I will once again flag this as NSFW (Not Suitable For Work). Sam is a very creative writer – Simon


I was incredibly surprised to find an invitation to the wedding of Dr. Emma Everly Hancock to Charles Craig Curtis. I had thought they would elope to some sexy and exotic locale or maybe go in the opposite direction and have a small wedding at one of their homes and spend the time getting to know each of their new family members. Secretly, I pined for a wedding in Strattonville. Putting their heads together they hired Rabbi Bruce from Springfield, Ohio, to perform a civil ceremony in Moise Pipecks, which would double as the reception hall.
I couldn’t argue with their practicality.
I don’t like going to the actual wedding ceremonies. I also don’t like funerals.
I do like wedding receptions. I don’t like wakes.
One out of four ain’t bad.
I sat in the far back of the bar where most of the guests were congregating. It was the same chair and same table I had sat in when I introduced myself to Charles Craig Curtis in the beginning of this book. I liked that my back was to the wall and my eyes were straight ahead. I call this the “gunslinger location”. No one gets behind you to shoot you in the back, and all the action is front of you.
I like it that way.
There were a lot of guests. Why not? People should invite a lot of guests to weddings, high school graduations, birthday parties and other celebratory events. Know why—gifts!
I smiled as I watched all the well-wishing. It’s nice to watch people be positive, upbeat, happy, etc. for longer than a few seconds. With most people, it appears they can only act this way when at some sort of public function where it is demanded.
My good friend Mannie Barling says we have become a country of people who love to dwell on the negatives no matter if it means ripping the positives to shreds. That it is easier to be mean to people than it is to be nice to people.
I tend to believe him.
He’s a big-shot Beverley Hills lawyer, you know.
So there I sat, sipping a really big glass of Pinot Noir and munching on the fantastic appetizers.

Then I spied someone who looked vaguely familiar, yet out of place. He was carrying an envelope, but I noticed that he didn’t stuff it in the wedding gift box. He was an older man, maybe mid 70’s. He was bald, wore black horn rimmed glasses, had a big gut, and was wearing a powder blue leisure suit which were made popular by lousy fashion designers in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
I thought he might have been a character from one of my earlier works. As the guests found the people they wanted to mingle with, he found it easier to make a direct line towards me. The closer he got—the longer my sips of wine.
He was there to see me because I wanted it to be so.
It was my father. He handed me the envelope that he was carrying, and disappeared.
I tore open the envelope and threw it over my shoulder. I took another long sip of wine. I opened the card.
It read “I’m deeply sorry that I never became very rich.”


If you missed the earlier Chapters you can find them here.

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