Saluki Marooned by Robert P. Rickman


Peter Federson is now nearly forty years in the past, back at his alma mater Southern Illinois University.  58-year-old Pete, now in his original 20-year-old body, confronts his roommate who he hasn't seen for decades.

"With the briefest of nods the youth sat down, produced a curve-stemmed pipe, and with a flowing motion, scooped it into it a big can on his desk.

Then he scratched a wooden match against the upturned log on the floor and lit the pipe with a long draw. Next, he picked up a bottle next to the tobacco and poured a bracer into a shot glass as the cloud of smoke hit the ceiling and spread to the four corners of the room.

To me, the youth looked like a little child who had come across the pipe while playing around in his father’s liquor cabinet.

Harry Smykus Saluki Marooned
What Harry looked like through Peter's eyes.

The boy was exactly as I remembered him, except that he looked much too young for college—like every other student I had seen today, including myself.    I sat in my chair and stared at this apparition, until I couldn’t stand the tension anymore.

“Harry!  Man, it’s good to see you!  How have you been?” I burst out.

The youth turned toward me, and with the pipe clenched in his teeth he said,

“Hello, snake shit.”

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