Sunday, May 24, 2015

Only Blood




And speaking of blood, mosquitoes showed up for their evening take if we’d give it. Sheriff looked for me to be insulted or provoked and unlike the bugs, I didn’t bite. Grabbing wood from the small pile nearby, I fueled both literal and figurative fires. 

I stepped away far enough to grab a few handfuls of cedar leaves. I tossed some on the fire and it crackled, hissed, and smoked away the blood suckers. Taking no chances, I got the bug dope ready and was glad Clay remembered it.

“Gonna be getting dark in a couple hours Sheriff. You want some of this bug repellant or are you going with the traditional stuff? Oh, that’s right, our ancestors, if here right now, wouldn’t think of using this. They’d be traditional.”

Sheriff glared at me and tensed up at my sarcasm but I kept on.

“Now what did their magic medicine for mosquitoes consist of? That’s right; they slapped the dammed things, covered themselves in mud, or stood next to smudge fires. Yup, then they died of lung cancer or consumption at age 30.”

“Half breed, only a half breed making fun of his heritage, right Migizi?”

“So we’re back on this again. Good, let’s discuss the shit out of this thing if you’re up for it Sheriff.”
“Bring it Apple,” said Clay under the influence.

I thought this persona, Sheriff, would have gone all culture-cop on me for using cedar the way I had. No, he went after the blood quantum issue, a favorite among traditionalists. 

“So Sheriff, you are among those who attempt logic with regard to making a case against mixed ethnicity. You attempt it and fail because of flawed logic and reason. You think and believe Native heritage is literally captured in the blood and diluted by mixing with another ethnic group.”

“Yes,” said Sheriff, “but about flawed…”

I cut him off and jumped in. Tossing more cedar on the fire, I forced it to flare. 

“Bullshit. Apart from physical features attained via genes, you peel the skin off and put the blood in a bowl, human is human and blood only blood, red at that. Oh-oh, I guess that makes all humanity Native.”

“Come on Clay, shift dam it.”

Despite my facetiousness he sat there silent and made fists so I pursued from a different angle. 

“Admit it Sheriff, we’ve both known so-called 100% natives who lacked the heart and spirit and non-native folk who exemplified the culture more through their actions. And another thing, I’m damned tired of the blatant hypocrisy of you traditional types.”

Clay’s posture changed slightly, he relaxed his hands and spine somewhat, so, I went on to finish my rant.

“Sure, wear your hair long, wear the jewelry, do the ceremonies, Pow-Wow, learn the language, and preach a return to the old ways as the save-all solution for all that ails us. Prideful, you condemn and ridicule others like me who have adapted and there you are, driving your cars, using high-end cell phones, buying smokes, alcohol, and dope. Bullshit I say and back the hell off if you can’t live the life as a purest. Those who try so hard to appear native aren’t, not in heart and spirit anyway.”

“Strong words Migizi,” said Sheriff, still controlling Clay. “I guess being half-breed has forced your hand maybe.”

Surprised that he backed off, I followed suit.

“Yup, if you only knew the half of it Sheriff, get it?”

Lightening the tension further, I busted out laughing and Sheriff chuckled at my pun. Stopping mid-chuckle, Clay’s eye’s iced over.

Craps! Roll the dice.

Copyright © 2015 Migizi M. New Song. All Rights Reserved.