Memorabilia: A Collection of Shorter Stories

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Chyld

“I see him, Bsalikai. He is still in the stars. He has yet to descend.” Spoke Milandral, her eyes sparkling as bright as the universe that surrounded her.

“Is he the blue light next to Efritees?” Bsalikai asks.

“Yes. Yes, that is he. Watch how he brightens. Now his birth will begin.” Milandral shivers with delight at the anticipation of her soul son’s birth. From her position beyond all time, and space, Milandral watches moments as they enter her spirit, lifted from an others experience, and placed in sequence for her to feel. The boy is her, and she is the boy.

Announced as a fat baby with too much hair, I popped out on a Saturday morning as the sixties sun was setting. I am told that I did not cry upon my entry to this world. I just smiled.

My first memory involves me bouncing to my heart’s content in a jolly jumper attached to the doorframe facing into our tile-floored kitchen. Our obese black cat would watch me with envy and I would watch him with the same longing. He wanted to bounce and get all the pleasure of our parent’s attention, while I just wanted to stretch out on the floor, unfettered by restraints, and be left to eat when I chose. Despite our palpable resentment of one another, we managed to get along quite nicely throughout our years together. As I never knew his real name, I will always remember him as “My little kitty”. I seem to remember calling him that, and he always responded without incident.

From here, things get rather vague until approximately four or five. At that age, I recollect standing on the couch, enveloped in my father’s arms, us both staring out the window at a nearby stop sign.

“S…T…O…P.”

My dad spelled the words out slowly, over-pronouncing each letter to the point of absurdity. To this day I can still hear those words perfectly. The gift of reading that he brought me at such a young age was one of many.

It was around this time that I found my first friend. His name was Bob. Bob and I would spend an enormous amount of time together doing all sorts of playful, fantastic activities. We baked bagels in an oven on the wall behind my bed, raced cars in world championships on my bedroom floor, and fought gallant wars on roads we made in the gravel of the driveway. Unfortunately, my friendship with Bob proved to be short lived. You see… no one else could actually see Bob other than me. This proved to cause an undue amount of anxiousness from the adults in my life at the time. Much effort was put into explaining to me that my friend did not exist. Soon enough, the effort paid off. I ultimately quit believing in Bob. I have often wondered, if everyone else had chosen to believe in Bob, would he have stayed?

“The animals like him. I suppose they see his soul. This makes me glad.” Milandral says with a smile.

“It is in his eyes. The veils of life are translucent to the animal kind. They recognize their own kindred spirit.” Bsalikai explains.

“I love him so. Do you think he knows we are here?” Milandral asks.

“Yes, Milandral, He knows we are here.” Bsalikai responds, reassuring her with a warm sensation of calm.

By the time I was eight I had decided I liked to fight. I still have no idea why. Perhaps it was because I was pretty good at it immediately. Paul Carter had asked me for a fight after school in the park, where all our fellow classmates could watch. I obliged and we met as planned, each with our respective posses in tow. Once we squared off, I proceeded to thump Paul once in the nose. Blood spewed everywhere. I felt it was a glorious moment. Paul disagreed.

“No fair! No fair! You’re not supposed to punch!” He said.

Although I did take the time to ponder his cries of injustice, I decided that the fight had indeed been more than fair. As a matter of fact, I concluded that punching was not only fair; it was also very effective. After this incident, I was determined to properly learn how to box like the boxers on television could box.

At this point of my life, my parents liked to wander, although, I think I would just have to call them opportunists. Some new job would offer itself up in the next town, or province over, and we would promptly pack up and move, no major questions asked. By the time I was in grade seven, I was entering my fifth school since my formal education had commenced. Friendships were all short-lived in those years. I’m pretty sure my girlfriend’s latest prognosis that I have a “fear of intimacy” is correct, and it very well could come from this migrant upbringing I was exposed to. I do think, if I managed to read enough self-help books, I could find myself a cure somewhere. That is, of course, if I ever decided I wanted a cure. I’ve always been happy being exactly who I am.

“He is changing Bsalikai. He no longer watches for us in the sun. He no longer sees as he should. For this I am worried. Will he come through clearly?” Milandral asks, her eyes giving away her anxiousness.

“Yes, Milandral, all is as it should be. These are confusing years for him. The intentions of others are forming in him now. He will wash this away in due time. There is no need to fear.” Bsalikai calms her fears with a knowing tone.

“I am his soul mother. For me there will always be fear and trepidation for him. I will watch and try to bring him light. Dark times are coming. I can feel this.” Milandral explains.

“Yes, Milandral, they must. It is his path.” Bsalikai responds in a sombre manner, as he again moves to concentrate on this most dangerous portion of his soul son’s path; the teen years…

I smoked my first joint at the tender age of thirteen. I bought it off the meanest, toughest kid I knew. It was strange how nice he was to me after I became his pot customer. It was like I had been initiated into some kind of clandestine fan club, only I was the only member. This guy didn’t like anyone, although, through a combination of fear and respect, all the cool kids liked him. His friendship with me was nearly unheard of, and, quite inexplicable. His acceptance instantly catapulted me into the status of being one of the coolest kids in school though. That’s when I decided to start selling pot myself, with him as my primary source. As cool and fun as it was to be in his, I wanted my own clandestine club.

After I’d been selling drugs for about four months, I embedded myself with a completely different peer group, one where I was no longer a follower. The mean kid had moved on, as a friend and a source. I’m not sure where he ended up, but jail is high on my list of guesses. Regardless, I wanted to be a leader, not a follower.

One occasion, on a regular Friday night in our redneck logging town, the excitement of an evening’s gravel-pit party was on all our minds. The obvious roadblock to our expectation for a night filled with drunken hedonism was our usual lack of funds. I decided to ‘step up’ and steal my dad’s liquor in order to share it with my friends.

Two older guys that had recently started hanging around our high-school, parking lot social circle offered to give me a ride to complete my heist. They had a car. That alone was enough to inspire my respect and adoration in those days, so I instantly accepted their invitation, as friends and as co-conspirators. On the ride to our objective, one of them offered me a toke of a joint. Not wanting to look in any way ‘uncool’, I obliged with a hefty inhalation of the particularly aromatic smoke. From here, that evening began to get a little hazy.

I know we stopped at my house, where I completed my daring theft of a large bottle of some sweet, cheap liquor. When I say, “daring theft,” I mean I walked into the basement, shoved a bottle from the shelving there into my jacket and walked up from the basement and out of the empty house. No one was home. It may not have been daring, but it was certainly theft.

After returning to the car with my loot, the drivers promptly assisted me with gulping back this entire bottle (of what may have been peach or maybe strawberry schnapps) in a matter of minutes. I managed to gulp back several ounces of it myself. It was disgustingly sugary and high in alcohol content, especially for a fourteen-year-old. I was drunk immediately.

At this point, I realized that my chauffeurs had no intention of returning me to my awaiting friends. These guys simply wanted my alcohol for themselves. Now we had drank it all, I was like a tossed candy bar wrapper on the back seat. I was going wherever they went, and they were disinterested in me, or anything I had to say. They turned the music loud and ignored me completely, laughing and joking with each other.

I began to lose consciousness in the back seat of the vehicle. At first, I had just closed my eyes to stop the car from spinning. I didn’t want to vomit all over the back seat of the car, as that may have elicited a violent reaction. Then, when the spinning finally stopped, I was no longer awake.
I first awoke to find myself alone in the car with all the windows fogged up from my breath. I reached up to give the glass a wipe to see where we were parked. From the view, I quickly ascertained that we were at the ocean. A sandy beach littered with driftwood and illuminated by the moonlight stretched out in front of me. My brand-new friends were nowhere in sight, so I relaxed back down in the seat and fell asleep once again.

When I next awoke, I thought I must still be at the same beach, as I could not remember any movement of the car since my last awakening, and the windows were still foggy. After concluding that my stomach had calmed down quite a bit, and my vision had returned to normal enough for me to get up and see what I was missing, I proceeded to open the passenger door and climb out of the car.

I was no longer at a beach. I was in somebody’s driveway next to a run down, rancher-style house. A little shaken, and discombobulated by the transition, I made my way towards the carport’s entrance to the home. I was now starving, so I stopped at an apple tree along the way and scored myself several apples that I held bunched up in the front of my shirt. Munching away, I wandered into the house where I could make out the sound of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” screaming from a radio.

The living room I entered was filled with about a dozen rough-looking, older kids. They were all engrossed in drinking beer, listening to the music. The room was roughly half women, half guys, and most were paired up. Each of the female counterparts sat there looking as indifferent as they could, and each clutched identical black leather purses with tassels and various trinkets dangling from the zippers.

My presence in the room didn’t seem to draw much attention from anyone, so I grabbed a seat on the corner of a couch and began to polish off the pile of apples in my lap. It was then that I looked up to see the barrel of a shotgun pointed at my head.

“Are you eating my fucking apples?” asked the long, rusty haired, dark eyed youth at the other end of the gun.

“Uh…ya…I guess I am. I got them off that tree outside.” I answered. The large mouthful of chewed apples suddenly took on the consistency of sawdust. I no longer had any saliva in my mouth to swallow it.

“Who said you could take my apples? You know what I do to people who steal from me? Do you? I’m gonna blow yer head off!” Even though his statement was uttered with what appeared to be absolute seriousness, for some reason, I could not respond with anything but a smile. The character in front of me combed my face for any shred of fear that he could feed off of, but he could find none. My lack of reaction may have been partly due to the mouthful I couldn’t swallow or talk through, but it came across as a fearless smile.

With ACDC’s “Hells Bells” providing the soundtrack in the background, our standoff lasted for what seemed to me like an eternity. Finally, after what was probably really only 20 seconds, the silence in the room was broken.

“Aww… I’m just fucking wit ya. I’m Mickey. You can have some of my apples. Just, next time, ask me first.” With that, the gun dropped down, was put away, and the party resumed around me. I placed the remaining stash of apples on the coffee table. I didn’t feel so well.

“Look at his eyes, Bsalikai. They are so tired and confused, and he is still so young. Have we chosen a path too difficult? I am afraid the obstacles in this life may prove too great for him. I am much saddened by his consumption of these intoxicants. Will he come through clearly? Will he find the light?” Milandral asks, disheartened by the evening’s nearly tragic conflict.

“Yes, my dearest Milandral, do not angst just yet. He will find his way from this period of self-destruction and gain much needed wisdom from its conflicts. A soul’s journey to enlightenment is never to be easy. The light will come.” Bsalikai says, with all the calmness he can now muster.

I will send him gifts now, Bsalikai. He will read and he will write. He will attract those who wish him well. He will have health and wellness of the body. I will bring him these gifts, Bsalikai. I will bring him gifts. I know we are not theoretically supposed to intervene in a soul child’s life, but I think I must.” Milandral insists. “No better life was there for him. The mistakes he makes carve him into the being he will become. I believe he will come through clearly. Now we will be at peace with who he is. Free will demands acceptance Bsalikai. It demands acceptance of what he will become.”

“Yes, the will is free, Milandral. The will must be free.”

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