- A Smorgasbord of the Senses: Charlie Holiday Gets Schooled in the Senses
- Taste. No, sight. No. Wait. Is there something you want to tell me?
- [Touch] This is going to hurt you more than it’s going to hurt me
- [Sight] How Blind is the Bat?
- [Smell] Is this what death smells like? Or is that shampoo?
- [Hear] I hear you. I’m listening.
Eyes of Glittering Gold
“What’s up, buddy?”
“Just being the cool dad, you know.” Charlie did his best to not look up from his magazine working hard to keep up that cool dad image.
“You’re the coolest dad I know.”
“Ah, gee, thanks, son,” Charlie said beaming with pride that pumped energy into his shoulders and even gave him an extra bone in his spinal cord and he was instantly taller.
“I wasn’t done yet.”
“You’re the coolest dad I know who’s related to me.”
“So I’m still cooler than uncle Bill?”
“You’re the coolest dad I know who’s related to me who lives on this continent.”
“Well, I’m absolutely still cooler than uncle Tim?”
“You’re the coolest dad I know who’s related to me who lives on this continent who has a dog named Pepper.”
“So basically I’m not cool at all. Is that what you’re saying?”
“So when you called ‘Dad’ a few minutes ago, did you have something you wanted to ask me or did you just want me to, once again, fall for your tricks?”
“No, I had a real question.”
“Oh, excellent. Lay it on me, son.”
“Your eyes look funny.”
“That’s it? That’s what you wanted to tell me? Did you have a question to go with that observation?”
“Sure. Dad, why do your eyes look funny?”
“Well, what do you mean funny? Are they cross eyed? Blurry?”
“I don’t know, they just look weird. Maybe you’re just tired. They’re kind of glittery.”
“Oh. Well, glittery sounds kind of good, right. Usually I’d need some special make-up for that.”
“Yeah, well, it’s not glittery in a good way. It’s like there are little gold flakes in your eyes, especially now that I look closer.”
“Maybe something bad is about to happen,” Charlie said and regretted it as soon as he said it.
“What do you mean, dad?”
“Sometimes when I get the gold flakes in my eyes it’s a sign that something is going to happen.”
“Is that like Pepper can hear a storm coming before we can?”
“Something like that.”
“So what’s going to happen?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, oh. When will you know?”
“Hopefully before it happens.”
“Yeah, that would be cool.”
“Can you also predict when good things are going to happen?”
“Ooh, good question. I don’t really know.”
“Maybe that’s what’s going to happen this time,” Lu said in such a way that it sounded believable.
“Could be,” Charlie said and although he didn’t quite believe it, it did introduce another option into the possibilities.
At that moment, Li ran into the room hysterical.
“Come outside right now!’ he screamed.
Rather than ask worthless questions like ‘What is it?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ or have him ‘Calm down.’ and other such nonsense, Lu and Charlie ran after Li who had already run back out of the room.
“Come on!” Li yelled and Lu and Charlie apparently weren’t running quite fast enough. Charlie held back the intuition to ask what it was all about, but Li continued to run ahead of them.
Down their street at the intersection of the busier street stood a few people around a car that was turned the wrong way on the street. As Lu and Charlie approached they saw Pepper in the hands of a neighbor.
“What happened?” Lu asked and looked to Pepper. “Is Pepper OK?”
“He’s OK, Lu,” another neighbor said.
“But he’s a little shaken up,” said another neighbor.
“Pepper is in better shape than the driver,” said the first neighbor.
“Where is the driver?”
“In that car,” and the neighbor pointed to the car that was turned the wrong way on the wrong side of the street. Charlie and Lu walked over.
“Hi there,” Charlie said as he approached and offered his hand to the woman behind the wheel. “Are you OK?”
“Well, yes,” she said, stammering a bit. “I’m OK now but it was quite a scare.”
“What happened?” Lu asked as he approached.
“Well, that son of yours saved your dog and probably saved that cyclist over there, too.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Charlie said and put his hand on Li’s shoulder.
“It looked like the little black dog was about to bolt into the street right in front of the cyclist and I was right behind the cyclist,” the woman had to take a breath to continue.
“But that that boy, I guess he’s your son, he pulled hard on the leash but the dog slipped out of the collar. He screamed and then ran and dove on top of the dog who was then almost under the front wheel of the bike and I, I’m sorry, but I was following the cyclist a little too close.” She took another breath.
“He dove into the street and grabbed the dog and then in what seemed like the same motion he had the dog in his hands and he rolled from the street and up onto the sidewalk,” she again took a breath. So did everyone listening.
“The bike hit his brakes and I swerved into the middle of the road but another car was coming so I instinctively pulled my emergency brake and I spun around but stayed pretty much in my lane where I am now.”
“Whew,” she said again and looked around to the family standing in front of her.
“So, we’re all OK, your dog is probably a little scared, but a little pig’s ear and he’ll be fine.” No one said anything else just yet, then she continued.
“Your son saved your dog, then himself, then the cyclist, then me,” she looked at Li as if she wanted to adopt him or at least give him the medal of honor.
“He’s a hero, that boy of yours.”
“Well, I’m certainly glad everyone is OK. Especially you, Miss … “
“Miss Goudsterren,” she said and reached her hand out to Charlie and then Lu and then to Li.
“You’ll grow up to be a fine young man,” she said and it was possibly the proudest young Li had ever felt in all of his 14 years on the planet.
They all shook hands and put hands on shoulders and thanked some more and wished good afternoons and tighter dog collars.
“Dad?” Lu asked.
“Her name was Goudsterren.”
“Like your eyes, gold stars.”
Charlie couldn’t speak. It wasn’t that he didn’t have anything to say but that he couldn’t speak.
“Dad?” Lu yet again.
“Something good happened.”
“Your eyes? Remember? Something bad? Maybe something good? It was something good,” Lu stopped for a second. “But yeah, OK, it was something bad but then it was something good.”
“You’re right, Lu,” Charlie said but his mind was churning with all that transpired in only a few minutes.
“Stars of gold flecks in your eyes,” Lu said and they got back to the house and Pepper got a pig’s ear as a treat and all was well with a world that might not have been so well.