Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In Search of Clay

Chapter 2: Post 1
In Search of Clay
What if it is too late? What if Clay is gone and walked on, dead? What if I failed?

The remaining miles before entering the northern Rez boundary found me fraught with anxiety and dread. I gave up worrying about Clay long ago. Like most worry, it was unwarranted and lent nothing to a situation but worrying was back so what was different? Was it on Clay’s behalf or my own? 

I rolled my eyes up and to the right and looked at myself in the rearview mirror and thought.

You aren’t nearly as concerned for Clay as you are for your pride. Self serving bastard, shame on you.”

Eyes back on the highway, I gave response out loud.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. If I didn’t care about Clay would I have come all this way yet again? And yes, I’m concerned for myself. So what? I’ve been abused and misused too, to many times to count. What good is it if I don’t come into this thing carefully, wisely, and responsibly? Someone among the three of us needs to be anchored. Nothing but chaos there right now, always, so back off.

It was close to 3:30 in the afternoon. I was making good time having kept my stops short and sweet. A smell of the air told me I was close to the Rez. It was rank with the stink of oil wells and cattle farms, a tell tale indicator I was passing by the village of Rose Bud.

I always intended to research its history. I was curious. Did someone sarcastically name the place or did the name precede the raunchy odors common to the area, odors that’d been there as long as I could remember? Apart from the fumes, it was a nice place.

A handful of tribe members lived there. Land allotments were disbursed to members by Uncle Sam around the 1870’s. Years later, after plenty of corruption to get the land away from them, a few retained theirs, some near Rose Bud.

As the last bit of foul air exited my car I hoped something similar might have happened with the time I’d spend with Clay. Maybe the same could still be true for him. Perhaps whatever corruption was poisoning him or stinking up his life might be purged. Yes, a spiritual and mental cleansing, that’s what he needed. Or maybe an exorcism was appropriate according to the way His Favorite Gal was talking. None it mattered though if we couldn’t find Clay quickly enough. 

My exit was 2 miles ahead. It went into the small city adjacent to the Rez. The town’s city council and tribe’s governing body tolerated one another, barely. Boasting a nonexistent mount, the city and area lacked geographical character. Thinking out loud, I speculated about how the mount went missing.

“Well, the timber barons cleared the place of old growth trees and soon after, farmers leveled it for crops. Yup, that’s where it went.”

Taking my off ramp, an idea came to mind about the possible whereabouts of Clay. Years ago, he had disappeared and I was searching for him. Taking his preferences and quirks into account, I sherlocked his ass and found him at the dams on the river running through town. Train tracks (he always had a thing for trains) led to the place on the water. Maybe he went there. That’s where I’d start the search.