Saturday, February 4, 2012

Canvas Bag...part four

The looming figure of Porfiry hovered in the sky like a Macy’s parade balloon looking down at Raskolnikov with knowing judgment in his eyes. There was no escape. The giant Porfiry moved overhead like a storm cloud blocking out the sun, shadowing Raskolnikovs’ every movement. His presence became leaden, suffocating. Finally he spoke…”All we like sheep, my dear Raskolnikov. All we like sheep.”

David awoke with a start, covered in sweat. His first thought was of the money. Was it still there or had it too been a dream? He jumped to his feet and dragged the heavy box from under the bed, madly digging through the titles until he glimpsed the neat rows of cash at the bottom. What time was it? He grabbed his watch from the nightstand. 5:20. Plenty of time to be on the corner in time. He got to his feet and sat on the edge of the bed, breathing easier now. Would he really work today? It would be terribly hot, maybe the hottest day of the year he had heard someone say. There was a new reality, new facts on the ground, a swift reversal of the story of his life. There was no driving hunger. There was no force compelling him to fight for his survival. He had money now. He didn’t have to go without a decent meal, no more days of bread and water. He could now direct the course of his day from the commanding heights of plenty. It felt very good. But he couldn’t go crazy, mustn’t attract too much attention. He must be careful, never stop thinking.

It occurred to David that he could now pay bus fare. There was no need to walk clear across town. He would spend the morning in Sunnyside on the other side of town where he could eat wherever he chose and maybe buy some new clothes. He sure could use a decent pair of shoes. He grabbed a couple of fresh bills and folded them tightly. It was Christmas morning.

He ate pancakes and sausage at a place called the Sunnyside Café. Delicious. He bought two pairs of work pants, a new pair of boots and wool socks from department store. Then he saw the YMCA. He took the longest, hottest shower in history. Fresh and clean, he put on his new clothes and gathered up the old ones and stuffed them in the hamper with the dirty towels. Across from the YMCA was a movie theatre playing the new Hitchcock picture. He settled in the blood red chair with his buttered popcorn and delighted in Kim Novak. She was beautiful, alluring, although her character proved to be tragically devious. Nothing was ever as it seemed with her. Scotty never had a chance. For dinner, David found a steak place called Sherman’s. His porterhouse was cooked to perfection. He was careful not to take the bus back until it had gotten dark. It had been a wonderful day and when he arrived back at the boarding house, he removed a couple of letters from his mail slot and walked up the stairs to his room. He would sleep with a full stomach, and clean clothes to wear in the morning. He switched on the light on the nightstand and glanced at the letters. One was an advertisement and the other had no address of any kind, just his name...David in all capitol letters. Inside was a single slip of yellow paper. In ornate calligraphy were the words, “Isaiah 53:6”. Puzzled, David pulled one of the boxes from under his bed and found his old bible, the one his mother had given him when he was baptized. He found Isaiah in the table of contents. “ All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”