Indeed, I am off to a late start. Here is the first installment in my new novel. It is short, but the story begins now….please let me know what you think as we go along….
The Philosopherâs Bum by Chris Damitio
âNot with my money,â? my father said as he spread the dark grey mortar over bricks in the backyard. âI will help you pay for an education, but not unless you are creating a future for yourself. There is no future in philosophy.â?
I watched as he stacked bricks and his dream backyard brick barbecue came to life. âIâve never met a philosopher that had any money.â? His big rough hands were surprisingly gentle as the bricks were fitted into place and his goal became a reality.
âItâs like these bricks.â? He said. âEach of us is given the ability to pick them up and to put them into place. The bricks are here, but we have to have the vision to see how to put them together. Otherwiseâ¦â? he kicked over the remaining bricks behind him now that the barbecue was built, â â¦otherwise, we just end up with a big useless pile of fucking bricks.â?
I saw my chance. The smell of the lime in the mortar made me feel like I was sick. Like ammonia. The kind of smell that they use to wake you up when you pass out. Maybe that encouraged me to try to persuade him to my way of thinking.
âBut Dad, what you are saying is philosophy. Thatâs what I want to learn. How to put together all these virtual bricks and create something beautiful, like your barbecue.â? When I said it, I knew he would think I was mocking him.
His blue eyes squinted at me and then a foreboding smile came upon his face. âExactly,â? he said. âThatâs why you wonât get a cent of money from me unless you major in business, Cliff. Not a god damn penny. You may be independent of my house, but you are still dependent on my money.â?
He started to pick up the fallen bricks and then thought better of it. âStack these bricks into something usable, Cliff. If you canât come up with anything, just put them in a neat pile in the garage.â? He laughed. Heâd won.
And that is how I ended up working at Florey and Company Securities. He was right. I needed his money. Over time, I realized that I also needed money of my own. Somehow though, I never forgot about the need to understand why we do the things we do. My degree wasnât in Philosophy, but my being was.