I AM ... AM I ...
I don't need to be pardoned for my sins in the past. What's in the past is in the past unless you take pleasure in opening up festering wounds that never seem to heal over. Time can heal many wounds but it don't make deals with your memories, this one you cope with yourself in your own way but maybe I need to be pardoned for the sin I am about to commit .... this is my story as it happened, as true as I am sitting here putting it down for the record.
I am getting too old now for the cold weather but it was extra cold that night in mid December. I don't know how many stops I had made during that journey but I think it was three, yes it was three, I remember now because each time I stopped I was taking a mental flogging for events in the past and those about to happen. I felt like turning back to the safety of all that was good and what I believed in to be good but I knew this was not possible. There was no running away from it. I had to keep going in spite of the pain in my head and traffic that was now slowing everything down to a crawl which I took to be personal as to deliberately slow me down in getting to my destination. It was the stress with-in me getting to me. Each time I thought about the whole thing, I pulled the car over and lit another damn cigarette, sometimes not even smoking the things that were already killing me but that was not what was on my mind. I had another matter that was taking over my mind like creeping lava, burning all that was good in it's path and making me sick to my inner core. You know that sickness, half physical but more of a mental thing. The sickness that takes over everything that is .. or passes you off for sane in this world and then you find you are starting to talk Jibberish to yourself and pulling faces that if someone else was to look at you they would look away very quickly because they would feel you are not quite right in the head and rightly so. They don't want problems .. they have their own cross to battle with without you coming on to them like a raving lunatic, let alone that they are reminded that it could very well be them in the same situation that seems to find everybody, rich-man poor-man some time in their life.
I had being driving now for almost seven hours without any decent rest except for the self imposed 'pit stops' that solved nothing in my thoughts and gave me no rest of any kind .. I had a lot of 'soup' in the head I wanted to vomit out. You can never tell when something like this creeps up on you ... you might see the signs but you chose to ignore them because you know you don't want the outcome, you only know deep inside from your own so called intuition that it could only end up bad, and now I am here, in that state, in that 'place' that has no turning back. I prayed with all the faith I could muster up for me to step back into time and for the things as they were before making my journey on this God forsaken night ... and He has forsaken me.
Maybe I stop the poor-me crap and tell you how I got to this very 'place' ...
I was putting my vestments away and hoping I would not be taking them out again for the rest of the week and tidying about after that sad but damned funeral that split my small community in half and put them at each others throats like two super powers trying to kill themselves but still in ignorance of the consequences. They each had their own reasons as to why she died and both were saying the same thing but just could not for the love of man see it ... how far can anger turn the mind that no state of mind can put things right what ever you feel that 'right' is. It's a constant battle between good and evil in any given normal day but this is no normal day and I don't know if any other day can ever be normal again. Evil seems to always win on the first toss of the coin .... tell me if I am wrong about that one ... try it.
At first I did not hear the knocking on the door until it became a heavy pounding like the sound of distant thunder. When I did open the door a child was standing there looking frightened but with the determination to see the errand through, I could tell by the body language. A piece of dirty paper was thrown on the ground in front of me and then the child ran away in the knowing expectation it did not wanted to be questioned by the figure in black ... or to get away quickly as if seeing me would mark him or her for life. I stooped to pick the greasy paper up. Greasy from the sweat of little hands and now those little silver dots were dancing in front of my eyes as I tried to focus to read. I read and I reread and stood fixed to the spot understanding what had to be done but deep down not wanting to understand and I reread again. It was not for the first time what was about to happen. I knew what had to be done, and why not lit up another cigarette. I was expecting this, but it came sooner this time than the other times before. It was now way past mid-day and I was already half way through this soggy pack of smokes and allowed myself a not-to-often-smile. Maybe I smoked this brand because the camel on the pack reminds me of a story that started a whole list of events off that took control of mankind and divided it up into 'the power of three, them us and others'. It was the way I was seeing things now, all because of a 'camel' and maybe I was smoking 'camel shit'. I closed up the vestry and took what I needed into my blue hold-all, it didn't take long, I knew what I had to bring and left a note to say I had to go out on a sick call. It was very much, and without question, understood what 'sick call' meant here and also because it was not for the first time I had to leave a note like it. Each time the 'sick call' took more out of me but on some very unexpected day and you can bet on it and like a slap on the face from out of nowhere it will kill me .. maybe to-day is that day ... right now, who's to know ... except maybe Him above and Him below.
I pulled off the main road and onto a dirt road. You would miss that turn-off if you were to sneeze. Sleet was starting to fall heavy and slowed the wipers down with the weight of ice and rain. Tall blackberry hedge rows each side of me with hidden ghosts looking out at me, sneering and taunting me as I drove up the dirt road. You would find it hard now days to see blackberry surviving the deeds of farmers, progress and so called 'new farming methods'. I could hear loud and clear the thorns of the hedge row scraping along the side of the car like finger nails on glass as I made my way up to the double storey farm house made from brick and the upper part in wood that could do with a paint job, even in this weather you could see that .. but it has being like this for as long as I have being coming here and I doubt if it will ever be painted again. Thirteen hours sitting in the car did not do my back any good and as for the pain in my side it was like as if a hot spear went through. If anybody saw me getting out of the car even in this darkness they would swear on there mothers grave that I was drunk and in a way I was 'drunk' from tiredness. I stretched slowly in the hope I was not going to pull a muscle now in my back and walked slowly to the front door, picking my steps like a cat sneaking up on a mouse or just simply and no getting away from it .. nerves. Fourteen steps up. Why anybody wants fourteen steps to a front door still amuses me, it comes with the job, thinking like this. Standing on the porch and trying to get my wind back ... of course .. I was fooling myself .. it was fear. Fear that made my heart pound that I could hear no night sounds .. if there was any to be heard but I am sure they were all there, encouraging me on .. ghosts too. It's always the fear that I can rely on and never get use to. My hand was shaking as if it was trying to stop me from doing what cannot be stopped now ... as it reached out to the front door but wanting to fall down by my side like a timid dog wanting approval from it's owner ... but the door opened at the sight of my hand .. it never got to 'knock' or for me to wait in the sweating fear for it to open from the other side. At first I did not see him but got that heavy pungent smell like decaying vegetation. My body took a step back to protect me from myself fainting, or maybe it was two in the remembrance of what we are and of the feuding factions we have become and now confronting each other again ... good and evil ... we stand for all that is good and for all that is evil and as you will come to know it without doubt in your own way and in your own time as we all do for we cannot escape it. We cannot go through life without facing one or the other and maybe both at the same time and make that fatal choice where the freewill is given full freedom to act .. not even a priest of any making or throwing all discretion to the four winds can call on God to decide for him.
''I AM ... O.K.''
THE TOSS OF A COIN by DAF is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Malaysia License.
Based on a work at www,deedaf.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.blogger.com/www.deedaf.blogspot.com.