Jim, Paradise, Chains, Glowing; the Boat, Father's Hope
So Jim looks at the sky + says "I see hell" looks at the trees across the pond + says "I see heaven" looks at Rollie + says "I see paradise" Rollie looks away, searching, Jim says "Yes, you yes I see paradise but you can't I see the worms eating their way to a glory that you their host cannot begin to bring to your soul"
"How can I do that, Jim?" + Jim says "Cleanse your soul put away all the crap you carry it just sticks there in front of your eyes like a brick wall keeping you in keeping you from seeing the great wide world"
"Jim, I've had that great wide world stuffed down my throat before + I've never seen it + now that I've got this cancer you think I can ever get beyond a brick wall I'm not I'm not convinced ever exists? you think I should buy binoculars? a periscope? what should I do to see that great wide world?"
"Get rid of the crap the chains you've been making all these years for yourself to wear. Period."
"Yeh, ch-ains, eh? shuck my brain down the d-rain + get on that t-rain + r-ride?"
"Get on that fuckin' train + ride just ride ride ride like Railroad Bill stand on that hill light thet cee-gar with a ten dollar bill ride ride ride"
"Where, Jim? r-ride where?"
"What does it matter? oh, I get noplace with you tryin' to lead you step by step you're like a petulant little kid fighting every frickin' step I'm gonna hafta do something drastic"
Jim went away. Rollie watched his shape shrink - not that gradual reduction in apparent size as a person walks away, but a real shrinking right in front of him. If Rollie cocked his head one way, it looked like Jim was walking away, but unbelievably fast. Cocked the other way, Jim just shrank in size - about his belly, for his head went down + his feet came up + his sides squeezed in so fast until there was just a blistering radiant homunculus in the air before him, at belly button level, snaking a barely visible gossamer thread toward him until it touched his navel Rollie glowed almost imperceptibly but undoubtedly. [Note]
"Jim" his voice floated hardly more than air in the air "I'm on fire"
He looked up the sky was iron but laced with just-lighter streaks of cloud as he stared blinked once a brilliant orb skated in from one side he could feel the light just touch his face he was aware of the faint rocking like the vast ocean he had recently uncurled from a dark clunk near but sounding distant a wisp of flannel scooted across his chin a pair of deep brown eyes swooping across the orb replacing its vast light with sparkles the press of arms cradling him a rock to the side + back + another vague clunk the eyes peered down into his he felt his face crinkle his mouth open his arms wiggle a "heh" gasping out of him + another light opened up above him a thin crescent releasing a chuckle
The man cradles the babe, making tiny rocking motions, grinning at the little twitches + gurgles coming from his arms. The oars clunk gently against the boat. He looks at his wife in the other end. She smiles under her head scarf. The trees a dark silhouette jagged around the lake, a slightly darker black behind them arcing above to where the bright full moon pierced a hole. "I have made a man," he thinks. "He will do what I never could do. He will havee a better life growing up than I did. He will extend me. I will not die. I will live to see him write about this very moment + tell others about this supreme moment, this capturing of the world in a rock of the boat, singing of eyes to eyes connecting two lights so by knowing each other they know the world. And there, the woman who did this for me, she sits watching the lights pass between eyes + eyes, the second moment of creation for her. I take this babe, I dedicate him to the lights."
He rode the rails looking for work like many men in the 30's hopping aboard while police wereen't looking, hopping off to work in some farm fields for meals or catching pickup jobs in cheese factories, heading for Eugene, where steady jobs were promised in dreams, ending up in the enlisted Army stationed at Fort Snelling where meals + mail were guaranteed.
"You think you're too good to be your father?"
"I think I'm not good enough to be my father."
"Then why do you despise him for not having the guts to pursue his dreams?"
"I did that once, but now I have great empathy for his situation."
"Can you explain his situation?"
"Poor. Growing up poor son of a farmer whose wife ran away to California, struggling to earn his meals + finally attaining that capability only to have to now struggle to earn meals for his family. Sweating in a factory day after day, years later seeing headway to buy a car, a tv set, provide something beyond bare necessity for his family, then hit with the palsy that slacked him for years + finally doomed him to a surgery-caused stroke. In the end rocking in his grave like that other night long ago with babe in arms on the Minnesota lake, only me to fulfill his dreams."
[980426.1607: That may explain his glowing hand at the Pigeon River.]
- Lone Coyote Calls