The Offer- Midtown Estoril, Portugal

Wayne Cook

Joined August 2008

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Chapter two : The Offer

Heaven tempts us with fruit and wine,
The divine escapes our earthbound minds…
We search for truth among the trash
Man comes and goes
And dust of stars erodes
Finding trails that disappear in air
What can it mean
Where would the puzzle close
What piece would lead us to truth
The air about us teams with answers
To questions never spoken
Perhaps … is to me to solve
The question is not the key
Nor the answer, the end
It s the search that begins and begets
Leading to th e next
The search that never……

Stretching, then scratching his head, Jack shuffled to the kitchen to prepare a meager breakfast and brew some coffee.

The western mind, often known for being focused on money and possessions, has so distanced itself from ontological pursuit, that it has greatly influenced theological concerns, distorting the teachings of Christ to fit the new mold, western theology. Ontology is viewed with suspicion in most conservative circles today, as leaning too close to the “devil’s mischief”. Western Christianity may have succeeded in supplanting the real meaning of Jesus’ words, into something that more resembles a power lunch than a culinary sacrifice, for example, Christ’s admonition to feed the poor. Instead, personal prosperity is promoted as an obvious reward for devotion! But I digress!

Riiiiiing! Jack jumped, dropping the slice of toast on the floor. Riiiiinnnng!!! The phone was next to the toaster, on the white painted plaster wall. Rinnnnnggg!!!! He grabbed the handset. “Hello….uh, Jack Nyquist.”

“Jack, Let me introduce myself,” a deep crisp voice crackled in the earpiece. “I’m John Allen from Eurorobotic Industries, Antwerp. Can I meet you for lunch at Uno’s in Old Town? “
“Sure,” Jack mumbled…free food, especially deep dish pizza, was worth the minor trip over lunch.
“I have a proposition I think you’ll be interested in. Say 12:10 at Unos?”
“Yeah, sure, you bet. Say, John——”

Jack stared at the phone. Odd…shrugging, he hung up the receiver.

Dualism is not nearly as dangerous to discover, as is the tendency to retain the status quo: We’ve always done it that way! There is a sedentary response that collides head on with the discomfort of learning. Especially when that learning is interpreted as dangerous. Such tongue clicking smacks of judgementalism, a modern day and invisible inquisition.

Unos is a busy restaurant, famous world wide for its lunch and dinner specialty. In fact, one of the chief purveyors of pizza in the U.S. Midwest. One slice of the stuff they deliver to your table, will fill up the average appetite and take home is encouraged.

The sign was in sight as Jack strode up the sidewalk, passing tied dyed leftover hippies, straggling tourists, and the occasional suited office worker. Already, he thought he saw his contact….the man looked like the voice sounded. Perhaps, that was why he had the job, whatever that was.

“Hi, Jack!”

I am reminded of the scene in Star Wars when Ben Kenobi, sitting in Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder. He waves summarily at a stormtrooper, “Move along….” Mind control.

Upon shaking John’s hand, Jack had the distinct feeling, that the man was not what he appeared to be, a dapper forty something, obviously well to do. Oh the clothes were right. The handshake wasn’t. Still, a free lunch and a listen, was worth the walk, and Jack was hungry. His mind strayed again over the dream. That was odd to happen now.

John shot an inquisitive and puzzled look at him. “Did I mutter something?”
Lunch was innocuous, though delicious, and finally John leaned back, wiping his mouth with a paper towel. Unos was popular, but certainly not fancy.
“Jack, how would you like a contract job for six weeks in…..Sintra? We need an engineer to investigate one of our properties. Does the name Seteais, mean anything to you?”

Suddenly, the misty name and hair fit. Portuguese …that’s what she was. What the heck did it mean?

The exploration and discovery of mind/body dualism, spiritual connections and the possibilities that exist outside the present knowledge of a fourth dimension and physical existence of my present position, made it and make it very attractive for the searching mind to pursue. Out of body?

“Ok….suppose I take this project on. Do you know my rate?”

John smiled, thinly. “Take these for your expenses. “ The Gold Visa and Amercican Express cards were powerful persuaders. Jack paused, looking without words at John’s face. Not a muscle moved. Even the restaurant paused, a complete hush, momentarily falling over the dining room, as if time had stopped. “What you are to do, will reveal your payment.” He placed the cards on the table in front of Jack, and for the second time, leaned back in his chair, one hand cupped against the red and white tablecloth draped over the battered edge of the wood trim.

Suddenly, Jack knew he was going to take the job. After all, he’d never seen Portugal. The country intrigued him as much as the apparition from the dream. The questions rose to be asked, but were pushed back by prudence.

Mystery takes on many forms, and the search for answers, may be halted for detours. Detours are mechanisms for testing one’s determination and focus to stay with the trail, no matter the temporary circumstance. Sometimes…it requires the risk of your soul.

Chapter 2—The Apparition

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