Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Year Later, Bobby Continues

In 2001 when Bobby the two-headed pygmy was seventeen, he left his monastery home in the Himalayas and came to America.  He landed at Kennedy Airport on September 10th and spent most of the day in the terminal gawking at all the travelers.  He may have known before his arrival that New York City was a melting pot of nationalities, yet he had not prepared himself to be immersed into a sea of all shades of people speaking a vast array of languages.  He was wonder-struck.  But not half as wonder-struck as the people seeing Bobby.  Two-headed pygmies were not as common as you would think.

The right head of Bobby was multi-lingual, French, Dzongkha and English being his strong suits, but still able to hold conversations in Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi and Urdu.  The left head of Bobby only spoke two words. The two words were in English and they were "Damn straight."  He would speak the words in distinct emphasis and mostly at apropos times, although it is uncertain if the left head knew the meaning of what he said.

Bobby was dressed in a monk habit and sandals as he roamed the airport. The habit had only one hood but it was large enough to cover both his heads.  This was his daily garb at the monastery, but after seeing so many people dressed in jeans, Bobby planned to buy a pair the first chance he got.  It was this desire that enabled Bobby to leave the airport and head to Manhattan.

Bobby had come to America to see all the sites.  For over a dozen years, he had been told of these tourist attractions by Brother Peterson.  Brother Peterson was so detailed and loving in his descriptions, Bobby hung on every word.  He longed to see the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, the St. Louis Arch, the Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon, the Florida Everglades, Mt. Rushmore, the Worlds Biggest Ball of String, Disneyland, Old Faithful, the Petrified Forest, and so on and so on.  Bobby intended to spend the next ten years traversing America.

Close to midtown Manhattan, Bobby entered a clothing store and began looking through shelf after shelf of blue jeans.  Every pair he held against his legs were too long.  A clerk approached him and suggested that he vacate the Men's section and try browsing over in Boy's.  Bobby's left head said, "Damn straight," as if he had known this was the proper course of action all along.  In the Boy's section, Bobby found several pairs of Levis that may be the length he needed.  He brought seventeen pairs to checkout.  The clerk noticed that the waist size on these pants varied from small to extra large.  He spotted Bobby as a foreigner unfamiliar with shopping in New York, and asked him if he was buying for more than one person.

"No, just myself," Bobby replied.

The clerk then asked, "Did you try all these on?"

"Before buying?" Bobby asked.  "Is that possible?"

The clerk explained, "Yes.  That's why we have dressing rooms.  You can see if the clothes fit before purchasing them."

The clerk led Bobby over to a dressing room to try on pants.  Bobby was amazed.  What a wonderful country this America.  You could test clothes before buying them.  He wondered if that was also true for other types of purchases.

Two pair out of the seventeen fit Bobby.  Leaving the others behind in the dressing room, he took the two back to the checkout register.  As the clerk was ringing up his selection, Bobby asked, "Do shoe stores have the same policy about trying them on first?"

"Most certainly.  You never buy anything without trying it on first"

Bobby's left head said, "Damn straight."

Bobby paid for the jeans and went searching Manhattan for a shoe store.  He was surprised at how many he found.  He entered Haney's Boot Shop to seek out a pair of cowboy boots.  He had wanted cowboy boots ever since he saw Bronco Bob Benson wearing a pair. Bobby was only three years old at the time.  He had grown up thinking Bronco Bob his benefactor, but in the truth of the matter Bronco Bob tried to hide Bobby from the world by placing him in a Himalayan Monastery.   Bronco Bob's only contact with Bobby was over a three day period during Bobby's third year of life.

Bobby was named after Bronco Bob Benson.   Bronco Bob was a Texas billionaire who contributed to many research facilities all around the planet.  One of those facilities was a French institute of tribal studies; L'Institut d'Etudes Tribales.  Bobby was being housed there in 1985 when had Bronco Bob stopped by to see what his money was accomplishing.  Finding the two headed boy, and hearing how he had been named in Benson's honor, horrified Bronco Bob.  He immediately sought out the most remote location possible to place the child, and hopefully never hear about again.  Three days later he personally escorted Bobby to the Himalayan Monastery and left him in the hands of the monks.

Fourteen years later, Bobby was on the same continent as Bronco Bob, a mere five or six states away.  Unknown to either of them, they would soon be face to face to face.  But first, one of the greatest tragedies in American History would be played out.

Bobby, now armed with new jeans and cowboy boots, made his way to Central Park.  Bobby always enjoyed sleeping outdoors.  He found a cove of cypress trees and burrowed in for the night.  He would awaken at 7:30 a.m. on September 11th, 2001.  His intention for his first full day in New York City was to take in all the tourist attractions.  He would start with a visit to the tallest buildings in existence; the World Trade Center.

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