I was in a fog and really don’t remember the actual act of driving home. I found myself looking along the side of the road for some evil, satanic, red man with horns and a bifurcated tail. I took turns looking for said man and glancing at that blue folder that lay innocuously on the front seat. But was it innocuous or would I literally be releasing the hounds of hell as soon as I opened it?
In my head, I found myself mimicking Brad Pitt in the movie “Se7en,” as he emphatically and fearfully screamed “what’s in the box? What’s in the box? What’s in the fucking box?”
I was reasonably sure that Gwyneth Paltrow’s head wasn’t in that folder unless of course it had been run through some huge hydraulic press. For a split second, I wondered “shit! I wonder if Parker Patterson’s head is in that folder?”
It’s amazing what those little psychotic neurons in your brain will insinuate into your mind when you’re unsure of just about any and every little thing.
My sanity returned (I think) and I convinced myself that there was no head in the folder. I didn’t have a clue what was in there nor did I have a clue what I had gotten myself into. I also knew that I had given a solemn oath and now that I was alone with the folder, I was beginning to have second thoughts.
I was worried. I was kind of scared. Could I keep my word? Would I keep my word or would this be the first time I betrayed my lifelong commitment to honor…the very thing my reputation was based on? Harville’s words echoed in my head like a gunshot bouncing off the walls of a deep canyon. “Great tragedy can befall a man who breaks his word.”
I stared at the folder almost like it was a living thing. I had trepidation, anticipation, curiosity, dread, fear and I admit, a little excitement. It seemed to have an almost mystic quality, like it was going to either give me transcendental power or actually end me.
The answers to all of my questions were in this folder, according to Harville. I sat down, took a deep breath and reached for the folder. I almost wished I had one of those fine Gurkha Her Majesty’s Reserve cigars, if for no other reason than to have something to chew on other than my fingernails.
I opened the folder and the first thing I saw was an envelope with my name neatly written on the front. I literally moaned aloud, “shit. What’s in the envelope? What’s in the envelope? What’s in the fucking envelope? Instructions? Demands? White powder?”
After my initial shock and a few minutes of reservation, I reached for my letter opener, unsure of whether to use it to skillfully slice along the top of the envelope or prepare to stab to death whatever crawled out.
It was time to put on my big boy panties again.
I opened it.
To be continued_______________