Joseph sipped on his espresso as he surfed the web, trying not to smile. The two girls at the table to his left kept stealing glances at him, and then when he turned to catch them, they'd quickly look away and pretend like they hadn't been looking at him in the first place. Joseph was in his freshman year of his mother and father's alma mater, Memphis State. He was studying engineering, like his father had done there. The local coffee shop and computer Wi-fi cafe, was a huge hit with the local college students. The fact it had no chairs seemed to keep the older crowd away, and left the establishment to the musical choices of the students on the old Wurlitzer juke box.
He was wearing his floor length coat that both his mother and father thought was garish, but was a gift from his rather eccentric Uncle Doug. The coat was sort of a reference to the biblical story of Joseph who was given a multi-colored cloak by his father, and was left by his brothers to become a slave of the Egyptians. He later gained favor with the Egyptian King as a dream interpreter. Uncle Doug said that he and my mother had seen a play in London by Andrew Lloyd Weber called Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. He also swore that was why he was named Joseph. His mother denied this, and said it was because in the Bible the son of Jesse was Joseph.
The thing was that mom used to deny a lot of things that Uncle Doug would tell us about. Things my mother had done when she was young, became hour long laughter fest with tears rolling and sides hurting the way he used to tell the stories. Mom would blush, laugh, and pooh pooh the stories as vast exaggerations. At the same time, there was some truth to the stories as well. Neither Mom or Uncle Doug would give any ground on how I got my name, so I would side with one and then the other to keep the subject alive.
Anyway, back to the coat. Uncle Doug had found it in a thrift store and made up a huge yarn about it having magic powers, and bringing the eyes of the world upon me. Well, when I wore it, I certainly got a lot of looks. So it did have the power to draw attention. He died a few years back, but I feel like he keeps an eye out for me. He had a bunch of health problems, and everyone says it is good that he is out of pain, but he never used to show any symptoms of being in pain in front of me or my sister. One of the things he left me was a complete collection of the original Badger comics, including the special issues. They were packaged in special plastic so it would keep them pristine, and even though they came from the 1980's they were in almost perfect condition. It isn't that I'm a fan of Badger Comics, and most people I know never heard of them, but Badger was his nickname growing up. They were rare enough that some comic collectors gave us a few thousand dollars for them. Far from being able to pay for college, but every little bit helps.
As Joseph pondered his past, and his dead uncle, little did he realize that he would marry one of the two girls standing at the table to his left. He would carry on another family tradition of meeting his wife at Memphis State as his parents had met there.
To be continued...