CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-SIX
“What I thought I’d tell you about started on the plane between England and Los Angeles,” John said.
When Nash didn’t respond, John marveled at this interesting young man. He continued.
“I had had this crazy life,” John said. “Northern Ireland troubles, my mother’s death, the drunken horror that was my father, living with Rita in London, and then in Scotland. All of these things had happened to me — most, if not all of them, had nothing to do with me. I was the youngest. My father was in prison when my mother fell pregnant. He killed her. He was so horrible that my elder siblings were either in jail, active in the PIRA, or the girls in the convent.”
“I decided that my life belonged to me,” John said. “I wasn’t going to get caught up in some ancient politics or some drunken mess. I was going to have a real life, a good life. In order to do that, I needed my very own plan.”
Nash glanced at John.
“I have a plan,” Nash said quietly.
“I thought you might,” John said. “Or I should say that Alex thought you might.”
Nash nodded. Embarrassed by hearing an adult talking so familiarly about someone he admired, he fell silent again.
“Right there, on the plane, I wrote down the outline of the plan,” John said. “Would you like to hear it?”
“I would go to university in America,” John said. “I would focus on three things — working out, bedding women, and being the best in my class.”
“Bedding women?” Nash burst out with.
“All of them,” John said. “Often a different woman every night. Always using contraception, of course. I couldn’t let some disease or a pregnancy get in the way of the plan.”
Shaking his head, Nash grinned.
“I would be the top of my class at UCLA,” John said. “Then I would either — go to business school and become a business mogul, all the while bedding all the ladies …”
“Of course,” Nash smiled.
“Or possibly a doctor,” John said. “Maybe a realtor. Something where I could make loads of money and still have time …”
“To bed all of the ladies,” Nash said.
“Exactly,” John said. “I would make so much money that I’d never have to ask anyone for anything. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. No one was going to tell me what to do. I just had to …”
“Work the plan,” Nash said.
“No time for drugs …”
“Or friends?” Nash asked.
“Well, young Nash, that’s the first situation that caused the plan to be adjusted,” John said. “I met a kindred spirit in Max.”
“Max bedded all the ladies?” Nash asked, his voice rising in surprise.
“Of course,” John said. “Women. Men. Whoever he was interested in. He liked them all.”
“And you didn’t mind?” Nash asked.
“Why should I care?” John asked. “I had the plan!”
John punctuated the word “plan” by pointing his finger up at heaven. Nash chuckled.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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