Topic: "Isn't Change Good?"(6)
He had coal black slicked back hair, and he was Frodo's hero. His shirt sleeves were rolled up and a pack of Marlboros carried themselves against his finely tuned and muscular arm. His slender build would have made him a natural contender in the welterweight division, and Frodo was sure that he could deck anybody who gave him grief. He commanded respect on the stoop outside the main school building, where a generation of pre-adolescents learned to communicate and to honor the caste system. Best of all, he was Frodo's cousin, and Frodo wanted to be just like him.
Frodo knew better than to do or say anything to Bish in front of other people. Five years younger, with a roll of baby fat firmly in place, Frodo would not be permitted to pay homage while the King held court. Bish would gaze upon Frodo until their eyes met and he was assured that his young cousin was grazing peacefully in the schoolyard, associating with those of his own kind. Occasionally, Frodo would find that Bish moved nearby, and ran a greasy comb from the back pocket of his jeans through his pompadour while inquiring about the doings of the Hobbit. He would not tarry to hear the response, and Frodo knew that the importance had been the question.
One day, with memory now dim, Frodo found himself amid a group of those who were a little bigger, and certainly stronger, who had some sort of disagreement that had something to do with the Hobbit. No doubt the threat was real, for suddenly Frodo was aware of the leaping gladiator who sprang to his rescue and scattered Orcs in every direction with the mere pretense of his presence.
It was a time, and a place, where heroes visible, and present. Frodo's cousin, Bish, was the coolest of all.
Many, many years had passed in absence when Frodo stood face-to-face, and told his cousin about his feelings in that schoolyard so long ago. Much had happened in both lives, and Bish had suffered many setbacks, while the existence of the Hobbit seemed charmed beyond effort or just desserts. Frodo and Sam, who had not before known of Bish, were charmed and grateful by the courtesy and the apparent concern for their aging elders. It was admiration of which they spoke so many times, that Bish would take such an interest, nay, a responsibility for the sister of their respective mothers, who lived alone and faced the prospect of dementia in solitude.
Now Frodo has been confronted with an awful truth. Evidence lies before him of financial manipulation. The resources of the aging aunt,confused by the dimunition of neurons, are under the control of Bish, and many thousands have been used to provide for purposes far beyond the well-being of their aunt. Frodo could not believe the obvious, so he decided to confront Bish without sharing the fact that he already had an awareness of what has taken place.
Bish lied to Frodo.
Frodo did not confront him, feeling that giving up too much information would only obfuscate the path before him. Frodo hung up that telephone and began a process which will ensure that the heroes of his past are merely grains of sand that he cannot grasp, as they fall between his fingers, and return to the earth below. Once again, he who is smallest, and weakest, must bear the burden that again ends in the destruction of the Ring, and of the memory that was his very first hero.