October 18, 2006

Peter’s Visit Continued

“Of course the Democrats will take back the majority of seats in Congress and the Senate, Isaac.”

“That would be one heck of a lot of seats, 15 in Congress, and 6 in the Senate, I believe.””

“We will do it. I feel it in my bones.”

“I wish I had your confidence. Besides, your bones are too young to have that kind of feeling. You’ll have to get old, and crotchety like me first.”

“Right. Actually I think you’re a time-bot, Isaac, a kind of disguised eternal type pretending to be an old man. Sometimes you act like a kid. Sometimes you talk like a person my age. Don’t think I haven’t seen you take a sudden skip, jump, and hop as you walk toward the pond and fountain on your morning walks.”

“Actually, I do perform as a silver foil man, who travels to alternate realities- and you don’t know how I hurt after I do my morning skip-hop-and-jump, the heart pounds, and the head floats off into a spin, as I struggle to catch my breath."

"So, Why do it, and you do?"

"Yes, and because I’m stubborn, and I refuse to give in to this body of mine. I’m just a thirty-seven year old person trapped in an eighty-seven year old body. And, time-bot indeed! You are a science fiction fiend, my friend.”

“I do like science fiction, especially Isaac Asimov.”

“He’s one of my favorites too.”

“Did you see I Robot?”

“Yes - but the movie seemed anachronistic to me. That's not quite the right word either. It's because the movie is of the action hero ilk, and Asimov’s positronic creatures become super robots, leaping through the air, and jumping buildings in a single bound. Things get smashed and broken constantly. I think Asimov’s stories are more thoughtful, and his robots, more gentle, if sometimes extremely threatening in their benign superiority.”

“That’s because the 3 laws of robotics prevent them from harming humans, but also cause them to prevent humans from harming one another, like hovering over protective parents.”

“Or, like a limited evangelical vision of God, who is prevented from harming his children physically by his own moral universe, but, instead ends up punishing them through limits placed that stunt their potential growth.”

“U-m-m-m-m-m. I don’t really want to go there, Isaac. I get so angry at Christians!”

“Be careful, Peter. I’m a Christian. You need to separate evangelical from other Christians.”

“Are there others?”


“I was being facetious.”

“I know. Sometimes it seems as though the only kind of Christian out there is the kind that hates us while unwilling to admit that it is so. They pretend that they love all people and blame God and the Bible for their prejudice.”

“But the Bible does make statements against homosexuals.”

“No, it doesn’t. It makes negative statements about sodomy based in a culture that had no understanding about a type of human being who desires and has sex only with the same sex. And there is much more to it than that, such as Hebrew and Greek words with multiple meanings, or meanings that are not the same as those words used in translations of the original languages in which the Bible was written. Have you read What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality?”


“I’m not remembering the author’s name. But the book is right over there in the porch.” I began to lift myself out of my chair in order to retrieve the book, but Peter was up and out of the glass slider before I could stand up.”

“Where on the porch, Isaac.”

“On the table next to the rattan couch.” I watched as he rummaged through the short stack of books and magazines there.

“Yeah, here it is. Helminiak is his name. Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D.

“I’ve finished it. You want to borrow it?”

“Yes, I would. Ye gods! It looks like a college freshman’s text. It’s dog eared, underlined, highlighted, and the margins are filled with notes.”

“That’s a habit of mine. It’s the only way I can remember. If I don’t scribble all over a book while reading, I end up having to go back and reread entire pages and chapters. It helps my old brain to retain the stuff I want to know.”

“Isaac, everyone who reads for understanding has to do that.”

“Not geniuses with photographic memories.”

“Yeah, well. Those are few and far between.”

“So, why couldn’t I be one?”

“Why couldn’t we all?” I wonder what the world would be like.”

“That’s one of those unanswerable questions -imponderable. However, if Isaac Asimov were alive, and here, talking with us, he might decide to write a science fiction story based on the idea.”

"Now that's an idea I'll take home with me. By the way, you need to tell me about your silver foil man."

“When you have an hour or longer to devote to him, I’ll broach the subject.”

And, so it went, on into the night. I hope Peter will visit more often.

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Blogger Anji said...

Thanks for sharing your conversation

10:05 AM  
Blogger Isaac said...

Well, I enjoyed the conversation with Peter so much that I wanted to share it. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Anji.

11:01 PM  

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