Monday, July 6, 2009

Mohave Summer

Chapter One

Dale and I caught a train heading west in Las Cruces New Mexico. This was no easy task as Dale was what I would call retarded and the more politically correct crowd would call challenged. Hell, Dale was the kind of guy that everything was a challenge for. Not that he was not an able guy it just took a shit load of time to get him moving in the direction you wanted him too. I had to explain to him over and over what we were going to do. He would listen like someone blowing over a half drank coke bottle making a slight moaning sound. “Dale we are going to jump on this train and take it to Arizona,” then Dale would say, “Uuuuhhhhhhhhh.” Just like the damn coke bottle sound. After a dozen or so goes at it Dale would finally comprehend and give me the super understanding Dale smile. He would put his teeth together with the gap in the middle showing nice and sweet and pull his big smackers away from them. His face would light up like a Christmas tree and understanding would take over. That would be it for Dale. Once he got it there was no going back. He was like an attack dog on a singular mission. No deviation, no surrender until the task was accomplished.

He jumped on the train while it was moving and turned around looking at me running beside it trying to get on as well. I threw our bag of meager possessions up to him and he giggled and threw it back to me. “Dale just hold on to the fucking bag.” “Uhhhhhhhhh,” and a crazed moon chuckle was all I got in return for my efforts, but goddamn that got me laughing so hard that when I made my move to enter the world of rail riding the trip almost ended right there. I made my grab for the box car and almost slipped right off of it, onto the tracks, and to an uncomfortable ending of ,what could be, the best summer ever. Dale though, in a moment of retard clarity, reached down with his Lenny like strength and heaved me in laughing like a mad man the whole time. He is a funny mother sometimes that Dale.

So that is it. We are now heading west young man, on the back of a steel elephant. To the real west where it is still wild and raw and nasty. To drink pirate rum, howl at the moon, fuck copious amounts of relenting women and sally forth into debauchery like no one has ever heard of. Into a place where motorcycles and dune-buggies share the road. Where big boats run the Colorado and the bars smell like vomit and burnt condoms. Smack dab in the middle of the Mojave desert is a place that is the Shang-ri-la of people looking to drink doubles and act single. A place where the percentage of alcohol related accidents in the summer is only topped by the amount of women carrying sexually transmitted diseases trading them with men like Pokemon cards. The CDC could use it as a petri dish. The Mojave valley. Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Dale is over in the corner rolling a joint and giggling to himself. Dale was taught to roll joints at a young age by his Mother. It was her way of saying “hey your a retard, not a useless retard.” Dale has a younger brother named Six Dollar Dave, he is a manager at Carl's Jr, who once told me that Dale was rolling joints for Mom ever since he could remember. Pretty sure she was smoking when he was in the old breadbasket too. Dale at 29 years old cant tie his own shoes but he can roll a perfect doobey in less than two minutes. He is a fucking genius at it. The positive side is when he is stoned he doesn't act as dopey as he normally does. Or maybe when I'm ripped out of my head I don't notice it as much. Someday I will have to try and not smoke when he does and solve that riddle. Meanwhile I use the two minutes I have to spare before spark time to check our thrown together mess of belongings in the single pack I brought along. Inside is two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a box of condoms, a sweater my dear old Grandmother bought me from JC Penny's at Christmas last year, 4 pairs of shorts, eighty dollars in bills and coin, a map of Arizona, and 3 tee shirts. One of the tee shirts has a picture of The Hulk on the front that belongs to Dale, another teeshirt has a picture of a girl dancing on a pole with a caption underneath that says “I support single mothers, one dollar at a time”. That one belongs to me. Things that are blatantly missing are underwear, socks, and any toiletries. Neither one of us has any use for underwear, the only shoes we brought were the flip flops on our feet and I figure we can steal tooth brushes from the local drug store when we get where we are going.

Dale finished the joint and passed it over for the lighting ceremony which consists of me taking the lighter out of my pocket and getting the fire started. He probably has passed me over a thousand silly sticks in my lifetime and they all have looked exactly the same. It just occurred to me that he never once has lit his own. Not once. Fucking retard. I take a huge stinky rip and pass it his way. No coughing, no fuss, just pure la la loopy fun.

I dig out the map of Arizona and stare at the route we are taking to get to Lake Havasu. The box car we are currently sitting in is attached to a big ass engine that is bound for California with a stop in Parker, Arizona. My drunk Uncle Tom, no not the one from the cabin, works for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad company as a switch supervisor. I do not have a clue what the hell that is but he knows where all the trains go to and can spit out timetables and cities all around the country. Other than that he is a considerable piece of shit with whom I probably would not talk to very often but he grows the best pot in a green house in his backyard. He was also the one that told us a lot about Lake Havasu, the train going near there, and what we would come to expect out there. O.K. so he redeemed himself a little bit by doing that and he unknowingly let us steal a half pound of his finest Though, before he started smoking he used to beat the bah-Jesus out of my Aunt Helen. I stole the pot for her outta protest for historical wrong doings and such. God damn I am zipping up to twenty five thousand feet now and getting off track. So Uncle Tom gave us a lot of ammo for our traveling/adventuring guns and now we are headed for Parker, Arizona where we should be able to get drunker than a hundred Indians and hitch the last hour up to Lake Havasu.

I have a buddy I went to school with who lives up there also and has been hounding me to come up for a few years. He moved out there about five years ago from Las Cruces. He used to beat up Dale all the time in school and I used to beat him up for beating Dale up and we all became great pals. His name is Mark but everyone who knows him calls him Tread-Mark because of an occasion where his ex-girlfriend ran him over on purpose with his own car. Broke his leg in two places and left him with a hobble that just wont quit. I do not think the son of a bitch has worked a whole day in his life since. That hobble gets him laid about three nights a week too. The girls feel sorry for him I guess. Any way, Tread-Mark has been wanting us to come out and visit, Uncle gave us the means, and I had never rode in a box car before so there we are.

Besides that life in Las Cruces, as with many places in America right now, sucks a big fat cock. I am a used Recreational Vehicle salesman. Dale washes the RVs in the back for minimum wage plus all the coffee and dough-nuts he can stomach. I have lost my home and am living with Dale and his vindictive stoner hippie mother. My car got repossessed last week and the weather calls for more shit coming out of the east by way of the IRS. Fuck it. Fuck that life, fuck that way of living, fuck it all. I am done with trying to live like everyone tells me I should. I do not give a flying fuck about the Dow Jones, who the President is, what new fucking movie is out, and who Brittany Spears is banged by behind a garbage bin while doing rails off of the cock of the actor who played guy number two for the night. I do not care see. It all is a great big ball of horse-shit see. It is a distraction from what truly matters in life, living, and it makes me feel as hopeless as a guy trying to open a pickle jar without opposable thumbs. I mean come on. It is just too fucking much to deal with. End of rant.

I mean I tried folks. I tried to live the normal life. I tried to have a dog, and a job, and only one girlfriend who I was going to marry someday, and a house that I owned, and tons of cool stuff. Guess what? Even though my tax money is going to the banks that initially fucked us all in the first place I still cannot get anyone approved for an RV loan. That means I cannot sell a god damn thing. That means that I cannot pay for my home which was foreclosed on by the same bank that I gave my tax money too. That means that the car I bought that was safe and green and reliable got picked up by an asshole who's tow truck blows diesel smoke and said Camel Towing on the side of it. The repo guy isn't hurting for business let me tell you. My dog ran away and my girlfriend ended up giving me HPV that she got from the next door neighbor that worked nights at the local Denny's. She was banging him while I was trying to get old people to pull the trigger on overpriced hunks of shit that were last years models that did not sell then. End of rant number two. Maybe more later, I'm stoned, deal with it.

So with that said I am no longer part of the rat race I am part of no race. I have no creed, no social standards or standing, and no morals. I am and will now always be a nothing. I am the guy that the sign is for on the bathroom door at six dollar Dave's fast food joint. Se lave los manos. Actually I am not even that guy. I am the guy that if you tell me to wash my hands I am going to tell you to go fuck a Nun. I am a camp counselor at camp run-a-muck. Dale is the nurse. The world is my piss pot. I am a big failure. I am a bum on a train. I have a retarded best friend who rolls joints. I have to put cream on my dick once a day. I sell pot for a living. I have eighty dollars to my name. I will spend the next four months of my life, from memorial weekend to labor day weekend, in the Mojave desert in what some would call a free falling downward spiral. Tra la dee da, hoopity hoo. The crazy thing is for the first time in a long time I am really stoked about all of it.

Chapter 2: Stoned Train to Parker

Just a heads up. The text that is smaller than what you are reading now is excerpts of really fucked up shit that I wrote in my pocket journal while leveling off at 35000 feet. Yes I have a journal, no I do not suck balls and assholes. It is either this and weed or assault rifles and post offices. You decide. One of the excerpts is a story told by the Indian Princess Dawn Potter, she had a white dad which explains the name, and another one was a dream I had on this very train I am on now. I wont spoil it for you though.

So after blowing through a few joints with Dale and watching the early morning turn bright and desolate I started scratching away with pen ink and paper.
I am out of the city now, away from the hustle and flow of life in las Cruces and into the rural desert area east of Tucson. Dale and I are on joint number 4 and I am higher than Ben Franklin's kite. I dosed through the erratic transition between sweltering, jumbled, madness that is Las Cruces and the light, sleepy, slowness of the countryside. The stark light, tan mounds, browns, rocky hills, and cloudless blue skies seem to be awkward and desolate and beautiful all at the same time.

The train rolls on, rocking back and forth, lurching and shaking as if it has some kind of illness it cannot explain. Small clouds dot the sky now and the sun seems to be plowing through them in an unhurried nomadic way. I have slowed down as well. I feel rested and young and indifferent. The ungodly tossing and turning that has plagued me for a week while worrying about the end of my normal existence, has ended and I am painfully aware of being lolled to sleep while moving. My stomach is full of peanut butter, jelly, and wheat bread.

It is not all space and dust out here. Technology raises its many faceted head in the distance, diffracting light and peace and simpleness, detracting from its surrounding, a cellular tower. A country woman is out feeding chickens. She is probably a decendant from many other women who stood and fed the relations of the chickens pecking around her feet. Hopefully she never realizes what the cell tower bodes or maybe she already does. Her man is stuck between rows of cabbages, endlessly toiling for his family, weeding. Another house in the distance and a man raises his arm in a forlorn salute and waves it from his front porch, to me and a toothy Dale, not in greeting but to say goodbye to us and things he will never see. As the train passes him everything is soft, muted, tan and brown.

All the thoughts of whats ahead have been thought and discarded. As long as the train continues on its path I will continue along mine. This train is my destiny for the moment. The quiet before the storm. The path of the train is easy and meandering without deviation except for the lurch and roll, though that too is constant. Maybe the lurch and roll is the trains unhappy way of dealing with the smoking tendrils of thought about life on a straight path. The whisper of a life of freedom and choice. The train has the same choices as its passengers, to stop or to go, to be or not, for good or not. To close our eyes or to have them opened. I fear for those who have their eyes closed. What will happen when they miss the transitions that life has put before them. Will they be able to adjust to the stark difference of their own reality, of where they were to where they ended up? Will they be able to see how they arrived there?

The sun is high in the sky. Just sitting up there making the sky turn liquid, chaotic and crazy. It is an emotional thing this train and for awhile I look at the emotions around the train painted like the liquid sky, chaotic and crazy. Dale looks anxious to reach a destination, maybe any destination, or maybe he looks onto his final destination with trepidation and loathing. My only thoughts are of where we are at and what is happening around us. Outside of this pent up emotional vehicle a bright slow landscape passes by. It barely takes note of our passing and we barely have a chance to process it. Just more strangers meeting in someplace they thought they would never see each other. Still the music of the desert plays on, the mournful voice of wind sings her fears to us and to the countryside abyss outside. It makes me feel alone for a spell because I do not understand the words, so I do not understand her worry. Though this passenger feels alive because of it. To be someplace that I have never been before, sitting here in a boxcar with only my thoughts to keep me company.

I could jump from the train right now and be lost to the world forever. I do not though. I have Dale roll two more joints for me and him. For now this is my home, my path, and the only place I want to be.

Reading back over this I realize that I am out of my god damn mind and I start to giggle just like my retarded buddy. If you have never been on a trip across a desert I recommend it. It is a beautiful place because of its bleak nothingness and strange quiet. I wish I had some mushrooms. That would be a good time but I know at some point I would be out the doors and rolling down an embankment to live with the fairy people. I probably would be lost forever with a saguaro cactus up my ass and snakes and scorpions doing a mariachi dance on my sun bleached skull.

Well no mushrooms here and so Dale and I passed the time across the desert by snoozing and smoking. We had full water bottles and no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which is kind of shitty seein as how we had the munchies something fierce. We talked about food a bit though. Bacon, eggs, toast and orange juice is what we agreed upon as the best meal ever created. Dale is pretty specific about the things he likes. He is pretty vocal in that sense. Well as vocal as a retard with a speech problem can be.

I met him when we were 12 years old. He walked right up to me and slapped me in the mouth as hard as he could. Now Dale is no slouch and was always bigger than everyone else in that mongoloid kind of way. He was guffawing like the crazy person that he is when I picked myself up off the ground and punched him dead in the mouth with everything I had in me. Two things happened at the same time.
The first was that I really do not believe that Dale had ever been hit before in his life. When I punched him he fell down on his butt and just sat there putting the universe together in his own special way. The output of that input was that him and I were friends from that day on. No matter the social injustices that were received by yours truly for being friends with a big old laughing dumb ass, he was still my friend and I looked after him. I can't say now why I have been his friend for this long without sounding trite and simple myself. The guy makes me piss my pants. He has got a big ass heart and I swear he is smarter than most everybody else on the planet.

The second thing that happened when I punched him was that Mrs. Dunnhill a teacher at our elementary school, or Dunghill to us kids, and also the wife of a preacher at the Baptist church across the road saw me flatten him. She was sort of the moral thermometer in town. What transpired next was not only the most fucked up thing that had ever happened to a boy but should have been illegal. This crazy broad runs down the stairs from the school building and runs over to me yelling her fool head off the whole god damn way. She runs up to me and grabs me with her big meats by the throat while chanting at the top of her throat “you apologize, you apologize right now damn you” over and over again like a fucking loon. I cant apologize for shit because she is cutting off the blood and airflow to my noggin and I'm starting to get tunnel vision. No shit, I had bruises on my throat. Well that bitch drags me into the principals office and tells him what I did. He starts yelling at me and I am still recovering my vision when he starts whacking my ass with a paddle. I do not know how many times that fuckin screw ball whacked me but I woke up in the nurses office with my Dad thumping me on the head yelling wake up you son of a bitch. I had a damn diaper on because my ass was bloody and raw. My Dad thumping me on the head with his fist, the principal talking sternly to my mother outside the nurses office while Dunghill was nodding her head vigorously. My Jaw hurt because Dale whacked me and I could barely swallow because of the choke hold Mother fucking Superior put on me. I looked up at my Dad and I do not to this day know what my he saw in my eyes but he stopped cuffing me with a quickness. I got up from the table and walked over in my diaper and closed and locked the door on the Principal, Dunghill, and my Mother. I then walked back over to my dad and told him exactly what had happened from start to stop. My Dad teared up a little bit which I took as a good sign. He put a sheet around me to save me some embarrassment and took me out and put me in the car.

What happened next I only heard about second hand but it was almost worth the beating I took to hear about it. Almost. See Dad is slow to get angry but those steps from the car back to the school most have been long enough to get him down right boiling. A friend told me that he was standing outside of the Nurses office when my Dad came back. He grabbed the principal by the neck and shoved him into the infirmary. From what my friend told me he took off his belt and held the wiry little principal while he whipped him into unconsciousness. Dad worked on Diesel engines for the local electric company. He was not a huge man but I could attest that he was stronger than most men bigger than himself. When my Dad left the infirmary my friend said the principal was laying on the floor. He then grabbed Dunghill by her neck and marched her all the way across the street in the middle of town to the church where her husband was the minister and where we all went. I do not know what transpired over there but I saw him as did a lot of other people march her over there kicking and screaming the whole time.

About a week later I went back to school with some bruises and a sore butt. I held my head up high and had never been more proud of being my fathers son. He had righted a lot of wrongs in one fell swoop. We still attended the same church. The only things that changed after that day were that Dunghill was very reluctant to get in the lime light. The city council stopped corporeal punishment without Parent permission and I was best friends with a retard named Dale that made it all happen. Told ya he was smarter than everyone else.

Chapter 3:Sheep dreams

I woke up right before dawn as the train lurched to an awful stop. Dale smiled at me and I smiled back. He was already fixing up the morning smoke signals and I started to think about the dream I had. It ended and the train stopped. It was all about Sheep and Wolves and Shepherds. It was pretty fucking nuts. I will try my best to relate it here.

In the seven connecting valleys of Heron there lived a heard of sheep. These were not the normal sheep we are familiar with today. They were not slow witted and bullish nor were they pinned or kept by anyone. They were magnificent sheep that roamed the seven valleys navigating by keen intellect and sharp instincts.
They had lived in this valley as far back as they could remember. Time was not something that was measured more of something that was realized as it passed. They did not count the seasons but knew that when it started turning cold it was time to move down the seven valleys into the southern areas. When they reached the last of the seven valleys in the south they would turn around and migrate back to the north. Thus they passed the years moving north and south as the weather dictated.
The sheep themselves were aware. They gave great thought to what there place was in the world. The did not consider themselves above or below any other animal on the ground or in the air. They knew about the other animals and watched as they went about their business as the sheep went about their own. Migrating and eating grass, migrating and eating grass. The sheep enjoyed the simpleness of life and the conversation amongst themselves on the many wonders of it.
The sheep were different from one another as we are different from each other. Not only in color but in propensity. They all looked different with colors as widely displayed as a rainbow but they also had different outlooks on the world around them and shared them freely. They bred when the group was lacking in numbers and they kept a sort of equilibrium with the quantities of grass available and the amount of sheep in the group.
Inhabiting the valleys were also a pack of wolves. The wolves were fine animals as well. More exotic and intelligent than any wolf of our day. In fact the sheep would not have minded the wolves at all except that sometimes they would feed on the sheep. The sheep were always wary of the pack because of this and tried to make sure that no sheep strayed off on its own. They failed in this sometime and one of the sheep would stray and be taken by the wolf pack. They always reminded themselves that in numbers they were far superior to the wolves and all they had to do was stick together.
The wolves lived on the outskirts of the valleys in the forests and behind the hills of the wide open spaces that the sheep frequented. They roamed and played, raised their pups, and hunted for food. Like most animals they too migrated from the northern valleys to the southern valleys and back again with the seasons. They were a jovial pack and had a strong sense of family. They all had different personalities and nuances but for the most part they formed a tight unit.
They did not hunt the sheep singularly but took sustenance when and where it came. In fact sometimes the wolves would sit on the edge of the forest and listen to the herd of sheep talk amongst themselves, discussing everything under the sun, and think about these things too. Like the time did not pass for them, they just existed. They thought about themselves and the place they made for the pack in the world and were happy with it.
One day a shepherd came amongst the sheep and talked with them. He told them stories of things they had never before heard from outside the seven valleys. He told them stories of his life and his family and his adventures. The sheep grew to love the shepherd and the shepherd grew to love the sheep. He stayed with the sheep for many years. He was amiable, and a great companion for the sheep.
One day while the shepherd was walking he came upon a lamb who had strayed from the herd and was surrounded by the wolf pack who was steadily closing in. The shepherd picked up a knobby branch of an old oak tree, gave a ferocious roar and charged into the wolf pack. The wolves were taken by surprise and began to turn and run. The shepherd however was faster still and struck one of the wolves on the head. The rest of the wolves ran back into the forest and hid among the trees, whispering amongst themselves about this new animal. Wondering why he chased them from food that rightfully belonged to them.
The Shepherd picked up the unmolested lamb that had strayed and took it back to the herd. The lamb told all the other sheep the story of the shepherd and how he had saved him from certain death at the hands of the wolves. He recounted how the shepherd had yelled and hit one of the wolves with a staff. The lambs were at first confused by the actions of the shepherd who had killed a wolf but they became so overjoyed at the return of the lamb they soon forgot their uneasiness.
Meanwhile the wolves had come back to the spot of the attack by the Shepherd. They were utterly amazed to find the wolf who had been struck still laying in the same spot dead. They talked this over for many nights and came to the conclusion that the shepherd did not want the wolves for food, the shepherd wanted the wolves destruction.
This incensed the wolves. They made forays into the herd of sheep in the darkest of night to retaliate against the sheep and the shepherd. Now no longer did they kill sheep for food but for revenge on the shepherd. The shepherd had kept his staff however and anytime the wolves would attack the shepherd was there to drive them away. Due to the heroics of the shepherd the sheep made him the leader of the pack.
From then on the Shepherd would protect the herd from the wolves. He would still lose sheep sometimes but it was not because he did not try and protect them. Sometimes they still wandered off. He also took charge of moving the sheep to a different valley when he thought the valley they were in was getting to full of wolves.
No more were the days of the sheep slowly progressing through the valleys as the seasons dictated. Now the Shepherd and the wolves dictated the pace. Sometimes the sheep would leave the valley before the grass had all been eaten, other times the sheep would stay to long and some of the flock would die of hunger.
The shepherd pushed the sheep to reproduce more to make up for the lost numbers that the wolves would take and that died from hunger. The sheep trusted the shepherd and promised to do just that. In fact even though more sheep died in the next few years than had ever died before the sheep flourished as a species. The sheep hardly ever noticed when a sheep would be taken because of the abundance of sheep in the herd.
This was also true of the wolf pack. They flourished as the sheep did. They had an abundant food source and lusted after the meet of the sheep. Sometimes they would forgo other animals in the forest because they liked sheep better than anything else. This went on for generations of wolves and sheep. It lasted for eight thousand years.
During this time the shepherd had grown very old while his herd of sheep had flourished in numbers never before reached. It was not the same herd as he had once known thousands of years before. It was very rare that any of the sheep talked to the shepherd. In fact a sheep had not talked to him for a couple thousand years. These sheep only ate and slept. He had to move them to southern and northern valleys when the weather turned with his will, and sometimes with violence by striking out at them with his old staff of oak. He was lonely and old, and he knew that his time in the valleys would soon be over.
Even though he no longer had the same relationship with the sheep as he had before he still felt obligated to make sure they were cared for after he left. The sheep were stubborn and unintelligent now and in no shape to care for themselves. He thought about this problem for twenty years until he came to the only conclusion that the shepherd could think of that would save his sheep from total annihilation. He would have to talk with the only other species that needed the sheep for their own survival.
The Shepherd left the sheep one day and strode into the forest. He could sense that the wolf pack was all around so he called out in his voice to the wolves that he wanted an audience with them. The wolves responded with growls and howls, barks and gnashing of teeth. They were no longer the wolves that they had been either. They had become killers, hunters, rippers, cutters, shredders. They knew that the shepherd had killed hundreds, if not thousands, of wolves in his life time. They could smell death on him and they longed to bring that to him.
The Shepherd did not give up on his idea however and soon found the most ancient of all the wolves. The leader of the pack. The pack leader was thousands of years old and was the son of the first wolf that the Shepherd had ever killed. Though he hated the Shepherd for his waste and theft that day, he also respected the Shepherd as a warrior and pack leader of the sheep so he allowed him to come forward.
The Shepherd told the pack leader that he was going to die soon and that when he did the sheep in their current state would be totally open to complete destruction by the wolf pack. Without him they would not move in cold weather and would not stay together to protect themselves against the wolves. The wolf smiled at this knowing the Shepherd was telling the truth. The Shepherd continued by saying the destruction of the entire herd by the pack of wolves would not be in the best interest of the wolves themselves.
The shepherd then outlined a plan where the wolf could feed his pack for an eternity. He taught the wolf how to be a shepherd. He taught him about the seasons and when the sheep needed to be moved. He taught the wolf that by using the herds own fear he could move them when they needed to be moved. He taught the wolves everything he had learned about how to make the sheep flourish. The pack leader listened to everything the shepherd said and thought about it for some time. He then asked the Shepherd why he should follow the plan laid out for him. The Shepherd gave the pack leader the only thing he had to give, his life. He promised the pack leader that his pack could have him with no fight if the wolves would swear on his oak staff, with the blood of a thousand wolves on it, that they would follow the plan.
That night the pack leader agreed to the terms set out by the Shepherd and swore his most solemn oath on the oak staff. When he was finished the Shepherd dropped his staff to the ground allowing the wolf pack to tear him apart. They fed upon him all night until the early morning when not one drop of blood from the Shepherd was left. They then set about the task that the Shepherd had outlined for them. Using fear to control the sheep and drive them where they needed them to go. This lasted for many years.
One day a black sheep was born. Due to the way the sheep were breading a black sheep had not been born in some time. The sheep were mostly white and were not different from each other like the colors of the rainbow as they were before. This black sheep was not just different to the others in color, this black sheep was born aware.
The black sheep was aware of what his species had become, a herd of dumb animals. He was aware of who was herding them through the old valleys that were their home, the violent and ferocious wolves that fed on them. He knew what he had to do to stop the sheep from living in fear and desperation, always needing someone to drive them instead of taking care of themselves as individuals. The black sheep that was aware had to awaken his brothers and sisters and make them aware as well. He hoped it was not to late and his fellows would be able to grasp what he was trying to say.
The black sheep called to his fellows, in the way they all used to talk, and tried to explain to them what was happening. He spoke for hours and tried over and over again to reach the sheep but to no avail. Soon he became frustrated with the sheep as they fought over clumps of grass and fought between themselves and yelled at them, roared at them with everything he could muster. This startled the sheep and they became hushed and stared this way and that trying to see the threat to them. This they understood, this they followed. A roar, a bark, a nip at the heels. It was then the black sheep realized what he needed to do.
The black sheep roared behind the herd, nipping at their forelegs, and for the first time the sheep forgot about the dangers of the forest and as a group rushed toward it at an awesome pace. The earth shook as thousands upon thousands of sheep screamed while pounding the ground in a mad pace to get clear of whatever was behind them. The sheep were so frightened that they ran right into the camp of the wolf pack. As the herd outnumbered the wolves one hundred to one they trampled every single wolf to the last one.
The black sheep wept for joy but his joy was short lived. The sheep herd turned and kept running back toward the black sheep now in sheer terror and madness of everything that had happened. The drove straight down upon the black sheep crushing him as they had the wolf pack.
Later that day the sheep calmed and went back to grazing in the valley they currently were located in having completely forgotten the events that took place that morning. They did not even wonder where the black sheep had gone. A month later the grass in that valley ran out and the sheep began to starve. The temperature became colder and the sheep did not know what to do. In the spring thaw the valley was almost completely white from the bones of dead sheep. Not one made it, not one.
That spring the birds came out and sang as they had been for thousands of years. The bears rolled around with their pups, the otters played in the streams, the flowers bloomed and not one of the living things in the seven valleys of Heron missed the sheep or the wolves. I would say though they were affected none the less. The grass was especially tall that year.

I look over at the joint that Dale just rolled and I think to myself goddamn I need to cut back a little bit. Well maybe tomorrow. We are in Parker and I am excited to Poke around the town and see whats what.

Chapter 4: Parker, booze and Indians

So about eight in the morning Dale and I leave the train yard and roll into Parker proper. By the looks of things the town is populated by about forty five hundred people. It sits smack dab in the middle of the Colorado River Indian Tribe reservation and has a casino called the Blue Water. We stopped at a Circle K and asked the Indian lady behind the counter, feather not a dot, where a cool bar near the water is and she directed us up the road about 5 miles to the Roadrunner. About an hour later we see a sign for the establishment pointing down towards the river. Dale starts in giggling and I have to smile as well. We can smell the river, bacon, and booze. It looks like it is going to be a good morning.

The bar is located on a float on the river itself. Boats are already tied up to it and people are having breakfast. I was not prepared to see this place so busy so early as the town seemed kind of quiet. Dale and I had bacon and eggs, Bloody Mary's, and cold cans of Budweiser. The television was playing Ferris Buellers day off and and for two hours we watched that, watched the boats coming and going, watched the temperature creep over one hundred, watched cold cans of beer race down our thirsty gullets. I gotta tell you, it could have been the weed, the Bloody Mary's, or the 8 beers me and Dale consumed, or a combination of the three but I was feeling great.

Cameron was telling Ferris how pissed off he was about his life and kicking the shit out of his Dads Ferrari. The Ferrari fell off the jacks and went racing through the glass in the back of the showroom garage and dropped about a hundred feet to the canyon floor behind Cameron's house. Dale started laughing hysterically and I thought to myself what a euphemism on life. Sometimes you have to kick some fucking Ferrari's off a cliff. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there on the edge of it all and just say fuck it. Kick the shit out of all the seemingly important shit and really try to find what the hell is important. I looked at Dale and told him if we see any Ferrari's near cliffs they are done for. He nodded his head in reckless abandon.

About that time two early twenty something entered through the door and I was quick to make sure they knew that drinks and seats were available right next to us at a fraction of the cost of buying them themselves. The first girl set down next to Dale and he immediately started chuckling under his breath a little bit. He gave her the super understanding Dave smile and I knew that I would have to act quickly to keep her smiling back at him. She was a little plump and had the air of a girl who knew she was not the greatest catch in the world and was a little bitter about it. Though I will say these girls tend to give some of the best blow jobs ever once you get past the icy exterior and into the squishy interior. I however was after bigger or should I say better fish. The other girl introduced themselves as Dawn and plump girl as Debbie. Dawn and Debbie. Kind of has a nice dirty little ring to it. I liked them instantly.

Dawn was not a knock out but she was oh so pretty. She had nice olive skin and dark raven hair and a fit and trim body that was begging to be out in the sun naked and free. Her smile could open doors at Fort Knox. We talked and Dawn told us they were locals and lived in Parker. She was half Indian on her Mom's side of the family. Dad owned a boat repair facility in town. Blah, blah, blah, nice, nice, nice. Another round of Tequila please. By about four in the afternoon we were all in the bag and Dale was tickling the fat girl something fierce and hee-hawing like crazy. Now Dale is the only retard that gets laid more frequently than most normal guys. He is tall and stout and he usually does not say anything to speak of but he laughs and listens and sometimes blows beer through his nose when he things something is really a hoot. Most girls once they get to a certain drunkard level think he is just shy. I know that besides his paper and asparagus rolling act he is a complete doh-doh bird. He also is hung like a donkey which helps him out in a jam.

I suggest to the girls that I take my last nine dollars and buy a six pack and go out by the river in a nice spot they may know about and watch the sun go down. They agreed with the understanding of angelic little love cherubs and with a sixer from the bar we were off like a prom dress at midnight. They did know of a nice little spot up river and even had some blankets to lay out from the trunk of the old import they were driving. We sat by the river and watched the sun go down and talked and drank beer and generally had a fan-fucking-tastic good time.

About an hour after we arrived Dale was led up river a little ways by the now, ever so beautiful and loving Debbie. Dawn said that Debbie was such a little slut and I hoped more than anything that slutty girls ran in packs. I asked Dawn about life as an Indian girl in a joking kind of way and she really opened up to me. She said that sometimes it was hard being a half breed. Other tribe members looked down on her due to her mixed heritage. I asked her why she didn't go live somewhere else. She told me that this was home as far she knew. I told her that way of thinking is totally against everything that Dale and I stood for, or no longer stood for or whatever. She told me that her great grandfather had lived during the middle part of the eighteen hundreds and had then still been a semi free Indian. Her mom told her that her great grandfather had been a wise man and a trusted elder of the tribe. He was a dreamer and told stories about his dreams. I asked her if she knew any of his stories and she said she knew all of them that could be remembered. She said that she knew one perfect for this ostentatious meeting.

The Three White Men
As told by Dawn Jade Potter of the CRIT Indians

I dreamed last night of three men hiking on the tall rocks of the earth. It is when they reached the summit that they looked upon the true beauty of earth in the valley below. This valley was the place where all beautiful things in the world come from. It was the place where Mother Earth kept all of the original copies of the beauty that she spread around the earth. These three white men when they looked upon this they were mesmerized, each in his own way, by the sight of it. The men ran down from the advantage point of the tall rocks and into the valley below where they came upon a small hill in the center. They climbed the hill and rested on top as they surveyed their surroundings. The first man with an eye for the beautiful and appreciation for such stood after a long while and sang to the valley. He sang the song that the birds, the bones of the earth, the bees, the lizards, and the deer sing. He sang the song of rivers and the wind and he wept all the wile. Upon hearing this song the second man stood and pulled a knife from his belt and stabbed at the song singer. The man fell to the ground washing it with his life. He looked up at his traitorous companion and asked him how he could do such a thing in this Holy place. The man answered that the song sounded evil because he did not understand it. It was not sung in the white tongue. The third man sat quietly on the ground as still as the stalked rabbit. He never looked on the first man as he died and his bones turned to dust and fed the beauty of the Valley. After a spell the second man said to the last “what flower do you think is the most beautiful here?” The man answered and said “whatever flower you think is the most choice is the flower I like best.” The first man thought about this and realized this was the correct answer. After some time the third man, thinking only of his own survival, left the second man seeing the evil spirit that existed inside of him. He shed many tears as he left that beautiful place yet never returned for fear of his life. He made his home in the desert and hid underground on his belly like a snake for the rest of his days. Now the second man after being alone for some time became to get agitated at the disappearance of his brothers. Never realizing that he was the crafter of his own situation. His despair grew until madness overtook him. He grew calm then and built a fire that when put to flint burned the entire valley to the ground including the man stricken with the mind sickness. That was the dream I had while sleeping.

At the end of the story Dawn looked at me and asked me which of the three men I was. I looked out over the Colorado river and I heard Dale laughing like Debbie was finally tickling him back. I turned back to my little Indian Princess and told her the most honest answer I could come up with. “I am pretty sure I am all three,” I said. She looked satisfied as I pulled her to me and kissed her like she needed to be kissed. I would bet dollars to dough-nuts that Dawn told that story just as well as her Great Grandfather had. I bet more money that Great Grandfather could not do the things that Dawn and I did that afternoon and evening on the banks of the Colorado with Dales Hee-Haws echoing off of the water.

That night they drove us up to Lake Havasu City and dropped us off at Tread-Marks house. We all promised to write and call and all that but I was pretty sure that was not going to happen. It was eleven o the clock on May twenty-fourth. Tomorrow was Memorial day, one of the biggest weekends of the summer here in Havasu. I was ready to do some serious damage. I was ready to send some Ferrari's down some cliffs.

Chapter 5: Mecca on Memorial Weekend

Tread-Mark came to the door and was happy as hell to see us. He squeezed me and Dale and ushered us into his home. We were all chatting in the living room when the most beautiful woman in the world appeared. Mark introduced his girlfriend as Becky Weiler and I knew right then that I was completely and totally goo-goo for her. Not that in a million years I would try and move in on a friends territory but with Becky I did not need to. I was pretty sure that just being around her was enough for me.

Becky was as different from us as night was to day. She drank wine, worked hard, valued honesty- even though I suspect she was not always honest, took her duties to her family seriously. She was eloquent about what she believed in and wanted a better life for herself than the one that she had when growing up. She was like an angry angel sometimes and a insanely close confidant at others. She could melt frozen butter by putting her fingertips on it. She was amazing. She made me want to be better than I was. I drank her in like the last bottle of rum on a floundering vessel and I was drunk all over. I would have to keep my distance from her or risk becoming a gelatinous mound of quivering stupid.

Tread-Mark, other than his present company, was completely the same. Dale was already busying himself with paper and stinky algae. Tread-Mark was saying that nothing ever changes. We all sat down on his couch and got stoned like tomorrow would never come and caught up. We talked into the early morning hours and then one by one slipped off to the slumber of the dead curled up together on the couch like a stack of cadavers.

The next day we were up at the crack of noon. Becky was already out working and you could tell she carried the lions share of responsibility here at casa de Tread-Mark. Tread-Mark was jumping around like crazy yelling and hollering for us to get up and get going. We did and were ready in about 35 seconds. Getting ready consisted of Dale throwing water all over his face and putting his Hulk T-shirt on. I just put on my “cause”T-shirt and a Yankees hat that was laying on the coffee table. I squirted some tooth paste in my mouth and used my finger to run it all around the rot. Drank a shot of 151 and gurgled with it. Squished it all around and then spit it back out. Good to go.

Tread-Mark had an old boat that he had traded for a 454 engine that he had salvaged from one of the many wrecks he kept around his house. The boat was an old beat up day cruiser but mechanically it was topnotch as my buddy was an ace with a wrench. We launched from Windsor Beach State Park and made our way down river to Copper Canyon passing under the London Bridge. The city imported that bridge stone by stone from England thirty or so years ago. It was a landmark and something of a tourist attraction like the worlds largest ball of yarn somewhere in Texas. They even had a little english village underneath it. The bridge led to an Island in the middle of Lake Havasu that mainly was a bunch of eating establishments, a marina, and camping and RV lots.

Copper Canyon was a place that everyone brought their boats. Like an old malt shop where everyone brought their souped up hot rods except this was on water. The canyon was boxed in on three sides and had cliffs that you could dive off into the water. Boats tied up to each other and it was literally impossible to leave if you got there too early in the morning. You just could not get your boat out no matter how much you maneuvered. We hung out at the mouth a little and I jumped off the boat and swam over to the cliff where people were diving, flipping, and jack hammering their way into the water. The top of the cliff was about 60 feet high and once you got up there you better jump or the crowd, which at that time had to be over a thousand people, would let you have it. I did a swan dive off and rolled it over into a lazy front flip before I entered the water. The crowd cheered I waved my fist in the air like I was Phelps himself and swam back over to the boat.

We stayed in the canyon for a few hours drinking beer, smoking pot, and watching girls dance on make shift stripper poles on pontoon boats. It was great. Dale was hee-hawing and woo-hooing like crazy every time a girl would lift up her top. Boobies make Dale crazy. Or crazier maybe is a better word. As we left the canyon and pulled past other boats I asked Tread-Mark what some of the other boats in the canyon cost. Some of them were amazing in size and colors. It was like watching the pink-elephants on parade section of Dumbo. Tread-Mark said that boats ranged from ten thousand up to half a million dollars sometimes. Most of the big power boats are usually over one hundred thousand dollars and can go 80 miles an hour at least.

The three of us made our way up river to the Sand bar, a low level area where sediment has formed allowing boats to pull up and park in the middle of the river, and pulled the boat onto the soft shelf. We wasted the rest of the afternoon throwing a Frisbee around mingling with the rest of the crazies. It was sort of like a Lord of the Fly scene for older people. We talked to women and flirted like crazy, Dale walked on his hands all over the place-which I did not know he could do, and basically had a decadent time of it all. We pulled out and headed back to Windsor and the Tread-Marks truck as the sun was going down and I thought to myself that I could die today and that would be fine by me. Later on that night I would die, wish I would have the last 29 years to do all over again, and regret thinking those words.

Dale was smiling his super understanding Dave smile at me with his gap showing nice and sweet and his smackers pulled back away from his teeth as we left to go out that night. We were showered and clean yet both of us were wearing the same clothes we had on earlier in the day. Tread-Mark was drunk as hell and ready to conquer the world. Becky was the exception to the majority rule. She was breathtaking in her simple blue turtleneck and jeans. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she had little diamond studs in her ears. She smiled at me and my brain went to mush and I mumbled something incoherent. She laughed quietly and put her hand on my arm and guided me out the door.

We had dinner at the Naked Turtle on the Island and then went to BJ's outdoor cabana in the middle of town. It was packed to the brim and a line was running down the street. Loud music and people yelling and laughing could be heard from outside. Tread-Mark knew the bouncer, Dennis, and he let us in with no fuss.

That night I was as stoned and drunk as I have ever been. I remember the whole thing seemed to me like that underground scene from the Matrix. Morpheus giving a speech and then the whole crowd going crazy. Dancing and jumping and twirling and moving. A blur of emotion and synergy. People grinding and laughing. I remember briefly dancing with a plump girl named Tiffany and was pulled away from her by Becky who I danced with for what seemed hours. Then the spell was broken by a gunshot and just like that the happy mob turned to a scared one. People rushed to the doors and pushed and ran all around me. I grabbed Becky and started looking around for Dale and Tread-Mark. A bunch of people near the bar were not moving. They were standing still. Looking down at their feet.

Later on when I would call Dales mother in Las Cruces and tell her what happened she said she already knew. When I saw everyone looking at the ground I knew as well. I let go of Becky and slowly walked over to the mass of ground watchers. I heard people in the background yelling for the police or ambulance, call nine one one, some people were shouting but most were looking at the ground. I parted the crowd and saw Dale, my only friend lying on the ground. He had been shot in the chest right through his Hulk T-Shirt. I sat down next to him and picked up his head and started crying into it. Dale was already gone. He was not laughing now. He was quiet. He was gone. The only thing left was a partial super understanding Dave smile. His gap in the front was barely showing.

Witnesses said later that Dale was sitting next to a local girl named Monique. He had been tickling her and laughing when Monique's boyfriend had shown up. Monique was supposed to be at home but she had gone out and been drinking with some friends. Monique's boyfriend got rough with her and she pushed him away and slapped him. Dale being Dale started hee-hawing like crazy. The boyfriend pulled out a small caliber gun and shot Dale in the chest. So simple, so neat and easy. No mess no investigation. A lot of people had seen everything so that was that. Except for me.

It seems I have leapt from a cliff or precipice, of my own devising to be sure, but a cliff none the less. What is odd is the timing of the jump. I thought I had just jumped more than a scarce couple of weeks ago, but in a further study of honesty, I have to say it was a long time before that. As the experience of falling and realizing it is something I had no experience in, I decided to get wrapped up in it. To embrace it and follow it right through to its terminus. The abrupt stop. I am quite lost in the fall.
At first I thought it was inevitable that I just watch as I plunged deeper and deeper into the core. Most times I just mused that I was somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else but I knew that it was the fall that was real. Suddenly in the last few days I have realized that by willing myself, I can turn this way and that. I have lost the glue that holds me to a set of rules and structure. I lost in me the glue that holds me to a society that I was floundering in. Now I just sit, wonder, and figure about the fall that I am involved in. It is a great and seemingly worthless past time. Yet here I sit. Stuck with legs on both side of the fence trying desperately to find meaning in chicken bones, stars, and blades of grass and I realize that I am not falling at all but flying towards something extraordinarily bizarre and real.

Repetition and banality threatened to drive me mad with desperation. Menial, unending servitude to the here and now, the get and give, the stride and climb. The go, go, go. No longer, for I have flown the coupe. Left life behind and moved on to something different. So long crazy world, I said. Now, I have gone mad, and pirouetted into the grosses of states. I have traveled all over to find myself only accomplishing in creating a monster. Finding love again only this time of myself not ideas or notions. I melted and realized that underneath the large iceberg of my outer trimmings was a hollow that stored the fragments of a puzzle that had not been, as of yet, fixed together. It was swirlings and trappings of what could be and unfortunately not what was. Terrible shock to find. Unbeknown to me I was a conflagration of nothingness and everything that I thought I should be and wasn't. I was unraveled. Though this unraveling made me into an eagle and I spread my wings from now on and fly here and there at my whim.


Dales mom took the bus up from Las Cruces and arrived two days later. As we had no money the county cremated Dale and gave us his remains in a little white box with a clear plastic bag inside of it. The clear plastic bag held what was left of Dale. We scattered his ashes in Lake Havasu off of a dock in a protected wilderness area. Dales mom left that day and she was never heard from again either in Las Cruces or Lake Havasu.

I spent two weeks down by that dock. I slept there sometimes. I rarely ate, just drank bottles of cheap rum that Tread-Mark bought for me. I was waiting for something down there. I didn't know what. One morning Becky came down to the dock and sat with me. We didn't talk she just sat there until the sun went down and watched me drink and cry. That night she told me to come up to the house with her because she was cold. I followed and the three of us ate quietly. After dinner Tread-Mark and I went out to his patio. We sat out there and he asked me if I remembered the day that Dale smacked me in the face. I told him I could never forget that day. It had been paddled into me. We laughed a little bit and I felt a little relieved and a little angry at myself at the same time. One part of me was glad I could still laugh, another part was angry at myself that I did it without Dale.

Tread-Mark told me that him and Becky were over and she was leaving to Arcata, California in the morning. She was going to be studying up there at the University and had an apartment all ready to go for herself. Becky told him that if I wanted I could go along for a change of scenery. I thanked him and told him I would think about it and let them both know in the morning.

The next morning I did decide to go with her but every summer no matter where I was I made it back to Lake Havasu, a little dock, a bottle of pirate rum and a joint that took me forever to roll.

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