Sunday, April 5, 2015
Pay the Drummer, Get the Words
Clay took me by the hand like I was a teen boy and led me to the Pow-Wow entrance. As Aura, he addressed me directly in a dainty voice.
“Look here Mr. Migizi, this extended family, the tribe, needs to know you can dance. Can you?”
Stammering, I said, “Well… all I… got… are these… Chimook Mocs but yah… I’ll dance.
I snickered at being clever about calling my shoes by that name and waited for a response from the persona named Aura.
“Hmm…okay, now I get it, White Man Moccasins or just plain shoes. They look awful, now get out there,” she ordered.
Smoky Fish Singers were up next and those young dudes could really drum out a great sneak up song. Way back in the day I was pretty damned good at sneak up dancing but now, I entered the arena and was terrible. Too many wrinkles between dances I guessed.
“You stink,” I heard Aura say.
Clay had followed me out and grabbed my arm. Wow, what a jolt I got.
Ziiiiiiiiiing. And just like that I was changed. In my mind, I went back to being 17 and capturing a trophy for men’s best sneak up dancer of the year. I danced like crazy while being 17 and nearly 64 years old at the same time. The song ended and the crowd loved it. I walked away from the arena beamin’ with pride; easy enough when enchanted, hexed, or brain washed.
Clay waited for me at the entrance of the arena. Seeing him, I marveled at his age and my recognition of him regardless. I saw him through a young man’s eyes until, upon getting close enough, Clay grabbed my arm again. A sensation resembling electrical shock radiated throughout my body as perception shifted to being a geezer again and it angered me.
“Hey, hey, hey, what the hell was that? What did you do to me Clay? Did you dope me with something?”
Puzzled, Clay still in the persona of Aura, turned around and looked for the person I spoke of.
“Mr. Migizi, I don’t think Clay is here and I don’t know what you are talking about. You feeling sick or something? I can fetch the medics for you.”
“Aura is it? You grabbed my arm and I imagined I was 17 years old as I danced. How old are you anyway?”
Wrinkles of concern formed on Clay’s brow and he started to reach for my arm which I jerked away pronto.
“Take it easy mister. I’m 12 years old and I think I know what happened to you. Let’s go sit under that big cedar tree and talk,” said Aura, pointing toward the campground nearby.
In the distance, sirens at the tribe’s small firehouse blared to announce it was 6 pm, quitting time for tribal operations employees. The day’s warmth was being muscled out of the way by cool evening breeze. It was refreshing while caressing my sweat blotched polo shirt.
“Sit here on this grassy spot sir,” said Clay in a mousy and girly voice. “And don’t worry, I won’t touch you.”
I parked my confused old ass on the spot indicated and Clay, sitting before me cross legged, spoke.
“I have a gift from Creator you know, but it only works when someone needs it to. Today, well, I guess it was you. I zapped you didn’t I?”
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