(Note – this is part 2 of a two part chapter. Here is part 1)
(Note 2 – There is an editorial between Lyndsey 2 Part 1 and this part)
Lyndsey called me shortly after she left in the morning on Sunday. She had me on speaker in the car so she could talk as she drove and I put on the headset I usually use when I’m working. This allowed me to walk around the house and get things done as we chatted.
And mostly that is all it was, we just chatted. After a while I gave her more of a run down on the time I spent with her father the day before. She had me go back and we spent some time discussing the ghosts in the carriage house. She had me tell her over and over again how they looked, how they were dressed and such.
“Something about all of this bothers me,” she said.
“It bothered the Hell out of me when it was happening,” I said.
“No, seriously, there is something simple here that you’re missing. Baby ghosts? It doesn’t make sense. There should be no baby ghosts. There must be something they need. You need to find out what it is and help them.”
“Not me, I’m not going back into that place!”
“We’ll see. They need something, yet people are just afraid of them and run out screaming when confronted instead of listening. You need to listen.”
“If I go back, I will listen, I promise. If I can help them, I will. They seemed to be suffering.”
“Good, I’m glad you’ll help.”
The phone went silent for a moment as she drove. I could hear faint noises from the road.
“Still thinking of your time yesterday, but big change of subject,” she said. “You know my dad was an engineer, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I guess so. I hadn’t thought about it. Why?”
“OK, I guess I’m a bit snotty here, but I don’t want you thinking of him as the lawn guy, you know? I’m proud of him. He’s smart and had a great career. But the guy who does the lowest level of manual labor, the type of stuff Galvin can do? That Nate does? I want you to think more of him than that.”
“Yeah, I do. I really like him.”
“He’s a tinkerer and likes to do things with his hands. Did he tell you that he bought a bunch of junk parts and built those lawnmowers up there? We always call them ‘Franken-mowers’. He hates administration work. He thinks more highly of even the most mindless hands-on task than ‘pushing paper’, as he calls it.”
“I guess I knew he liked working with his hands, and I respect it. He obviously has a brain and knows how to use it. And he has smart daughters.”
“Well, I’m happy you know Jess is smart even though she acts the idiot. But yeah, when DEC was imploding, Dad saw the writing on the wall and joined a few others in forming Amesbury Robotics. He was the junior engineer, which he loved. He got to tinker.”
“Yeah, I can see how he’d love that. I once saw a toy robot he was playing with. It was très cool!”
“Later they put him in charge of a half a dozen engineers. He hated it. He complained until they finally made him head of research. He was in his element. He got to play with his toys for the rest of his career.”
“I don’t know him well, but I could see that being for him.”
“Yeah, I inherited that part of him. I love to tinker, though most of the time I do it on the computer. And I don’t mind others actually doing the work that comes from my playing. I really would love to be in research! Our company is doing some very cool, sorry, très cool, work to stay on the leading edge. I want to be part of that.”
“Yeah, you’ve said that. You also said that during the consolidation that they will do a reorg. I hope they put you over there!”
“Me too! With dad, after a while they were losing engineers out of the research department because he was blocking upwards mobility. They tried to force him into a senior management position. He was a founder, after all. He refused, so they forced him to retire instead.”
“Tell me about it. I’ve looked at that as a warning. I actually like to push paper, as long as I know I’m doing something useful. And, of course Batcha Biotics and Medical Equipment is about 500 times larger than Amesbury Robotics, so there is a lot of space for me there.”
“That’s cool. And I understand perfectly. I like to get my hands dirty with the code, but I love having the big picture. And there’s a huge amount of space at LMDF for me to grow.”
“Yep. Oh, hold on a minute.”
There was a bit of a pause, perhaps 15 seconds. I could hear general ‘car noises’ in the background.
“Sorry, I’m in Burlington and had to get off of Route 3. It can be a pain.”
“Yeah, I know, so no worries.”
It seemed like we had just started talking so I couldn’t believe she was getting off of Route 3 already. I looked at the clock and realized we had been on the phone for over an hour and a half.
“Anyway, we can talk about this stuff later. I’m going to be home in just a few minutes,” she said. “But before I get there, I just want to be sure you weren’t mad or upset or anything over last night.”
“Of course not,” I said. “I’m the type of guy who understands that ‘no’ means ‘no’. You don’t have to tell me the reason, only that it’s ‘no’.” I let out a nervous laugh. “I’ll be honest, it was obviously hard going home by myself after that…”
“I’m sure it was hard, very hard, and most likely it was difficult too.” She giggled. “Sorry, I shouldn’t tease you. I’m also sorry that I can’t really explain it. It’s like I just knew the time wasn’t right, OK?”
“You know how you were saying that some people are more sensitive to the spirit world? It’s that way with the world in general too. I get these feelings and it is always best to not ignore them. I don’t know, some type of feng shui thing, I guess. Last night, the vibes were totally wrong. I’m sorry. Damn. I’m not just apologizing to you but to myself as well. I have to tell you, I haven’t been that horny since I was a teen…”
“Yeah, me too. It was… anyway, I’m fine. Don’t worry about it.”
“You know I still will. Worry, that is. Oh, I’m home. That was quick. I’ll talk to you soon, Gill. Love you.” She hung up immediately before I could answer.
“Love you too, Lyndsey” I said to the dead phone.