“Henry Can Answer Your Questions.”

Photo by Bahram Bayat on Unsplash

“Welcome to the Pope-Leighey House. This is Henry, our volunteer. He should be able to answer any questions for you. Take it away, Henry. I’ll be in the main office.”

“Thanks, Jack. Looks like a small crowd today. Well, the Pope-Leighey House was designed by — ”

“Sorry, Henry. I do have a question. Where is the bathroom?”

“Public restrooms are in the main office. We can wait here for you. I’ll probably still be talking.”

“I have a question, Henry.”

“Sure.”

“I just quit my job, and I’m trying to decide what to do with my retirement funds. I mean, there are some things I’d like to pay now, but I don’t think it’s fiscally responsible. Should I just suck it up and just roll it into another retirement account? And which one is the best for me?”

“Personally, I wouldn’t cash it out…the tax penalty is not worth it. But I’m sure you’ll figure out what is right for you. Now, if you look at the house, you’ll see all the screws are — ”

“Henry, I’m trying to decide which college to send my daughter to. She’s pretty smart, but not genius-level smart, so she didn’t get any scholarships. I think she would be happy at a state school, but she wants to go to the most prestigious school she got into. How do I explain to her the crippling effects of student loans?”

“Wow, this is a rough group. You are asking me some tough questions.”

“Jack said you’d be able to answer any questions.”

“You may have taken that a bit literally. I know a lot about the Pope-Leighey House. I studied architecture when I was younger, and I know a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright, and so I decided, when I retired, to volunteer here. I’m afraid my knowledge on other matters is…decidedly average.”

“You know a lot about architecture?”

“I would say I’m an enthusiast.”

“I have floor plans of my house. We are trying to open it up, but we can’t decide if this is a load bearing wall or not.”

“Why are you carrying floor plans of your house with you?”

“Just in case.”

“Well, okay…if you know where the joists are…okay, you know what? This is all well and good, but I’m supposed to be giving a tour of this house. Perhaps we can take a look at your floor plans once the tour is through.”

“But Henry, I had a question I was going to ask after the tour.”

“Is it about the house?”

“Uh…yes.”

“What is your question?”

“If…this house were a person, and that person was trying to decide whether or not to do inpatient rehab — ”

“Okay, I’m done. If Jack comes looking for me, tell him I took lunch early.”

“What? But Henry! Henry!

“…What?”

“Just stay with us and answer our questions. We like you. You’re the only Frank Lloyd Wright tour guide who has talked to us for this long.”

“You do this at every building you visit?”

“Well yeah. Who really wants to hear about an old house for an hour?”

“Then…why visit?”

“We would go abroad, but they don’t let us have passports for some reason.”

“I think I understand why. Fine. So you, with the retirement account…”

Always and never the same🖤🕸 Buy me an iced latte: https://ko-fi.com/lisamartens Links: https://linktr.ee/lisathewriter 📚 lisa.snetram@gmail.com

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