Andy: we are back, and I have my stack of questions ready.

Jacob: let’s do this.

A: where are you from?

J: I was born in… wait we did this already.

A: we did? Did I ask about your dad?

J: yes, and my mom.

A: damn, where did I leave off?

J: I think you asked about meeting Solace for the first time. I said we met on the floor of his mom’s office.

A: yes, that is something I remember.

J: did you want to know about our friendship?

A: please, you answer that and I’ll get my shit together.

J: well we didn’t go to school together till the first grade, his mom became mine’s in home doctor by then. My family took up residence in the Arrives Manor after my dad lost his job, he was their grounds keeper right up to when he died. During that time Solace and I grew closer and our mutual interest grew stronger. We were, as his other mom Janette put it, naturally distracted imaginations. What she meant I think was that he and I would come up with little stories and put on a show for the adults. None of it made any sense what so ever, but when we would go off on a rant we stuck it till there was an ending.

A: is there one you can tell us? I think I read in one of our many books about a little bug named Dorito the Dung Beetle.

J: (laughing) I remember that one, Dorito was a shy little beetle who loved the smell of freshly mowed grass, sometimes he would stand on a lawn smelling the air until the whole day would pass. His favorite smell was the clippings of St. Augustine in early June, it was great because it would smell just as good under the summer moon. Dorito made his way to a fresh patch after a spot of rain, only to find a girl beetle named Lorraine. Together they spent the whole summer smelling smells that made them float, together they smelled smells that blocked out the smoke. Together they smiled as the fires grew wild and thick, together they burned like the universes dark little trick.

A: well that was dark.

J: we were seven.

A: Solace’s mom, Janette, wasn’t a psychologist was she?

J: no she was a painter, sculptor, writer, actor and awesome chef.

A: hardly a difference.

J: (laugh)

A: when your dad went, were you taken in by the Arrives right away.

J: oh yeah, Janette fought off the social service people in a matter of days and by the end of that week I was adopted. So for all intensive purposes Solace and I are brothers. They put a marker next to my mother’s for my dad. It was right outside our house, which was on the grounds of the Arrives estate and I could see them whenever I wanted. You can imagine I didn’t have many friends come over to my birthday parties, well anyone other than Solace of course.

A: high school. How was that for you?

J: not too bad, I was part of the theater club and the school newspaper. It made me feel closer to my folks, and well with my odd imagination those were really the only two places I could make friends.

A: do you want to tell us about winning the Young Writers and the Junior Edgar award.

J: I got those in my sophomore year, I remember the look of happiness on Abigale’s and Janette’s faces and the look of loathing on Solace’s. For the Young Writers I wrote an essay on being an orphan with a family, but I wrote it through the eyes of an elderly man going through his memories moments before his death. For the Junior Edgar I wrote a poem entitled “dreaming of a full moon”, it was about a girl I was smitten over.

A: as most poetry is.

J: totally, and it was chalk full of angst and sexual frustration.

A: after high school you were accepted into a prestigious university weren’t you?

J: I went to Cambridge, I loved it there. The school was marvelous, the grounds were spectacular and the student body was made up of the hottest British girls. That’s where I knew for sure writing was going to be my life. That’s also where I met Patricia Abbot, or as you know her Patricia… Abbot.

A: did you make fast friends?

J: no, she was in love with Solace. You couldn’t blame her, by that time he was full on writer extraordinaire. But she slowly started taking notice of my work and I eventually won her over. Hear that kids, writing gets you the girl or boy.

A: that should be on a t-shirt.

Both: Mine!

J: it’s not like all our ideas don’t belong to Thoughts of a Thinker anyway.

A: good point.

J: it looks like you are down to your last card.

A: yes, last question. Who is Byron?

J: all I know is that he and Solace went to Oxford together.


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