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part 4 – Sam didn’t know what he didn’t know

Sam’s disquiet wouldn’t depart and leave him in peace. The guy there on the bed, in the room where he had left the note and the pen – the guy was just there sleeping. Not bothering anyone. Why would anyone want the old fellow to be anything other than a happy man? Let him be! Why make him a fearful old codger? Age brings some fears as it is, already. Why add to the mix?   It didn’t make sense to Sam, that part of the note that said, “Now I want them to fear me.”

When he got home from the office, Sam’s wife was happy to see him. Sherry had no idea of what kind of job Sam had. The hours were so irregular. She only knew what Sam told her was his job. He made a good wage. Their living expenses were more than met by his salary. She had never been to his office, nor had ever met Jac. She had no idea that what Sam told her about his job was total fiction. She didn’t press for more than what he ever told her.

Because of the façade that Sam maintained, Sherry was relaxed about Sam’s job. Sam had never told her to refer to Sam’s job. So, she blithely told them what Sam told her was his job, and let it go at that. If anyone asked for details, she would simply say, “You have to ask Sam. I really don’t understand what he does. He brings home the check,” and would smile sweetly.

The consequence of Sam’s well salaried deceit was that their home life was comfortable, with no strife, no strain, no fear of Sam losing his job.   But, this most recent little incident at “the job” was beginning to eat at Sam on the inside. It was the “fear” part of the note. He didn’t like it, not at all.

Several weeks passed, with Sam and Jac having some periodic surveillance jobs to take care of. There was no danger involved, just run-of-the-mill scenarios. It was true that they were always armed when working, just in case. But, they never carried weapons home, and their spouses had no idea that they packed at work. In fact, Sam’s wife didn’t even know Sam knew how to handle a weapon. And, Sam liked it that way.

During these weeks, however, the memory of that nocturnal visit to that old man’s place continued to nag Sam. There was such a disconnect between the tranquility of his home and the “I want them to fear me” mantra that kept running through his mind.

During this time of introspection, Sam began to seek some of the solace of older times. Books were beginning to attract Sam again. His college experience had forced him to read, back then. It was not uncommon to receive course syllabi laying out the reading requirement of several thousand pages per course. It was during that period in his life when Sam discovered a vast world within the covers of those books. He even began reading books beyond the course required texts. His blooming curiosity took him to novels of all kind, biographies of both the famous and not so famous people. The adventures of the scoundrels and the godly pursuits of the saints. The inventors and their inventions. The discoverers and their new found lands. The lords and the ladies. The despots and the liberators. The tyrannical dictators and the tranquil peace makers. Mysteries. Histories of all natures.

Sam’s love affair with books lasted for about a decade, and then other life pressures began to intrude. His reading habit slowly, but surely, subsided. His career requirements began to claim more and more of his attention. Books, and the reading of them, became a sweet memory, but a memory nonetheless.

One other item needs to be noted at this point. During that exhilerating period of voracious reading, there were also topics that Sam didn’t explore. He bypassed philosophy, religion, the social sciences, and the literature of the mystics and masters.   Political theory didn’t interest him then. Since he didn’t read them, he had no idea what he was missing. Sam didn’t know what he didn’t know.

 

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