The Fiction of Philip Kaveny
Fenwick and Laura slid into the booth in John Laugins and across from Joan and Byron and Fenwick ordered a pitcher with four glasses and a basket of free popcorn, a bag of Fritos, bag of pretzels, and a package of Beef Jerky, and a box of Slim Jims , and then he stopped and reflected as if he was Rodin’s Thinker. And after much deliberation as if he was trying to make meaning out of nothing and said.
“Better make that two Pitchers”
Laura wrinkled her pretty little nose disdainfully and said,
“I would not eat and drink all those carbs in a week,”
Joan added, Well Fenwick not everybody wants to look like a three hundred pound Lard bucket like you.”
This was the sort of thing Fenwick had heard all his life and this what ran through his mind. HE was from a distinguished Scottish family which had its own coat of arms, and once His Rich Uncle Peter, who when he had more money than he knew what to do with traced the McLeod family to the time when the Antonine Wall a stone and turf fortification built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde, and was built in the middle of the second century of the common era.
His uncle Peter canceled the research project which was funding Fenwick’s program at M.I.T when it turned out that McLeod family had always been on the wrong side of the wall, and mostly made their living by sheep stealing, cattle rustling, highway robbery, and as Wild Geese, which was a romantic way of saying mercenaries. And uncle Pete did not like it when Fenwick posted what he said was the Clan McLeod Family Motto. The McLeod’s forever “A clan where men were men the lasses where fair and the sheep were nervous”
As Fenwick had said in his report to his obscenely rich uncle Peter when his wife Eleanor was trying buy a membership in the Daughters of The American Revolution. Though they did flee to America after the Battle of Culloden 1746 where Scottish freedom was trampled the hated Duke of Drummonds Prussian fiends. That is to say mercenaries, who if given the order were willing to displayed Bayonetted Scottish women and children as grim reminder of Prussian cold mercy. They did not flee empty hnaded
It was in a letter by Fenwick’s fraternal to the 10th generation grandfather that it became clear how the escaped the Duke’s wrath. Of course they took the Stuart payroll with them as they fled, and that their young pretender paymaster quietly accepted a several thousand pound kick back which allowed him to live quite comfortably at Louis 15th court a Versailles. As matter fact.
Byron said as he snapped Fenwick back into the real world, “Well maybe you would like to burn off some of those carbs the next we work out.”
Fenwick remembered what had happened the last time he worked out with Byron though Byron kept to himself he was a master in mixed martial arts. Fenwick on the other hand was a former 191 pounder wrestler at M.I.T and he only tried out for the Wrestling team when he needed an athletic scholarship to keep body and soul together, after his uncle cut his funding off. He had got the wrestling coach’s attention when MIT wrestling Coach Bob Reif visited Fenwick’s freshman male physical education class and made his challenge, which went like this. Fenwick could still hear Reif’s voice
“Here is the deal I got an opening on my team at the weight of 191 pounds and some crazy M.I.T alumni decided to fund a full ride wrestling scholar ship for the guy who comes out of this melee with this towel which I am tying into a knot in their hands.”
Fenwick remembered the battle royal that followed on the mat covered floor of the gym. There were a hundred freshmen in the room, some of who hid in the corner but some who bit scratched and kicked to get to the blood sweat and tears encrusted towel.
Fenwick had never been in a fight in his life he always hung with the Nerds, at 6’ 3” inches and around two hundred pounds nobody picked on him, but somehow he wanted the scholarship, and he though if nothing else he would probably get injured and just get a free ride.
Then Fenwick heard his own voiced screaming as if it was stranger. It was almost surreal as if he was looking at himself through another’s eyes. The gym was full freshmen gasping puking holding their nuts and some whimpering, some saying that coach Reif would be hearing from their father’s corporate attorneys, but there was Fenwick by himself in front of coach Reif with that same blood dripping snot cover towel saying I got it.
Then he heard Coach Reif’s voice say.
“Show Up at practice tomorrow four “
“But what about my engineering materials lab?
Fenwick could hear coach Reif’s voice even a decade later saying.
“Well it’s up to but the scholarship is only open to wrestlers and Philosophy
Majors. Your benefactor is nuts of course but I Got to fill all my positions. “
Then Fenwick mind re-emerged into John Laughin’s as he heard Joan Caldwell say sarcastically.
“I heard about the last time you guys worked out Fenwick. Byron handed you your fat ass.”
“Yes Fenwick you were a bit out of shape”
Joan said with total distain, Next time you work out with Fenwick Bryon, you had better make sure your CPR certification is up to date .
Then something happened that nobody expected not even Laura herself, for once in her life she was not Minnesota nice as she waited for the waiter to come with his tray of pitchers and snacks. She said,
“Jane you self-satisfied hypocritical bitch, you leave Fenwick alone”