The rest of the week went quickly. Patience concentrated on Mike’s physical therapy, but she had time to babysit Selma one evening while Jack took Harriet to dinner, and to spend two afternoons with Wanda. Both times the other Daffodil reported that she had neither seen nor heard anything from Ryan’s ex-wife. Finally, Friday morning arrived and Patience loaded their luggage into the car. It had been decided that Ryan and Wanda, and the Smiths would each take their own cars to the Park-N-Ride station, and from there they would take the train to LAX. They were all booked on the same flight to Adelaide of course.
Mike let Patience drive to Riverside. Once at the station, they were able to quickly board the train, as the State of California had recently instituted Daffodil’s BRIID system. Merely arriving in the presence of your Daffodil meant that you could forgo ticketing, ID checks, and waiting in line. Mike picked his seat without much regard to anything other than making sure that he was facing forward. Patience though made sure to save a spot for Ryan and Wanda, who arrived about five minutes later.
“Did you bring your texTee?” Mike asked Ryan.
“I don’t really read much. I thought maybe we could just relax and talk on the way.”
“Two hours by train and then thirty-one by plane,” explained Mike. “I don’t care how sterling a conversationalist you are, I’m not talking to you the whole way. However I do intend to relax.”
“Do not worry, Ryan,” said Wanda. “I brought your texTee and I made sure it was filled with reading material you might enjoy—also movies.”
The train had been moving about ten minutes when Ryan spoke again.
“Do you want to play Last Supper?”
“Is that some kind of Jesus thing?” asked Mike. “Cause I already told you I was an atheist.”
“No, it’s not a… well… it is, but not really. You list what twelve people you would want to invite to a dinner party.”
“Me and twelve people in one room,” mused Mike. “That’s not The Last Supper; it’s Dante’s Inferno.”
“You don’t have to just pick people who are alive now. You can pick anyone who has ever lived.”
“All right. Go ahead. Dazzle me.”
“Well,” began Ryan. “Of course, first I would pick Jesus Christ.”
“Then George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Edison,” Ryan counted off happily on his fingers. “Then it starts to get hard. Ronald Reagan, um… John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong… um… oh, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, um… and Paul McCartney.”
“You still need one more,” said Mike.
“No, I’m the twelfth.
“No, you need twelve plus yourself—like Jesus and the twelve apostles.”
“Oh, um, then… Ringo Starr.”
“Well at least you won’t need an interpreter,” said Mike. “Everyone at your party speaks English, except Jesus.”
“Jesus can speak any language.”
“Of course he can. Maybe he can do some card tricks too, because your party is going to be boring as shit. You don’t have one single female, or married female for that matter.”
“There weren’t any women at The Last Supper.”
“Bull. Even I know that Mary Magdelaine was at the last supper,” said Mike. “And before you tell me that she had a minor role because all she did was wash feet, let me remind you that Jesus washed a few feet and nobody ever accuses him of having a minor role.”
“I wasn’t going to say that,” said Ryan. “I didn’t know she was there.” He thought for a moment. “I do know the bible says ‘the devil can quote scripture to suit his own purpose’.”
“That’s not the bible. It’s Shakespeare, whom incidentally would be one of my guests. The Merchant of Venice. And perhaps the devil has to quote scripture when the faithful can’t.”
“You know people would like you more if you didn’t act so smart and superior all the time.”