Roy 2nd Encounter continued
I don’t know if Roy is the freest man I’ve ever known. But I believe he believes. And that is as much resolution I can get for that topic for today.
“Did you get to write anything since I saw you the other day?’’ I asked.
He tugged three handwritten pages from his notebook and passed them to me.
“Do you have a phone?” he asked and, when I nodded, “do you mind if I call my daughter in Montana?”
He recited a number and I tapped it into my Droid for him.
A voice came on line on the third ring, delight bubbled from the phone when said I was here with Roy. Then handed him the phone and, while he talked, I looked at the pages.
It began: “The horse is a proud beast, born to run.”
I scanned the story, which told of the Arabian and Spanish horses that first came to this country, then an anecdote about a horse freeing a wagon that had become stuck.
In the story I noticed midway through the sixth line there was a tiny “50”, six lines later, a “100.”
When Roy was off the phone, he volunteered, “It went a little over 500 words,” he said. I looked at the back page. There was a “500” written seven words before the final period.
“I like what I see in a quick look. I’m pretty sure the people who read my blog would like it. Can I use your name when I publish it?”
“Yes, I can use my name. I always tried to stay legal. Only been in jail a couple of times. But that was nothing.”
“What would that be for?” I asked.
“One time I camped for more than fourteen days in one spot. I don’t even know how they knew. Sometimes they don’t mind. That time they did.”
He had agreed to let me take the story with me so I tucked the pages away for a later, more critical read.
“Do you stay in touch with your family?” I asked.
“Yes, we talk every couple of weeks. It only costs two quarters to talk for four minutes. My daughter is married and has a kid. She is 26 or so. I think she kind of admires me. She is in business with her mother. I have a son, too, he is about 35. I think he understands me well. I think they are a little disappointed in me.“
I waited, hoping he’d unravel that thread a bit further. When he didn’t, I asked.
“Anyone else you talk to?”
“My parents are in Florida. They are too old to travel. I don’t think anyone sees them. Maybe my sister. She lives over there somewhere, North Carolina or Georgia.”
“What’s her name?”
“What do you want to know for?”
“Truthfully, I might like to talk with her if you wouldn’t mind.”
“She doesn’t know me. You won’t learn anything about me from her.”
I let that go.
“What does she do? “
“Some kind of craft.”
“Does she get by doing that?”
“I think she does. She developed a strong character. A real nice girl”
“She must be a pretty good craftsman. It is hard to make a living at that.”
“I think she is.”
“What about your parents?”
“My dad was career military. He flew in the Second World War. I think they are disappointed in me. Thought I should have been more responsible. I will tell you this. I never heard a cross word between them. And there was never a cross word to me or my sister when we were kids.”
Hours had gone by. We had talked about more than I would be able to remember.
“Roy, I am going to call it a day. I am going to have to head home for a few weeks. I will leave in a day or two. But I will stop by again before I do.”