“She has that great little flat right on University Ave., and the rent there is really cheap. It’s going to be available in a week, and Ed Hunolt’s said they had a job for Roger as many hours as he wants, because one of the guys that works there is leaving, too.” Where is everybody going, I thought?
Roger, she told us, tended to fall easily into conversation with whoever would listen, and he would tell them about his “vision,” which was taking on grander proportions by the day. He had received a revelation that he and Barb would travel to a place across the world, but it was still unclear to him how. The revelation came to him after Barb had told him about the episode on the bus with the Ethiopian boy. He saw the episode as a sign that he, Roger, would receive further revelations and share them in a foreign land. I was beginning to wonder how well Barb’s parents knew Roger, how they were doing with her new living arrangements, and how much influence they still had on her, if any.
At the back of the small entryway inside Barb’s apartment, I pushed through a beaded curtain to enter the living space, an ample room furnished with slip-covered dumpster treasures and a worn grey patterned carpet. The mezzo was warbling at full throttle, her smoky voice grappling with something in Italian that she seemed to be stuck on: “il Signore è il mio pastore . . . pastore . . . è il mio pastore . . .”