Well, I’ll tell it to you straight, my life has gone to poop. Here’s how I ruined it:
I’m on my third slow loop through a nearly-empty parking lot, passing by darkened stores as the last workers depart on a Sunday night. The land on which the mall sits was once part of the Everglades – I helped survey it as a summer job years ago. I’d wade into the forest with a machete and mark the trees developers would be saving – the slash pines were going, but the live oaks would stay to be stranded in asphalt.
Three days ago, Tristan, my cousin’s boyfriend, was waiting at a stop sign on his motorcycle when an inattentive driver plowed into him. If I delay my arrival any longer, I’d miss his viewing completely, so I finally drive across the street to the funeral home.
My sister, the wooly haired, laugh a lot, chatterbox, Liv Oh, at age nine or so, saw Digg, the goat bodied, eagle-headed desert God fucking his sister, Uwe, the gazelle bodied, fish-headed Goddess. Liv Oh witnessed the Holy Union in the high desert under bright spring skies and giggled, covered her mouth, too late.
Too late. Digg heard, spied, smelled, Liv Oh, took offense. He blinded my sister. Sealed her eyes shut.
Stunned in the suddenly velvet darkness under the bright eye of the sun Liv Oh gasped, fell to her knees, called out to Uwe.
Well fucked. Sated. Understanding giggling girls Uwe smiled on Liv Oh and gave her Second Sight, the ability to see things beyond the pale.
Liv Oh wailed, screamed her terror, her satisfaction, her blessing, her curse her prayers for protection and thanksgiving.
The desperate shrieks sent us running, leaping, flying to Liv Oh. In fear and dread, we raced to my sister.
I, Rok, two years older, embraced her questioned the cause of her apparent distress.
Bev Oh, our, sister one year younger than Liv Oh, grabbed us, defended us, pulled her dagger, searched for the threat.
Laughing, Liv Oh covered us with kisses, told her story, held our hands, rocked us with her joy.
Liv Oh only lies for the good of others or out of necessity. Well trusted. Easily believed. Highly regarded. Our tribe celebrated Liv Oh and her contact with the God and the Goddess. Most did.
A few denied her story. Some were jealous. Others believed the desert events were bad omens. A few fled to far places to escape the disease of divine corruption.
Soo Oh, of the dry wit, quick hands, dancing feet, dazzling smile, Liv Oh’s friendship sister, helped Liv Oh be effectively blind and perform all her chores, task and religious duties. Soo Oh kept her friend sister in laughter, delight, and involved in the activities of their peers.
Bev Oh and I stifled our pride in our sister and comforted and cared for her always and defended her on the rare occasions it was necessary.
All was better after Liv Oh’s blindness.
Three times thirty days later, just before the sun peeked over the horizon, Liv Oh pinched, prodded, pulled, and tugged us awake in the children’s hut. “Ibit! The Ibit are coming! Give the silent alarm.”
Like ants boiling from the nest, we quickly spread the word to the seniors, the elders and the outcast.
Liv Oh pointed to the Northwest and said, “The Ibit come in full battle gear at a rapid pace.”
Our warriors rushed to meet the Ibit in a pre-dawn ambush.
The youngest children, the elderly, the broken, and the ready to deliver women moved into hiding – ready to escape and quick march to our allies in the south.
The contest with the Ibit was quick and decisive. We surprised them. We defeated them. We killed two. We captured three. The Ibit were no longer a threat.
Our warriors suffered no injuries or losses.
We buried the Ibit with full honors where they fell.
The captured were led away to be sold into slavery far to the south of us.
There was three-days of mourning for the dead warriors followed by three of days of thanksgiving celebration and prayers.
It had been easy to accept Liv Oh’s claim to have the gift of Second Sight. It was altogether another thing to see her Second Sight demonstrated in such a dramatic fashion.
The three Elder leaders and the two tribal Seers were greatly offended that their offices were being usurped by the actions of a child.
The cowardly Elders didn’t challenge Liv Oh but ensured the poisonous ideas seeped into the tribe that my blessed sister was responsible for the unfortunate deaths in battle. The trio of Elders let fly the rumor that my sister was the cause of three years of bad luck that had descended upon us.
The Seers mumbled that Liv Oh stole their visions.
Mem Ah, the Chief Elder, chastised Liv Oh for being prideful, ambitious, and a disrupter of tribal harmony.
Soo Oh and Bev Oh and I and a handful of others stood with Liv Oh against the elders and their insidious and ruinous attacks.
Everything turned bitter for us all after Liv Oh’s demonstration of her Second Sight.
A divided tribe cannot stand long. It will be split or splintered or merged or destroyed.
Our joy, laughter, good nature, frolic and fun was in the dark shadow of the uneasy present.
Liv Oh rarely laughed, and her tongue cleaved to her mouth.
Soo Oh was clumsy and had lost her smile.
Bev Oh sharpened her daggers and bid her time.
The Seers had dulled their touch, lost their way, clouded their vision.
The Trinity forfeited the respect of the tribe. The ancient three spoke gibberish, were ignored, fall into disrepair.
Leaderless and contentious we were on the verge of extinction.
I fled our woodland summer home, back to the torrid high desert.
Under the relentless sun at the same spot Liv Oh encountered Digg and Uwe I sprinkled my blood, sweat, tears, seed, and spit in prayer to the good God and greater Goddess for understanding.
From sunrise to sun high to sunset I prayed. In the last rays of the sun, I received a vision: The Ibit are being pushed south by desperate new invaders with a different Goddess with vicious and ruthless ways. The invaders fight to harm and even kill. They are untrustworthy and lie and mislead, and their promises are dust and smoke.
These aggressors are being pushed south by even more heinous tribes.
I wept. I pled. The night-wind chuckled at my despair. The bright stars winked in amusement at my distress.
I raced back to our summer camp with a sore and bruised heart.
My vision frightened, unnerved, and deeply disturbed me.
The camp. Oh, the camp. The bloody camp.
Blood, blood, blood, everywhere.
Bev Oh greeted me with her bloody daggers in hand.
Soo Oh greeted me with a great gaping bloody smile.
Liv Oh wrapped me in her bloody embrace and claimed that Uwe demanded they sacrifice the unbelievers.
I told them of my vision as the smoke of the burning corpses of our tribe members filled our noses, turned our stomachs, and stung our eyes.
I didn’t want to live in our future world.
I could not live with my bloody kith and kin.
I sang my farewells as I fled to the West.
My great blessing was my ignorance of what awaited me.
I prayed for continued obliviousness and blind bliss.
Banner Image: Pixabay.com
“Three things?” he said.
“Three things,” Lexie said. She was lying on her stomach, ankles crossed and held in the air, typing on her Mac. He had a Dell himself. But Lexie and her mother were Apple through and through. His ex-wife would buy a toilet seat if the Apple logo was on it.
I woke up feeling tired, even though I thought that I had slept through the night. My wife Sally looked like she hadn’t slept much either. I expected her to complain about my snoring, but she surprised me by saying “Duke, when did you become a great singer?”
Here we are at week 165. This is one of the most up to date postings that I’ve ever written.
Underneath a billboard beside the highway, an imperious impression of a gorilla spun a banana-shaped sign which read “Free cable & HBO & air conditioning.” It was early spring and the air cool and crisp, but the gorilla had been at it for several hours—throwing the sign up in the air, swirling it around his limbs, passing it around his back—the man underneath undoubtedly hot from the body heat trapped in his fake polyester furs. Cars filled with people on their way to work would occasionally honk hello, and the gorilla man would wave and point at the sign. The cars would then slowly pass, the occupants smiling and nodding but not looking directly at him.