Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Curse of Fortuna part 1- short fictional tale

My father was a different type of dude. He often referred to stories to teach me important life lessons, many
of them I didn't understand until after he passed away. This story is one of those, and has proven to be the best so far.
On my 18th birthday my father did not show up for my birthday party, but instead asked me to meet him at a coffee shop the day after. Being upset about him missing another major event in my life I showed up with an attitude. When I entered the coffee shop he was sitting at a table alone drinking and reading a book. I approached the table and took a seat, but he didn't immediately notice me. I sat quietly brooding, planning my verbal assault on this man that I felt never really paid any attention to me. Finally looking up at me, and smiling.
" I'm glad you came, happy belated birthday."
He said reaching his hand out in a gesture of peace. I shook his hand and for some reason my anger subsided, and he began to giggle.
"Your 18 years old! Man, I can't believe it. My youngest son has made it to precipice of adulthood."
Looking at me still smiling.
"Are you ready to jump?"
As usual I was confused by this man, and his statements. appearing to notice my confusion he immediately jumped into his spiel.
" I see that you don't understand what I am talking about."
"You are correct pops, but that has never stopped you before."
Still smiling at me and taking a sip of his cold coffee.
"You are correct, I figure that all the stuff that I have told you will become handy in time. You and my other children are like gardens, in which I plant seeds of thought that will sprout up in time. Well enough of the brief intro let's get down to the reason I asked you to meet me here."
Looking at me with those brown eyes that reminded me of the image that I see every morning when I look in the mirror, just that they are so much older. I never realized how much I actually looked like my father until that moment. Even though people often told me how much I reminded them of him I never really noticed it until that moment.
"Son, what do you plan to do with yourself now that you have reached the beginning stages of adulthood?"
Pausing for a second because that thought didn't really hit me as of yet.
"I guess continue with my schooling, I have a few offers to some colleges on partial scholarships, but I have not really applied a lot of thought to it as of yet."
I was irritated by this question, and I think my father could see it. I don't know what gave me away maybe the pause in my answer, or maybe the way I adjusted my body in the seat.
"Relax young man I'm not asking for a definitive answer, remember I was 18 at one time in my life, and I realize how confusing this point in life can be. I called you here to give you my gifts, and I chose to give them to you in private, because I need to explain the power of the gifts and why I chose to give them to you."
"In other words, pops you got me some horrible presents and needed to give them to me in private."
"I guess it depends on how you chose to look at it."
He said with that smile that made me feel like I was about to be the subject of some deep cosmic joke.
"Well I chose to give you 2 books, and a story that I have been saving for just a moment like this."
At this point I started to laugh, I'm not talking about a laugh of joy, but a laugh of disappointment. You know the type of laugh that you unleash because there is nothing else for you to do. I was more than disappointed I was angry. Just as I was getting up to leave my father stood up and put his hand on my shoulder, and helped me remain seated.
Now I need to explain myself, at the time I figured that my father was ballin, and that he would get me car. I figured with all of the absences that he had accrued in my life the least that his ass could do was to purchase me a car. Looking back on it I realize the selfishness of my position, but I was 18 and felt that I was owed. Better yet I felt that I was entitled to whatever I desired.  In retrospect I understand my pops more, and appreciate the wisdom and patience that he showed for me.
"Calm down boy, and remember my role. I know that many things in your life, especially when it comes to me did not workout like you thought it should, but I think you owe it to yourself to hear me out."
Cutting my eyes, and smacking my teeth I lashed out at him verbally.
"Old man why should I, you have never been there for me, and I know that you are rich. The best you could do for me is 2 books, and a fuckin story?"
Taken back with my statement he sat back, and finally the smile was wiped off his face.
"That is an interesting take on your life. Have you ever consider that your entire life was wrapped with my presence. Indirectly and directly I was involved in your raising, your education, your sports, and everything else that you did. Have you ever wondered why everywhere that you went you had an uncle or older brother looking out for you. You were born into a tribe of men and women that helped to shape and mold you into who you are. You were blessed and don't even realize it, that is why I am giving you the gifts that I am giving you. If you want them you can sit and take them or you can leave now and go on your own. I'm going to give you a "time out" since you are having a temper tantrum. I'm going to the bathroom and if you are here when I return then I know that you want to receive my gifts, if you are gone I will take that as a no and keep it moving."
After making the statement he took another sip of coffee, wiped his mouth, and walked to the bathroom. During the time he was gone I wrestled with my thoughts and anger at this man. I didn't understand why I was mad, but I was, but not mad enough to leave. It seemed like he was gone forever and for a while I thought that he may have slipped out of the back door. Finally he returned sat down and began.
"I see that you are not a total fool, so let me explain the books and the reason that I am giving them to you. First I want you to start building a personal library to help you build the best life. I want you to increase your reading and make it a habit so that you can be well informed about your passions."
Pausing to order another coffee from the owner, and offering to purchase something for me. I asked for a juice and and some chips. In this transaction I noticed that my father never pulled out his wallet. Him and the owner talked for a few minutes and then he got back to me.
"That's one of your uncles, I didn't introduce you because you are upset, and I don't want you to make a bad first impression."
I couldn't help but to wonder how many brothers this man had, and how were they all related. I know that his mother only had 2 children, but my whole  life he had introduced me to people who were uncles and aunts, and they truly acted the part. I could never go anywhere without wondering who knew him, so I always stayed out of trouble. I remember once in middle school, I got smart with a teacher and cussed at her trying to show off for my friends. I was sent to the principals office and he told everybody else to stay outside the office and had me come in and sit down. The principal immediately picked up the phone and called my father. The conversation went like this:
Principal: "Hey bra, guess who is in my office?"
Father: "What he do?"
Principal: "It appears that he is showing off for some of his knucklehead friends, and cussing at my teacher."
Father: "Can he hear our conversation?"
Principal: "Yep, I got you on speaker."
Father: "Son, can you hear me?"
Shaking in my boots I responded.
Myself: "Yes sir."
Father: "Cool, First I am disappointed in your choices, and second I want to introduce you to one of your uncles."
The principle began smiling.
Father: "He has and will continue to lookout for you while you are in his school so what ever he does with you, I am cool. "
Principal: " Well you know I usually I suspend for this but keeping in light that this is one of our kids I'm going to handle this one in office if you don't mind."
Father: " Cool, but you know that is my youngest son so don't kill him."
Both adults began to laugh, and I got a horrible feeling in my stomach.
Principal: "I got you."
After that he hung up the phone, and it is needless to say that I had no more problems in my school career. I guess my father has began to rub off on me because I have begun telling as many stories as he used too. Back to me and my father in the coffee shop.
"The first book that I am going to give to you is the "48 Laws Of Power", this book will help you navigate through life. It will prepare for the world you will enter, so that you will not enter it as a sheep, but as a Simba looking for your opportunities. If you start studying this book now, by the time you hit 25 you will be able to accomplish what you will. This book will introduce you to the brutal knowledge of the world, and help you see the beauty in it."
Reaching across the table he handed me the book I looked at it unimpressed.
"The next book I will give you will take you years of study, and research to understand it, but if you use it often it will give you the tools to maintain all that you build in your life. Because often young people acquire many material things but lack the character to maintain them. I have consistently referred to this book in times of struggle, and often it's wisdom has saved my life. If you are lucky some of the passages will make sense for you by the time you are 40. Also this book is a book within a book and if you explore it you will find this second book and when you find it the world will open up for you. This book is required reading for all in our tribe, and it is appropriate that I share it with you now so that when and if you decide to take your place in the tribe you will be prepared."
Once again he reached across the table and handed me a book the title was "The African Openings To The Tree Of Life".
Sitting back and taking a sip of coffee after blowing on it. He gave me time to look over the books.
"Now I promised you a story are you ready?"
"I guess, is it one of Aesop fables?"
I said it with a little venom in my tone.
"No sir, this is a story about myself and a curse that has been on the men in our family for generations. I am telling you this now because you are approaching the age that I was when I fell into the trap. I just simply want to stop you from making the same misstep that I did."
"A curse, what curse?"
Knowing that he had my attention he began to milk the moment, and take his time.

To be continued.....