“Tilly this is…”
“Yeah, I know who it is,” she said. “How’s it hangin’ Sid?”
“I haven’t used the name Siddhartha in a very long time,” said the smiling man. “But I’m fine, thank you.”
“Whatever,” snapped Tilly, taking in his bald head, slim form, beat up sandals and worn jeans. “I have questions.”
“Yes, Prince. I mean you were a Prince, right?”
“At one time, yes.”
“You were a Prince when it all started, when you found out that the people outside of your compound didn’t have what you had.”
“Yes, that’s when it all began,” he said quietly.
“Okay, now here’s the thing. You had a wife and two kids, if I’m not mistaken.”
“And you deserted them so that you could do YOUR own thing. You left them and never looked back. I doubt that’s what your wife had in mind when she said, “I do,” or whatever you guys say.”
“Tilly,” said Edith. “He’s our guest.”
“So? This is a BOOKSTORE, a place of learning and I’m trying to learn.”
“You’re absolutely correct,” said Edith. “Please continue.”
“You left your wife without a husband and you left your children without a father, so you could sit under a bodhi tree and feed your own ego. That’s what it was, of course, because you simply forgot about the commitments you made to the people you gave your word to, those who depended upon you, those you said you loved. You turned your back on them them, so you could do your OWN THING.”
“Uh…” he stammered.
“Then you picked up followers along the way…all males, of course, because your generosity and awakening didn’t INCLUDED FEMALES. And aren’t real leaders supposed to shun followers? Followers are not the sign of a leader they are the sign of an egomaniac.”
“I must agree,” said Edith.
“You spent the rest of your life being waited on, meditating, hanging out with your home boys, who surrounded you and hung on your every word. They cried when you finally died. You’re not a leader Sid, but I’ve learned that people will believe anything and simply look the other way when things become uncomfortable.”
“You never even saw your children again. You allowed men to follow you, men who left THEIR families to starve and be abused and you didn’t care, after all the only ones left behind were women and children. I think you’re a bad person Sid. You twisted things around for your own benefit and no matter what you say, the life you lived was the real truth. You were selfish and thoughtless and, by the way, you should let your hair grow back. Some men look great bald, you’re not one of them.”
With that Tilly turned and walked away.
“I agree with her one-hundred percent,” said Edith. “Now, how may I help you?”
“I don’t feel welcome here,” said Sid, looking down.
“Yes, well, I can understand that. The truth does hurt sometimes, doesn’t it,” she sighed.
“I was only trying to…”
“Find yourself? Make a name for yourself? Help others, with the exception of your own family, I mean? Something like that?”
“Yes, something like that,” he said. “You have a statue of me in the other room.”
“We do, but you’re wearing a party hat and a fake nose with a mustache” said Edith merrily. “Now that that’s all out of the way, would you like some breakfast?”
“Just tell Merlin I stopped by.”
“He’ll be sorry to have missed you, I’m sure,” said Edith, already looking down at her notes.
“Good riddance,” said Chicago, walking into the room. “I never liked that guy. He acts humble but underneath….”
“I know what you mean, but he’s gone now, so we can get on with things,” said Edith brightly.
“Tilly was great,” smiled Chicago.
Edith laughed. “She was fabulous.”
“I finished Sigmund’s readings.”
“Well, you know about ‘client privilege,’ and all that, but let me tell you, he’s another one who fell for his own garbage. The guy’s a loon and yet, people followed him and like Sid, even now there are those who can’t let go of what they once said.”
“Sad,” said Edith, shaking her head.
“Destructive,” said Chicago
“Is there any of that great coffee cake left in the kitchen?”
“There is,” nodded Edith. “Shall we have some at the counter?”
“Absolutely,” said Chicago happily.