Monday, May 4, 2015

Suspiciously Invited

Gal’s typically abrupt and unfinished ending summarized the developing saga arresting me. “…and besides”, that concept kept turning up like Tarot cards placed on a table. Each revealed and predicted ongoing drama void of redemption, well, by my perception.

I think the two hour return ride aged my spirit twenty years. Offsetting it a freckle was the fact I felt about half my physical age much of the time. The formula burst into flames when I approached the driveway and Gal’s car wasn’t there. Surely she would have gotten groceries already.

Turning off the car, I noted the time as being 7:45.

Shoulda drove 55 mph and wasted more time,” I thought, beating twilight by half an hour. I got to the porch and kid came around the corner of the house.

“Uncle, I got a message for ya,” said the teenage Nishnob boy and placed a tobacco bundle in my right hand.

Receiving a traditional and formal invitation was very awkward for me. Being born a half-breed scarred me when young while also tainting my interest in “the old ways.” I knew enough to make me a joke to many fellow Chippewa and quaint to nostalgic non natives. Having left the Rez for higher education worsened my condition.

“What did I just agree to nephew?” I asked. “What does it involve? Do you know?”

“I was told you’d ask and to tell you it involves your friend. Follow me Uncle.”

“Hold up, I gotta piss like a…well…like an old guy and I just got home from a long drive. Come in while I put my bag away.”

“Ah, no, no thanks. All us kids been told to never go inside this house. Are you testin’ me Uncle?

“What? No. And who told you to… Never mind. I’ll be right back.”

Finishing my chore, I grabbed one of two towels and swim trunks I happened to pack. I brought them in case I spent the night in a motel with a hot tub.

On my way back from the can I spotted a small note on the table from Gal.

Hey Ain’t It, I got called away but wanted ya to know. That phone plug being slightly unplugged reminded me. That’s what Ginx likes to do when she’s gots control of Clay. If ya find him, the best way to know if it’s Ginx is to look for Lady Bugs nearby. His Favorite Gal. PS, I’ll try to come back soon.

“Dammit all,” I said out loud and the kid spoke up.

“What’s that Uncle? Hey, I don’t wanna be a pest but they is all waitin’ on us.”

I turned the porch light on and closed the doors. Joining the kid on the porch, we walked toward the Pow-Wow grounds in near dark conditions.

Clay and I participated in a sweat lodge ceremony years ago. I went as his guest, was tolerated, but didn’t feel welcome. Why did I receive an invitation if not in connection with my brother who was missing? Hoping to locate Clay, I accepted. 

Sore about being deceived, I festered as we walked. Of the annoying an ugly things people can do, deception is among the worst in my little book of peeves. The ultimate one is betrayal whether from others or self.

The Pow-Wow announcer’s voice bounced tree to tree and spoke of the last dance. The drum sung as we walked past. If memory served, a foot path to the lodge was at the far edge of the campground.

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