A wise man once said chili dogs always bark at night. But I didn’t eat a chili dog.
I am sitting in a black and white room. It is not that only the room is black and white. The world is black and white.
I am not doing much. Just sitting.
Looking around, I see two other black and white guys sitting in the same room. This is not about anyone’s ethnicity. Again, the world is black and white. As is the room.
“Lewis, who is this guy?”
“I don’t know Larry. Never met him.”
“Wanna go to a movie? I’m joining a few young ladies there. The motion picture might even be in color."
“If Kathy Sue Loudermilk will be there, sure. If Cordie Mae Poovey is joining you I’ll just stay here and sit with this guy.”
Some time passes. We sit in comfortable silence.
“Larry, Lewis, what do you think of this? Mohamed Massaquoi viewed my profile.”
“Not sure what you mean. You are not sitting sideways.”
“I’m not sure what I mean either. This might only be a dream. But I like it.”
“What is your name? Are you from around here?”
“I'm Peter. I grew up in Atlanta. I went to UGA. Lived a few years in Chicago and elsewhere. Just moved back to Georgia.”
“Lewis, whaddya got about this guy who lived in Chicago?
“The only good thing that ever came out of Chicago was I-65 South.”
“Ouch. That’s kinda harsh Lewis. I came out of Georgia and went to Chicago. Then I came back to Georgia.”
“Well all right then. So did I. You just might be okay. Take my advice. Now that you’re back, nail your feet to the ground.”
“Hey Peter. Why are you quoting so much Lewis stuff and none of my stuff.”
“Larry, I quoted you a whole lot when you called the 2018 Rose Bowl. I quoted Lewis only a little when I wrote about a favorite BBQ place. I am trying to make up for it and give Lewis equal billing.”
“I called the 2018 Rose Bowl?”
“Not exactly. But I imagined the whole thing like you did and told the world about it. A lot of people wished you were there to call it. I’ll show you in a minute.”
“Did you mention BBQ? I’m interested in that as long as Cordie Mae Poovey isn’t nearby. And it better be pork or chicken. Beef is not BBQ.”
“I know Lewis. I wrote about that too. The place is Smokey Q. The owner does everything well. If you don’t want me to call his beef stuff BBQ I won’t. I try to follow your BBQ rules. I’ll show you in a minute.”
“You sure seem to write a lot. Lewis does too. I don’t write so much. I talk.”
“I know Larry. You and Lewis are my heroes. You are a lot of people’s heroes.”
“Lewis, I am trying to figure out how to make a living writing like you do. There are plenty of writers. There will never be another one who writes like you. By that I don’t mean I want to copy how you write. I want to copy how you make a living.”
“Larry, I’d love to make a living talking like you. But Scott Howard now has your job and isn’t going anywhere soon.”
“Lewis and Larry, this is kinda complicated, but you are no longer with us.”
“Uh, Peter, get the picture. We are sitting here talking with you.”
“Well not really Larry. Like I said, it’s complicated. I need to go get a seltzer. I hear a chili dog barking even though I did not eat one.”
“Peter, you are confused. It is 11 AM. Chili dogs always bark at night.”
“I know Lewis. I may need to continue this conversation with you and Larry another time. Georgia is playing Florida today, and I want to go meet Rudy at Smokey Q.”
“Man is there gonna be some property destroyed tonight.”
“I know Larry. But only if Georgia wins. Then you, Lewis and I can come back and talk some more.”
“I’ve enjoyed this guys. I hope we can do it again.”
I depart the room and close the door behind me. I stick my ear to the door.
“Lewis, what do you think about that Peter character?”
“Not sure, Larry. At first I thought he was a Yankee draft dodger type with that Chicago talk. But there may be hope for the man.”
~ ~ ~ To Be Continued ~ ~ ~
"Okay Larry and Lewis, Georgia did beat Florida. While people are damaging Jekyll Island property in our absence I want to pop back in for a sec to continue this dream."
"I recognize the guy sitting down. And that guy from Chicago. Who are those kids?"
"Larry, I am not from Chicago. I lived there for a while. I am from Georgia."
"You better keep reminding us of that."
"I will Lewis. The kids are my sons Kevin and Ben. They never got a chance to read what you wrote or hear what Larry said. I plan to fix that. That chili dog is barking again. I gotta go."
"Go do what you have to do. Bring those kids next time. They look okay."
"I will Larry. And thanks. They are pretty great. See you guys."
~ ~ ~ To Be Continued ~ ~ ~