Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Righteous Man

Albert crossed the street and entered O'Tooles. He was looking forward to a cold drink. He had a horrendous day at the Exchange and just wanted to sit back and listen to some Jazz and have a few brewskies to take the edge off. One of the reasons that Albert liked O'Tooles was because he offered beer from Quebec, his favorite being 'Maudite', a mahogany-colored, rich tasting beer that was reminiscent of Port. The second reason being that Sean the owner/operator was a Jazz oficionado and played nothing but Jazz in his bar. It wasn't a Sports Bar, in fact there wasn't a T.V to be found just a good old fashioned Bar. When Albert entered the bar, much to his dismay, he spotted Tony a somewhat loud mouth know it all from work. He had already spent his lunch break listening to his complaining and his endless opinions and he was hoping to have some peace at the end of the day. He walked up to the bar a sat beside Tony. What choice did he have, if he avoided him he and everyone in the office would never hear the end of the affront. Sean, the Bartender, knowingly had already opened a Maudite and slid it in front of him.

"If you can tell me who's playing... the beer is on the house."

Albert took a sip of his beer and listened carefully to the music playing in the background. Albert smiled because it was too easy. Sean must have guessed his distress at seeing Tony and was trying to cheer him up. "Miles Davis...Darn that Dream" he said. Sean's magic seemed to be working and along with the beer and the music he had almost forgotten who was sitting beside him.

"Aren't you going to take one of those beers outside to your friend?" the Loudmouth said: "Do you know what he did today Sean? We were going for Sushi at "Wasabi", you know the one just around the block from the Exchange, when all of a sudden he veers off into a convenience store and starts getting water, milk, an apple and 2 chili cheese dogs. "I thought we were going for sushi?" I said; He doesn't say a word; just pays for the stuff and starts walking back to the Office. I thought that I must of said something to piss him off and was about to say something when he stops in front an old bum and gives him the food. I never even seen the guy when we walked by. Do you know anyone else that does shit like that without so much as being asked or thanked for the effort?"

Albert looked at Sean and said " You remember me telling you about this homeless guy that I keep running into? Every time I come across him I get this Vision...not really a vision but a picture. This time I didn't even see him until I got this picture in my mind of a waterfall and a crystal clear lagoon and I knew instantly that he needed water."

"That's just screwed-up." Loudmouth said;

"Is this the guy that you thought was one of those Lame Ruffnecks?" asked Sean.

Lamed Wufniks. Yeah he's the one. He never asks for anything, in fact he never talks. I just get these visions whenever I come across him.

"What the hell is a lamed 'Whatsit's'. He wasn't crippled he walked just fine after you gave him his food and water."

Albert cringed at his co-workers crudeness and wondered whether or not it would serve any pupose to explain it all to him... Lamed doesn't mean crippled but represents the Hebrew number "thirty" and Vav the number "six". Apparently it stands for thirty-six Righteous people whose role in life is to justify the purpose of mankind in the eyes of God. The source is from the Talmud but I picked it up from a book by Jorge Luis Borge, 'Book of imaginary Beings'.

"Your a total whack-job if you believe that guy's existence justifies Mankind! Wait till the rest of the Office hears this. I'm out of here before anyone thinks I'm as nuts as you are." Tony got off the stool and left the Bar.

Albert looked at Sean. "It's not that I believe him to be one of the Thirty-six Righteous people, No one knows who they are, not even themselves. I just interpret the visions. Open me another beer will you Sean for some strange reason my world has become a better place because of him.


paisley July 3, 2008 at 11:05 AM  

sorry it took me so long to get over here... i have been on a half assed blogging hiatus...

this was a remarkable story,, the premise of which would make for an excellent novel in extended form... wow.. really intriguing subject matter...

Medhini July 3, 2008 at 10:47 PM  

I loved your take on 'Vision'. Really good one...

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Anonymous,  December 5, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions

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