Rory Begins Something New (#8)

Restlessness lashes a soul with maddening fury. After giving the carriage business away, Rory retired to his house and watched farmers grow peanuts and asparagus. Rory’s financial interest in the farm allowed him to convince the farmers to donate a portion of their crops to local charities. The bullying allowed Rory to feel like he was part of something good, but he needed more.

Rory was bored. He found himself flipping through the channels with no purpose or interest. He stopped on a station long enough to recognize Esther Rolle, who most famously played Florida on Good Times and was born in Miami to Bahamian parents. Rory became inspired by the ground breaking sit-com.

“Road trip,” he said.

With that, he lashed two bags of peanuts and a case of diapers (in case his intestinal issues returned) in the bed of his 1950 Studebaker truck and hit the road. He was drawn north and let the green truck take him to whatever was calling him. He drove a couple of hours and stopped at Guinea Station, site of Stonewall Jackson’s death.

The day was perfect, cool temperatures and a high blue sky. Rory filled his pockets with peanuts and walked across the lawn towards the railroad tracks. He sat eating peanuts and a couple, who happened to be atheists, walked over. They noticed that Rory cracked his peanuts with a nutcracker instead of his hands.

“Why do you crack your peanuts that way?” asked one of the atheists.

“You don’t?” asked Rory.

“No,” an atheist said. “Why do you?”

“I don’t know. I never have before, but being here, it felt right.”

“Weird,” said the other atheist.

“Maybe, but Stonewall Jackson, had some weird things that he did. Could it be that he is influencing me?”

“We don’t believe in that kind of thing.”

“Of course not, you’re atheists. Do you believe in the goodness of peanuts?” The atheists nodded yes. “Will you sit and enjoy this beautiful day and eat some peanuts. If you want you can even use the nutcracker.”

They sat eating peanuts, Rory with using his nutcracker and the atheists with their hands. One atheist said, “I”ll try it your way.”

Rory passed her the nutcracker. She cracked the shell and popped the peanuts in her mouth. She started chewing as a train approached. It had been going very fast, but suddenly it slowed to nearly nothing. To Rory’s surprise, the conductor was the Bahamian daughter, Esther Rolle, who gave him a wink with fake eye lashes that signaled a message. The train then sped away.

“I can’t believe what I just saw,” said an atheist.

“I do,” said Rory. “This land is going through a comprehensive renewal. The Civil War is ending. A new legacy…”

“How can you know?”

“Because I patronize the shop of potential and I’m not limited by dogma or doctrine,” said Rory.

With that Rory walked to the Studebaker, letting the old truck lead him to where renewal was happening.