In that triumphant, spiritual
journey from Hollywood to Philadelphia, my eyes were cast upon, when I entered
Pittsburgh, that Pearl by the River.
Its majesty had shone in its reflection like the evening star. Returning westward from New York, I sang
this happy tune, having seen the glory and magnificence of that City, that some
day all wrongs will be made right, all defeats will be made victories, and in
that day, some day, I will be called “Mathematician”.
In a vision, a brilliant young
mathematics student, Troy Thompson, lay asleep in his new home, a luxurious
four-bedroom house. The alarm clock
sounded, and he, like an un-oiled robot, prepared for a shower as the music
from the alarm clock played.
His sister, Susan Quinn Thompson,
nicknamed Susie Q., was at the family piano with her instructor, as she began
to practice an advanced lesson. She had
been taking lessons from that instructor, Mr. Larousse, since she was a
five-year-old girl. Her parents praised
her effort, discipline, and just “sticking-to-it”.
Susie Q. had wavy blonde hair,
blue eyes, and a serious, deep facial expression. She was tall for her age.
Troy was slender, green-eyed, and
brunette. He showered quickly, and he
re-entered his room. He then turned off
the radio and joined his parents as they listened to Susie Q. play difficult
classical pieces. Troy dastardly hid
the envy of his heart, as he wished he could play the piano that well.
In the middle of practice, an
older sibling, Davy, called Davy from the Navy, arrived as a solidly built
fellow with brown hair. He was
handsome, solemn, quiet, and strong-willed.
As Susie Q. finished her lesson,
she received a strong commendation form Mr. Larousse and praise from her
family, including the youngest sibling, her brother Chad and another brother
Kevin, who was four years older than Troy.
“Susie, go with Mr. Larousse and
discuss the recital Friday night,” said Mrs. Thompson, as Mr. Larousse took the
“Troy, come here! Now!” she demanded.
“I’ll tell ‘What?’. You better be on your best behavior tonight
for Susie Q. ’s birthday party. Step
out of line once, and you will be red, black, blue, and white. Understood?”
“Alright,” she concluded.
“Hey, Dave,” Troy saw him looking
in his direction intensely.
“You heard?’ he asked.
“Yeah, Dave,” Troy
reaffirmed. “Areya gonna take us to a
movie while you’re here?
“I’ve been discharged! And I will be looking for a job here. As for a movie, we’ll see.”
As the ten o’clock hour arrived,
Davy and Mr. Thompson sat and played chess on a rectangular table and
benches. It was Mr. Thompson’s day off
for Susie Q. ’s special night. Mr.
Thompson liked absolute quiet when trying to concentrate, especially because
Davy gave him strong competition.
Troy began to watch. He crept closer, as they played. He continued to watch as they played
solemnly, hearing an occasional “Check!”.
Troy, not knowing the etiquette
of the game, asked in a whisper, “What’s the name of this game?”
“Get away!” exclaimed Mr.
“Go, Troy,” his brother told him.
“Get away! Get away!”
Upon the noon hour, Kevin
gathered a crowd of boys and Susie Q. for football. These were the little kids.
Angie, Kevin’s girlfriend, was the opposing captain.
“There’s an odd number. That girl
has to drop!” cried a boy named Carlos.
“You better drop dead!” exclaimed
“You are a girl. You have to drop.”
“Like I told you, you better drop
“I’m a girl,” cried Angie. Flexing her muscles, she added, “Let me see
you tackle me.”
Carlos said nothing.
“We’ll pick, and whoever doesn’t
get picked just doesn’t get picked,” Kevin decided.
It came to three: Carlos, Susie
Q. and Troy. Kevin picked Susie Q., and
Angie picked Carlos. Troy felt
humiliated, and the other boys including Carlos laughed at him. Holding back his tears, he slipped inside.
“Why aren’t you playing
football?” his mother asked, as she preparing the night’s meal.
“I didn’t get picked.”
“Where’s Susie Q.”
“She got picked.”
Troy made a long walk to the
library, after having oriented himself to the new part of town. All the computers were free as usual, which
is why he went to that particular branch.
He looked under the “games” menu to find the game that his father and
brother were playing. So there, he
He fiddled with the menu of the
chess program until he found a demo. He
studied the demo for twenty minutes, and learned all the rules: the castling
rules, en passant, promotion of a pawn, as well as piece movements, checking,