Saturday, January 21, 2017

That Beautiful Hippie Girl

                That Beautiful Hippie Girl

One person stood out. He'd been sitting by the fire for quite a while when he suddenly stood up, turned and began walking with purpose straight toward the window that my face was framed in. I'd turned away hoping to disappear into the safety of darkness, when I felt the grip of someone's hand on my shoulder, sending me into full survival mode. How old? How big? How many? All the information I'd be needing to craft an escape plan as the encounter unfolded. Turning toward my captor, our eyes met. On the exterior, she was a soft, pretty girl.  But who was that large angry looking fellow that had me by the arm? I knew then what my next move would be. "Sir, I'm so hungry," I said. His grip relaxed.

Boxing was my stress relief technique before leaving the Wall Street rat race a few years prior. I was fast, and I knew how to stun someone without really hurting them. Staggering back a few steps wobbly legged, he just sat down. "Perfect!" I thought. I'd be gone and well on my way back to my tree house before he'd gotten his senses back. Yes, tree house. Woodstock had changed all the rules, and I was taking full advantage. On the surface, I was doing fine, stinking rich in fact. But life had lost all of it's luster. Something was missing. So, I abandoned my dry, lifeless existence altogether and took the advice of Timothy Leary, "Tune in, turn on and drop out."

Running, facing backwards for a last glimpse, my eyes found her. She was standing unshaken, hands on her hips, waiting for what she must have known would be my inevitable final look back. Turning back around, I increased the pace to a flat-out run, not realizing that things were about to take a drastic turn as I ran down the path through those cold, empty, moonlit woods.

Slowing now, to a rhythmic trot, each step in perfect sync with my breathing, I geared up for the long run ahead, turning from time to time to check for anyone following. The steam from my breath swirled behind me before disappearing in the chilly night air. I'd always loved connecting with the natural world around me. But when it came to people, it was never long before things simply went to hell in a hand-basket. "So, this girl connection?" I reasoned,” Just some outward projection no doubt, of my own internal psychic mumbo-jumbo. "When I get home," I thought, "I'll put some fresh water in the bong, load a bowl of dried homegrown flower tops, toke up and tune out."

Just then I heard footsteps from behind me, so I sped up, rounded the next bend, ducked behind a tree and waited. She wanted to meet me, and I was letting her pass by. As I stepped out onto the path, she stopped, turned, walked up and stood directly in front of me, and inches away, placed her hands on my head and began passionately calling out, tears streaming, to her God on my behalf. She then lifted her hands from my head, stepped around my dumbfounded, statue like form, and walked away.

There was no sleeping for me that night. All I could do was relive again and again, the warmth of her voice, and the tenderness of her breath against by my face. I had to see that girl again, that beautiful hippie girl.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mr. Smith

                                 Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith retired from his job of 32 years.
And afterwards, for a while,
he went, sometimes not quietly,
through dark times.
When people, including himself,
out of proportion, a little askew.

But then,
he woke up one morning,
the sun was shining,
the sky was Blue,
and life was simply there for the living again.

"There was a time," thought Mr. Smith,
"When, I would have been content to just smile,
 and go on my merry way."

But Mr. Smith had begun to use the eyes of his faith.
He saw that, he
like the blind man of Bethsaida,
who, after being brought to Jesus,
had received a second touch.

Mr. Smith saw,
that through the foreordained course of life events,
he had been led by the hand of God, out of town.

Where Jesus stood close to him,
spat on his eye's,
and then laid his hands on them,
enabling him to see.

Mr. Smith realized that,
the absolute authority,
had seen behind a closed door,
and into a hidden place,
and knocked.

And knowing who it was, that was at his door,
Mr. Smith opened to him gladly,
and with great joy.

Robert Palmer 5/16/17

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God gave him an "Unspeakable gift." One that he desperately needed. It was perfect. Not one thing could have been added to it. But, somewhere along the way, Ozzie began thinking that he could connect with God on his own terms. After a while, Ozzie's world came crashing down. It seemed that God was nowhere to be found. Ozzie realized then, that the gift was indeed beyond his grasp, and that there was not one thing he could do to reach it. It was simply a gift "unto all and upon all them that believe." Ozzie embraced the truth with great relief. He gradually began to see again, and began trusting God again, better than before.

Robert Palmer 5/13/17

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Young Dezzie

           Young Dezzie - Just Another Day

Daddy told me that Catholic girls don’t pick up strangers, I thought, as I pulled over.

I watched him that night, in the rear-view mirror of Dad’s pickup as he approached. His form gradually took shape in the soft red glow of the tail lights. A limp, deformed arm hung in his flannel shirt sleeve, swinging loosely at his side. The interior light illuminated his features as he got in. Dangling strings of black oily hair swung across his face as he looked over at me, slamming the door behind him.

Gripping the steering wheel, I turned forward, fighting back tears as he told me where he'd be getting out. When I explained that I wasn't going that far, he said in a raspy voice, "Yes....yes you are."

The only sound was the rhythmic "Ka-thunk" of the tires hitting the joints in the pavement as we silently drove down that dark, empty road. I wondered, "Am I really hiding, here in the silence? Or is he perfectly aware."

Dad kept a loaded .38 in the glove box of the pickup. I hoped it was there and began waiting for an opportunity to grab it. The man nodded off asleep, then caught himself, jerking his head upward with a snort, then nodded off again.

“Was I over reacting?” alone, and fighting panic? Almost involuntarily, my head slowly rotated until he was in full view. A sleeping monster was beside me.

In one quick motion, I reached over him and popped open the glove box and grabbed the .38 revolver. As he turned toward me, I stood on the brakes with both feet. And, with the tires screaming and the truck sliding sideways across the pavement, I pointed, and squeezed the trigger. The sound was deafening, concussive. The passenger side window shattered.

His expression turned to shock. I liked that. I had the advantage, and gained a defiant, militant confidence.

As the truck slid to a stop, I fired, missing again on purpose and hitting the window frame above his head. He began frantically grabbing for the door handle to get out.

He threw the door open so hard, it bounced back and hit him in the face. In a blind panic, he fell out onto the pavement and scrambled off on all fours before managing to get up and disappear into the darkness. “Just a pathetic, broken down old hobo,” I thought.

I put the gas pedal to the floor. I had no idea what Dad had done to the truck, and what it could do. But with the engine screaming, rubber smoking, and tires squealing, I hung on as it spun in circles in the middle of that dark empty road, the headlights illuminating the landscape with each pass, like a searchlight.

Then I saw him, running across an empty field. With delight, I stopped the truck, climbed out and on to the hood, held the .38 out in front of me with both hands, and unloaded every remaining round into a hillside behind him as disappeared into the trees.

I lingered there for a while afterwards, in the warm stillness of the night, gazing up into the black sky, the low rhythmic rumble of the truck engine vibrating under my feet. The forest was filled sounds of the night. So alive.

"This is home," I thought. "This is the life I want." I knew deep down then, that I was leaving an important part of myself behind.

I got back in the truck, and with the windows down, and the warm wind in my face, continued on my way without a care, watching through the windshield as the full moon emerged from behind the dark clouds.

I felt no remorse. There was no worry, no pain of any kind. Life was mine. The world was mine. I had strength, wholeness. I was alone, and that was fine with me. I didn't need anybody.