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nothing at all like Sammy Davis.
The Queen of Sheba’s walking down
A road a thousand miles long
Thinking of the king she left behind.
The desert’s lonesome and it’s bare,
Her heart a heavy solitaire
She walks alone, she doesn’t care what she’ll find.
But the more he’s missin’ her
The more he’ll be kissin’ her
When he goes down to Abyssinia
In his mind.
Roy Sr. could not continue. His voice was semi-quavering.
“I don’t get it,” Roy Jr. said.
“It’s about…It means that she’s somewhere else now. But she’s
thinking about me. And I’m thinking about her. And the only place
we can be together is in my mind. But places in the imagination can
be real. Sometimes realer than reality.”
“Really?” Roy said.
“Sure,” his father said, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Like
when you listen to music. Like when Sammy sings. Or like when you
read a book. If it’s good you can feel like you’re somewhere else. And
sometimes that place is better than here. Realer in a way.”
Roy thought about it for a moment. He was beginning to
understand his father’s obsession with the photograph on the
“What happened to Mr. Davis?” Roy said, “Is he dead too?”
His father let out a surprised laugh. “No. He’s just busy. He’s
famous now. But he calls every now and then. He did a lot for me, you
know. He gave me money to start my coffeehouse, and he kind of
saved my life. After your mother passed away I found it hard to go on
living, but he snapped me out of it.”
“How’d he do that?” Roy asked, “With his music?”
“No. He just let me see with his eyes.”
“The fake one?”
“No. No. He showed me what he saw.”
“What was that?”
Roy Sr. took him by the shoulders. “You, little Poppa,” he said,
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