Sunday, February 22, 2015
Dirt, Manure, and Flat
Risking a traffic ticket, I pedaled my speed to 78 mph. His Favorite Gal’s last full message jacked up my soul and wrenched on my heart. I had never heard her speak as she did, honoring my given name and using the word redeem. It made me doubt it was her but a greater concern over shadowed the hesitancy. What did she mean about real people living inside of Clay? And what was the deal about redeeming? It felt a little like a sniper shot at me and I knew she knew what I feared.
Paranoia set in and I thought, “Shit and sure enough, she remembers my unforgivable deed. Redemption, that’s a sarcastic dig.”
My friend and brother fought depression and anxiety the entire time I knew him. It drove him to suicide several times since his first attempt with me. Our friendship went a long way toward ending that struggle. The hopelessness I experienced at age 14 was pretty much situational. Clay? Nope, his was inherited, assigned, maybe even a curse put upon him by ancestral medicine workers. Hell, maybe it was my fault.
His bio-chemistry was always off, unbalanced, insatiable. Clay craved and was equally repulsed, starving and saturated all at once. He was racked with pain which painted every aspect of his being a pea soup color. And then there was the suffering that shellacked that shitty color into permanence.
Yes indeed, my brother mourned his pain and carried rejection around his neck like a personal medicine pouch. He despised the life that held his true identity captive in the thing called body. His crotch was blistered from straddling the realms of spirit and earth. So he drank, toked, shot up, snorted, inhaled, and ingested anything he thought might bring him closer to some semblance of sanity. Death was easy but taunted and eluded him.
Me? I was distraction. I symbolized hope and seemed to make him believe it was attainable, yes, for even a tortured creature. His intensity was overwhelming and I didn’t have the constitution to endure it on a regular basis, no one could. Nope, Clay needed supernatural assistance. He knew it, I knew it, and anyone who knew him knew it.
And who really knew him? He was invisible to everyone, I think, all but me and His Favorite Gal. It appeared as though others acknowledged him, spoke to him, answered him but did they? Maybe I imagined they did, I had to, because the possibility of it being otherwise was unthinkable for me.
I loved the guy in his brokenness, rawness, and pain. Beneath it all, I didn’t know where, someone precious and crucially important lived, no, thrived. I believed always, if intermittently, Clay Silver Otter was a great man whose time was always not yet. What His Favorite Gal described was far different, sinister, and wicked in a new way. And, Clay had worn out the meaning of new or so I thought.
A nasty odor went smelling salts on my nostrils and assaulted my attention. The landscape had gone from forested to flat. Farmer’s fields, soil rolled over and coated with manure, baked in the sun. Microscopic organisms fled the light and dove for cover in the dirt.
Might some strange and alien life forms be doing the same to Clay? Who were these invaders and where did they exile my brother to? Twenty minutes further down US-127 and I’d seek the answer personally.