Cledus finds money and fame bring him happiness, at least in the short term. It is weird to walk into a store and buy whatever his heart desires. It is a far cry from using lead and steel to get desirables. Beautiful and sexy packaged young women are as available and plentiful as shelf products. None of them stake a paternity claim, because the DNA on file never matches Sammy Moore’s DNA. All of the gadgets and numerable pleasures he encounters put the roughneck’s 1800’s world to shame.
After a while…Cledus finds a state of emptiness in excess, when the gunfighter falls into a modern void that neither fame nor profit can ever begin to fill. Cledus feels like a lush. He often finds himself seeking out bigger and better thrills. His Dodge Condor even becomes outdated and environmentally sad! The man’s bank account gains in interest what many people draw in salary—in a year. He finds it harder and harder to find new challenges to motivate him. In fact, few conversations hold any real depth beyond the band Street Posse or the added upsell of groupie sex. And Cledus becomes melancholy in the fact he can never tell another living soul who he is or what he’s really all about.
“Sammy, how the heck are you?”
Cledus turns, not well-practiced in reading whether the voice comes from a groupie, a friend, or a stalker.
“I’m just dandy.”
The other man looks at Cledus, as if he speaks another language.
“You cutting an album—soon? Better yet…Why don’t you go solo?”
Sammy chuckles to himself.
I’m already solo. He thinks. I can’t even carry a note.
“You’ll be the first to know.”
The other man grins.
“You got that autographed item?”
“What item was that—again?”
“The uncensored Street Posse poster you promised me!”
“Haps next time. Completely slid my mind.”
The other man seems satisfied with the rock icon’s answer.
He holds up some hand configuration Cledus isn’t used to seeing.
Cledus attempts to mimic the patented Moore smile and two-finger and thumb head banger salute, and finds it a great deal harder than he viewed on the Internet. He thinks his life is a heck of a lot more complicated than holding a gun, aiming, and pulling the trigger. Actions which were once a brainless act.
Sometimes, I wonder if not needing money creates more complication than rustling or committing thievery. I no longer work my body or nourish my rugged soul. The ruffian’s old-century mind finds itself taxed with the need for more complex stimulation beyond pattern conversations such as: “Sammy, do you find me attractive?”
“Heck g’hal. Yur a goddess.”
“Can I stay at your place? We can have a great deal of fun.”
This usually was a roundabout way to tell him a woman wanted to get laid.
Or conversations went this way: “Have you been working on any new material, lately?”
“Just canst find a rut, dude.”
“You’ll come around. Give it time.”
“Surry to let yu down.”
His sorrow is genuine. Subconsciously, Cledus Beaumont is aware that he affects so many needy lives. Something inside of the hombre developed a conscience in the transformation from old world to new. In fact, Cledus thinks he has somehow gained a sense of humanity.
Scholars may, someday, debate if part of the essence of the bible found a way to shine through—thereby causing the famous man to be humble. Did it nourish his soul? An element inside of the tough exterior flows from the energy unleashed by the bible, pulses in his veins, and urges Cledus to regain human ties to the tree.
A whistling underling slides Sammy Moore into a large blast furnace. In just minutes, his body is reduced to a meaningless pile of ash. The man’s spirit leaves his body and waits for angels to carry him to heaven or the devil’s termagants to drag him down into the deep bowel of Hades. Cledus feels the heat, momentarily, as if both his body and spirit are fused into making him a complete and revitalized Sammy Moore.
Several hours later, in the presence of a voice coach, Cledus opens his mouth and incredible music flows out. It is truly amazing. Not on the same octave as Sammy’s voice had been—yet vastly improved. The new and better sounding Sammy Moore finally comes into his own.
Georgia gets up enough nerve to ask out a hottie that frequents her window at the bank. She wonders if she is finally getting to the point where she can let Jeremiah go, if she is finally in need of human contact that will overwhelm her mental being. I need to kiss and be kissed by a boy. I need to be felt up. But I will not risk another baby or getting a sexually transmitted disease. If a hot guy touches me, and I feel something deep inside, can I really tell him to stop? Would I be satisfied with possessing another without loving him?
In bed, later in the night, Georgia can’t help but wonder what she is waiting for? Each day passes into another. Tawny grows by leaps and bounds. Bills gradually climb. Georgia concludes that mankind’s greatest gift and lasting contribution resides in his capacity to love. Love doesn’t carry a weapon. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t boast. Love doesn’t harm one’s neighbor. Love conquers all. Or Georgia at least likes to think it does.