Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Chair

(Story starts July 18th)

It is quite hard to predict the significance of an event. Take for instance a knock on the door. It could be a delivery truck, though that would be unlikely because it was getting dark and there was the tree laying across the driveway.

It could be the neighbor kid doing “trick or treat” except Halloween won’t occur until about three months from now.

It could be another officer who was brave enough to climb over the tree to offer assistance to Augusta.

Or it could be that there wasn’t really a knock, but rather what they heard was a simultaneous figment of their imaginations, brought about by a combination of Augusta’s guilt from straying from his oath and Dusty’s excitement at having this fine man stuck for the night in her home.

And so it was (or wasn’t). Dusty ran to the door and looked through the glass keyhole. She tilted her head this way and that, but saw no one.

“Oh, they must have left already. Or maybe it wasn’t really a knock,” Dusty said as she remembered something from her college class in philosophy, “what is the difference, Augusta, between what really happened in the past, and what we believe happened in the past?”

If Augusta didn’t have a real migraine before, now it was coming on. Augusta was a steak and potatoes, black and white, tell me the law and I’ll follow it kind of guy. These questions that Dusty was asking were like a bad dream. In fact this whole day has been like a bad dream. How he wished he had been assigned parking meters today. But, on the other hand, he’ll never forget this day . . . if he lives to survive it.

Augusta decided to give Dusty’s question a shot, “You think too much Dusty. It is really quite simple. What happened, happened. What we believe either was and wasn’t.”

“Suppose the hand claps in the forest, but no one hears it. Did it happen?”

“Of course,” said Augusta.

“And suppose the hand doesn’t clap, but through some unique quirk in nature, everyone around the world heard it. Did the hand clap?”

“No,” Augusta responded. “Either the hand clapped or it didn’t, and it doesn’t matter who heard it or didn’t.”

Then it became clear to the two of them that Dusty was still sitting on top of Augusta giving her version of an Oriental massage.

Dirty Hairy, at this point came over to them and started barking incessantly.

“Oh, my,” said Dusty, “you put your brief case in front of his doggie door. Don’t move . . . I’ll be back.”

Dusty went to move the brief case and Augusta got up off the couch figuring that he’d be less likely to be sit upon if he sat in the wood chair.