly.
“No wonder you live in a chintzy apartment,” he blurts out, then catches himself. “Not that it’s that bad mind you—but it’s not the Trump Towers.”
“Can you see me living in the Trump Towers, Abe?”
He thinks for a moment. “No, I can’t. You really are a contradiction, you know.”
I thought of Sam—my objections to her lifestyle. It was true—I really was a contradiction—or a fraud.
The thought depressed me, but I pushed it away for a moment, knowing I’d be revisiting it, later that evening, in the loneliness of my front room
© 2017 – 2018, John J Geddes. All rights reserved.