Part Seven “Douglass Wenstein, and you are?”
“Amanthra Peterson from SE Dexter Street. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“And what brings you to Oak Street? Are you selling something? Vacuum cleaners? Beauty products? Magazine subscriptions? Plumbing equipment? I cannot think of anything else you could be selling, of course, this is America, you could quite conceivably be selling the skin from your back. Anything for a profit. Capitalists!
Douglass shook his head disapprovingly and sneezed without covering his mouth, which Amanthra then dodged by squinting her face into a frozen pucker.
“No, I'm not selling anything at all. I'm not a Jehovah’s Witness or a girl scout either. I'm just here to say hi. That’s all. I have no ulterior motives."
Douglass stood with his spindly arms crossed over his chest assessing Amathra’s words and physical disposition. She was average in appearance, not to tall, not too short, fat or thin, beautiful or homely. She was someone who you might lose amongst a large crowd of people if you weren’t paying attention. She was someone who had no particularly discernible qualities aside from an intrinsic curiosity for her fellow beings around her.
“Would you like a glass of juice Amanthra Peterson?” Douglass asked, placing great emphasis of the Peter part of her maiden name.
Half expecting Douglass to kick her out of his home just seconds before, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yes please. I'm thirsty from the wind outside.”
Douglass briefly glanced out the window.
“Very well then, follow me to the kitchen where all the materials for juice are kept.”
Not dissimilar to the rest of the rooms Amanthra had observed in Douglass’s home, the kitchen evoked a misplaced sense of identity. All of the usual appliances were in place; refrigerator, stove, microwave oven, and coffee pot, however, tucked inside every shelf, and on top of each countertop were hundreds of novels.
“If you are wondering, which you probably are, this is where I do a bulk of my reading. I like the classics, Russian and French mainly.”
Amanthra detected five different editions of War and Peace stacked neatly next to his microwave oven.
“What kind of juice would you like? I refrain from eating solid foods, so I have almost every kind of juice one could possibly desire.”