He wheezes in the bed, the oxygen tank gives him air, on the walls, all around, masterpieces of an older world, treasures he thought, what he’d give to be able to take a normal breath, the one thing his money can’t buy. The friends who call are not real friends, they just wonder how long he has got, and who will be the beneficiary. The cost of the collection, priceless in money terms, with his failing eyesight, he can just about make out the colors. He presses the bell, the nurse comes running up the stairs. He needs water, his mouth is dry, he sighs. The energy it takes to reach for the glass. She holds it to his lips, he sips, refreshing. The Van Gogh was such a lucky break, he got it on the black market, it was looted from a museum during the war, he is the only one to have the original, and it sits before him on the wall, one of the master pieces from the poorest of the great painters; all he can do is imagine what it looks like.
The real treasures of the world, are stored in your heart, Solomon sighed. He was visiting an old friend, not as sturdy as he used to be, but still there, and still believing. No worries old timer, your on the list that goes above, eternity awaits your soul. At the thought the light bursts overhead, casting a light across the room. Every one who comes to visit, a real time friend, no one seeking gain, what a joy. You are near the gates of eternity, and they come to wish you well, and hope perhaps, to grab a little of your Spirit, cause he is a real master of the world. Solomon laughed inside, and you know me well.
He recalled a conversation years before, the argument he made, Love is in the danger zone, why worry about the bits and possessions, you can’t bring it with you, no matter how powerful you are; all you can leave behind is example, make it good he said, and they laughed at him; well, he wondered if they could afford a smile as they arrived at the pearly gates, the masters of the world. Didn’t Jesus tell them the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, just a sip of water. Warned them pleads the Old Rich Man. Solomon saw the signs, and had been writing them ever since. His old friend smiles, golly he says
, isn’t that marvelous, the sun coming out like that, Solomon sighed, unbelievable, but real, a sign from God, amen.