So, I went back down to the basement to see what Richie and his friends were up to. They gathered in an informal lounge area and Richie put out some dip and chips. One of the visitors produced a little baggie.
“I’ve got some oxy 30s,” she said. She passed the bag over to Richie who declined. Hallie grabbed for the baggie.
“Those are 30s. You better just take one, Hallie,” he said.
She took 2. “I’ll save one for later,” she said. She popped a little pill in her mouth and swallowed it, washing it down with a little Coca-Cola. The others all did one also, and after a while started acting weird and a little sleepy. The boy produced another baggie with some white powder. He also had a straw. He put one end of the straw in the baggie and the other end in his nose and snorted up some powder. He passed the bag around. Richie again declined. He put on a movie as his girlfriend and visitors entered a world that he was not involved with. He and I looked at each other. I decided to go back upstairs.
I snooped around and found the litter box in an upstairs laundry room. Good thing to know. There was also some kibble in a bowl as well as some water in another bowl. I wasn’t hungry but I had a little drink. The house was so big that even though Mila and Bianca and the 4 young people as well as Joker and the other cat were all in the house, it seemed as though I had the place to myself. I found a nice white couch in the living room to curl my black self up on and settled into a good nap.
Sometime later I heard Richard come back in the house. Bianca came downstairs to greet him.
“How did it go?” She said, as she gave him a little kiss on the cheek.
“A waste of time,” he replied. “I don’t understand all the resistance to improving Happy Meadows. I could make it a great place to live.”
“Were there a lot of people there?” asked Bianca.
“We had about 20 people,” he said. “The rest of the board was there, and the Blumenthal’s, Riley’s, Hendersons, Jim Bennett, and a few others. The Gordons were there too.”
“Oh, I know Shirly Blumenthal. I saw her at church last Sunday.”
“The Blumenthals are Jewish,” he said. “What was she doing at church?”
“They are members at 1st Methodist,” she said. “They are not Jewish. They just have a Jewish name.”
“Next, I suppose you’re going to tell me that the Lowensteins are not Jewish,” he said.
“They’re not,” she replied, “They’re Episcopalians.”
“Fake Jews,” he muttered. “Nothing is what it appears to be any more. I suppose you’re going to tell me that the Johnson family isn’t black.”
She rolled her eyes. “No, they really are black. But their dog is white.”
He changed the subject. “Whose car is parked out there?” he asked.
“Oh, those are some friends of Hallie’s,” said Bianca. “I think they are downstairs watching a movie.”
As she spoke she looked over into the living room and saw me on the sofa. “That cat is still in the house! And look,” she sputtered, “He is getting his black hair all over my clean white sofa!”
As she headed towards me I hesitated for a moment and then jumped off the sofa and ran past her into the foyer. Richard opened the front door for me and I made a hasty but graceful exit.
“Good-bye, Sambo,” he said. “Come back any time.”
“Like hell,” I heard Bianca say, as she headed for the closet to get her vacuum cleaner, hoping to remove all traces of my visit.
It was a warm spring evening with almost no breeze. I passed under a privet shrub, its sweet perfume lingering in my nostrils as I meandered across the golf course and back towards home. I thought about Donk’s comment about fake Jews. People seem to be more comfortable if they can place themselves into categories that amount to “we” and “those other people.” I heard Mike talk about watching “All in the Family” (a show which is now extremely dated) years ago. The program trafficked heavily on mocking the prejudices of people, Archie Bunker in particular. A gag was set up when a black family, the Jeffersons, moved into the house next door. The Jefferson’s wouldn’t come over to meet the Bunkers because they didn’t like “Whitey”, but George Jefferson’s brother-in-law did drop by. He and Archie got into an argument during which the visitor referred to Archie as “you people”. Archie was incensed, and replied indignantly, “What do you mean, youse people! Youse people are youse people.” This gets back to the tribal mentality I referred to briefly in my last post (A Bad Vibe, April 30, 2017). It is a great obstacle to peace in the world, not a new problem, and I don’t have the answer for it. I heard a rustling sound in the grass. I stopped short and focused intensely. Soon I had a lovely, warm little mouse in my mouth. I trotted straight home, left it on the front stoop, and slipped in through my cat door. All in all, a fine adventure.