Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 12

                    Three trails of serenity

At high noon, we decided to venture into the deep sections of the woods. Another grand
escape from the habitual lifestyle of the repetitious and self-absorbed man. All the hidden trails
designed to elude the populace were, in fact, passageways that lead into utter seclusion. We
slithered past the back door in a semi altered haze of distorted reality, as not to be seen by
anyone in passing. The sun radiated down upon my neck and shoulders as we hastened to
make our way toward the backyard. Below the small concrete bridge was a low walled
drainage area for an inactive cesspool that divided our lawn from the oasis of trees ahead.

I took nothing more than a well made pair of pruning shears and a full canteen of water,
while Peter carried with him the small flashlight and a rather large bag of Wise potato chips.

Peter sauntered past the trellis, whereas I, paused under it to release the entangled arm of
a wisteria tree. It had grown in and wound itself around a small part of the intricate latticework
which highlighted the structures own network of complexities. As wonderful as it looked now,
I knew the limbs would eventually fill out in time, and by then the beautiful trellis would be
decimated by it. As I moved forward, the calm placidity began to resemble that of a dry rain forest
and the day was now in perfect harmony with the world around it. My senses were so completely
in tune with nature, I found there to be an even balance between myself and that of all things.

Catching up to Peter, we entered the 1st trail where a small pile of brown rust could be
seen. This four foot wide heap of rubbish was all that remained of a Volkswagen beetle,
apparently stolen for parts in the late sixties. Soon it will be nothing more than marooned
dust on black top soil surrounded by thick verdurous foliage of fully grown trees. 

Here we paused to take notice of a rather large turkey vulture which had found its way down
from the sky. It was milling around the grounds and going about its business awkwardly.
Carefully surveying the land for a morsel to eat perhaps or simply laying low. Roughly, one year
ago I planted something in the fluffy soil. Ten paces west of the sycamore tree would reveal its
location. I stopped and knelt down, before plunging my hands into the dark earth which was
as light as sawdust, and displaced some of the dirt and roots which had begun to grow.

                                                                               Pg 61

Amidst the layers of mulched leaves rotting, and other earthen matter was the top of a black
garbage bag. Slowly, I got down on both knees and with minimal effort pulled it vertically to
the surface. I then placed it down upon the surrounding soil. As I opened the bag, we could
now see the top of a sturdy well made box. “I wonder what's in that box?” Said Peter with an
ever growing smile. “I guess we're going to find out!” I lifted the hinge ever so slightly out of its
tarnished loop and swung the lid open like a freshly oiled door, whereby revealing its contents.

There encased in the well crafted box was our reward for the day.

“Oh wow,” said Peter with a face all aglow!
“Doctor Crow's red elixir,” I blurted out!

“Unearthed at last, he's just dyin' to go flyin'!”

Peter thought I was speaking indirectly to him, as if I was speaking to him in the third person,
when in fact, what I was doing was speaking directly to the bird on the bottle! I handed the
bottle to my friend, and he examined it most thoroughly. “Check out that crow on the bottle,”
he exclaimed! “This is most certainly a drink to have out here in the woods.” Bottled in bond,
but missing the federal tax seal strip with the pink eagle on it. Whenever we bought a bottle
of liquor, I would remove my little Case knife (((which Peter called thee ole' Texas toothpick)))
and make two incisions around the cap so that the tax seal was not marred upon opening.
Sure we had a couple of quirks
back then, but who didn't?

Sometime in the mid 1980's, the tax stamp would be replaced by the dreaded bar code.

“What happened here?” asked peter inquisitively. “I had a couple-a-slugs one day and then
went to cap the bottle, but found the cap was gone! So I'm looking around the kitchen, opening
and closing drawers, but the cap is not there. Do you know that to this day that cap has not
turned up? I wish we had a camera installed, so I can see what the hell happened! I know
there has to be a reasonable explanation, unless a ghost took it. Honestly, how do you explain
something like that?” “I know man, it happens to me all the time. Then when I find it, it's in
such a weird place, I have to ask myself how it got there!” “Well anyway, since the cap was
gone, I had to replace it with something, so I replaced it with a sturdy wine cork. That wine
cork came from one of Ramon's Argentine Malbec's. I found it floating in the driveway after
a heavy storm, and so I brought it into the house, gave it a good cleaning and found it was an
adequate replacement!” “At least you plugged it up, so it wouldn't evaporate underground!

Can it evaporate underground? Nevermind, I don't know what the fuck I'm saying.

I loosened the cork before pulling it from the bottle with my teeth. Slowly, I brought it to
my nose. Bubbling over with enthusiastic excitement I proclaimed to Peter, “better than soda,
it's sure to burn ya!!!” I then positioned myself on one knee and put a thin Clint Eastwood
cigar to my lips. I sparked a match and kept the tough looking little cigar clenched in my teeth
as I spoke and puffed away. “Now tell me son,” I said looking down, is the bottle half full,
or is it half empty?” Peter looked at it curiously before speaking. “I'd say it looks half full.”
Looking up towards Peter as Clint would have in a fistful of dollars, I said in a scratchy voice
while squinting, “that's what I thought you'd say.”

                                                                               Pg 62

We laughed at the improvisation before taking a gulp of the flammable liquid.
We then took a sip from the canteen to cool down the back of our flaming gullets.

“Boy,” said Peter, “that'll put some fire in your briar!” I laughed Impetuously at the
ridiculous comment as did he. We then gazed at a small forest of trees while enjoying
the lingering buzz brought on by some real down home bourbon. “It's been around
since 1835,” I said to Peter, “and that's older than Jack!” “How 'bout another swig
there ole Veets?” I said, just wanting to hear myself say something completely crazy.

“Don't mind if I do!” After a swig and a couple of coughs, I was handed the bottle
where I took a gigantic gulp! Swallowing more than I could comfortably swallow
sent my gag reflex into a spasm of retching. “Oh-no,” said Peter laughing, while
holding his head! “Clearwater Springs!” That was the term we used when a
fellow drinker gagged on liquor, and the salivary glands opened up all the way
to produce running water. That quick burst of nausea almost made me vomit!

After the water had finished dripping, I spoke. “I may have burned
my throat clear round, but it was stone good!” I then placed the bottle
back into its casket once more and reburied it the same way I found it.

Yes there was no doubt about it, we were two bibulous
bastards who were more concerned about getting wasted
than we ever were about passing our SAT exams!

Enticed to walk, I felt degage as we ambled down the path to further dwellings.
How wonderful it was indeed, to have all this at no cost! We then proceeded to
the 2nd trail. Allowing it to lead the way, we followed that path as it wove
around a series of immaculately white birch trees. Some were so withered their
weight could not be measured, and it appeared they could topple over with a
push of one's finger. Those that fell to the ground, seemed to be hollow inside.

I then looked down at a patch of bright green moss growing on a three foot stone
directly across from the dying birch. This strange rupicoline growth felt like
a stiff rug to my now overly sensitive fingers. Here we tarried awhile before
passing back and forth a carefully rolled doobie. How odd was this area, with
rooted trees no longer living, and foliose lichen clinging to the darkened bark
of trees like a leafy form of light green cauliflower, just gushing with curiosity!

As the pleasant smoke released itself into the air, Peter used his nostrils at a
respectable distance to escort the sweet smelling fragrance into his nasal cavities.
Exhaling with a cough and exclaiming in a choked up voice, “I do love the smell
of marijuana in the mornin'!” Then laughter from his words made me feel like I
had cut out of school to enjoy the wonders of this fine day! Within moments the
weed had begun to work on me, and everything as far as the eye could see came
into focus as being much sharper, with so much detail it was almost astounding.

I studied the xylogenous fungi which grew on a withered tree, and couldn't
figure out if the tree was dead and the fungus was alive, or the fungus was
dead and the tree was alive, and this perplexed me immensely! I then put
that thought on the end of a long hook and cast it into the great beyond. 

Gazing about, I saw the world in a new light. Its inherent beauty had now
captivated my senses, and I thought about being free from the chore of
schoolwork. How elated I became when I finally realized it was over! In
school, I was admonished by authority. It towered above me like a mighty
hand, but here in this magical place where serenity dwells, there are no
rules or rulers. Only the gentle peace of life growing in an ever quiet
stillness that is indeed its own. A state of tranquility in its purest form!

                                                                               Pg 63

Peter then begins to remove from his wallet a flattened out roach. Judging from its size I would
have to say, that it was about the size of a ferrule. Not any type of ferrule mind you, but the one
you would normally find wrapped around a pencil that keeps the eraser from falling off! “It's
gonna be hard to smoke this thing without a roach clip. “Give it to me,” I said firmly. I then
removed the last match from an old faded matchbook and discarded the small cardboard folder.

“I can't help thinking of those kids in Junior High School. Did I ever tell ya Pete?”
“Tell me what?”
“About the kids in Junior High School?”
“What about the kids in Junior High School?”
“Did I ever tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“About-the kids-in Junior High School.”
“I'm baffled,” said Peter confounded.

“There were these three kids in my class who used to always have matches on them!
Everyday they would chew on the match until the paper turned gummy and when the
teacher had her back turned, they would throw the match up, and it would stick to
the ceiling! No one ever got caught doing it, which is really amazing.” “How many
'you think' were up there? “Thousands!“And no one ever got caught?”
“The teacher never looked up!”

Peter then got down on his hands and knees, as if he were completely alone and began
to claw the earth. He brushed the matchbook cover into the small hole and swept his hand
across the dirt to make it look like nothing happened. I threw him a mildly sarcastic look,
and he muttered in disapproval. “We can't just leave it laying there; that's not right.”

I handed him the match and watched in amusement as he tried in vain to peel open the matchstick!
After two minutes, he was getting restless, and so I said to him patiently, but in a tone that implied
supreme impatience, give it here. “Christ Almighty,” said Peter as he gave me the match. “Now if
you had normal fingers that actually worked, you could do this.” Quicker than Ed Nortin could
thread a needle did I separate that match into two strands! “Well, excuse me for having the hands
of a layman. . . Now I have to try and figure out what I just said. . . You see how this shit starts?”

“You're high man, it's acceptable
,” I said laughing! Pete always had these strange looking fingers
that mildly resembled a tree frog! This was mainly due to the fact that Peter liked to chew his nails.
Not recreationally like most of us, but as a full time habit. Let's just say that Peter would chew his
fingers, the way most dogs would tear apart a T-bone steak, thus leaving him with hands that bore
a strong resemblance to a Gecko! On occasion, Paul would taunt him by saying things like, “you
wanna chew on something, Zigfried?” While tugging adamantly at his crotch! Nothing would
inflame peter more than this kind of sarcasm! “Go fuck yourself pal” was usually the response!!!

As Peter handed me the dry flaking roach,
I looked at it and wondered if it came from Woodstock.

I put it inside the match and closed the two ends of the matchstick. I then asked my friend
if he had a light. He handed me his Cricket lighter, and I held it against the roach until it
began to smolder. I then took a deep toke, but upon doing so the paper must have unraveled
slightly and the burning cinder went straight into my chest cavity! It went bumbling around in
my lung, until I coughed vehemently and the fiery ember came flying out. I then handed Peter
the hollowed out shell and said, nice job on rolling that weed man.

“Sorry about that,” he said in all sincerity.

                                                                               Pg 64

I then started to think of High School and wasn't sure if I even graduated!
Did I graduate? Was I still in school or did I have to go again this year?
Who cares, no one talks about it anymore so I guess it's over. Walking
around in our painted denim jackets while exercising our right to be cool.

Who wore the hermit from the untitled Zoso album by Led Zepplin,
who wore the Tarkus or the Lynyrd Skynyrd jacket matters not. They were
the embodiment of time long ago. A carefree society that has now been
washed away and replaced with another of lesser or equal value. All the
people who ever bore witness to that envisage, will one day be gone.

And there's not a thing we can do about it,
except live, and see what happens next

We have both grown a year older, and if we are to lead the world, then we
better put the peace pipe down and start making provisions for the future.
Come to think of it; fuck the future. I'm not changing anything today.

“What was that you said,” I uttered?”
“Nothing, I was just thinking out loud.”

I then heard Alice Cooper's teen anthem playing in the grey region of my
mind. I stopped it after the chorus to make sure it didn't get out of hand.

                                      Alice Cooper - School's out

Looking around, I wondered if these trees would still be standing here long after I was gone
and couldn't come up with a definitive answer. Even time itself didn't appear to know. We
then walked from the moss stone over to the birch trail where broken sections of pure white
bark proved useful in outlining paths. Paths which led into and around this area only.

I'd lay them out like a border when I had nothing else better to do, thus giving something
with no purpose a new sense of order. After a month, the bark would begin to peel away
from the trunk and when it turned a putrid brown color was usually when it needed to be
replaced. Those old pieces were then tossed aside into the foliage where they were left to
rot. I would then inspect the area for more suitable replacements to gather before laying
them out on either side. This made the rugged path look more like a refined trail, and aside
from that, it made me feel majestic while walking through it stoned! The width of the path I
would say, was roughly three feet in diameter and considering that there was so much of the
white birch strewn about, doing this not only made the area look neater, but cleaner as well.

It wasn't long before we reached our 2nd hangout spot.

A widened area
with nothing but four logs from a dead tree to sit on,
and the imperfect circle of stones for the winter fires. It was here
where we sat for a while, but said very few words to each other.

Together we looked out into a dense and overpopulated jungle of foreboding and inviting
embodiments. All majestic! All so beautifully rich and full of life's bounty! There was a
certain form of understanding we were able to relate to in here. Being apart from mankind
was a wonderful escape for us. Not only did it clarify the mind, but it offered us freedom.

As I began to think of “Animals” by Pink Floyd, I could not imagine a better entrance
into the nineteen eighties than that album. It was definitely cooler than “The Wall” in
terms of how it was laid out and pressed in the studio, to give it such a trippy edge!

When the last rays of sunlight had finally dwindled from the sky, the nineteen seventies
had been cast out. It felt strange, knowing we were moving into another period of time.
Of course we knew it was going to be better, because we were no longer in school,
but apart from the obvious, what is the future going to be like overall?

The new music on the radio
The new vehicles in the showroom
The new technological advancements

I contemplated this thought for awhile, and came to this one conclusion.
Anyone who has not gotten high to “Dogs” should seriously consider it!

Pink Floyd - Dogs

Eventually, we made tracks to the 3rd area.

An area overflowing with life in abundance so sweet, that my very eyes could not wait to
see it. Here a distinct type of fern followed the path and grew like tiny fingers branching
out from beyond our realm of sight. They appeared to be soft as silk and fine as baby hair
to the touch. As we walked on, a reddish type of plant with black highlights intermingled
with the trees, where a new and interesting species of plant life seemed to thrive!

                                                                               Pg 65

Some of which could also be found growing peacefully beside the fern in their own little
designated portion of the woodlands, for they are indigenous to this area. Shiny green leaves
sprouted from the grounds surface bearing what appeared to be slovenly drawn faces on the
inside of each and every one. They had a faux texture, and it seemed like the artist standing
above me had just finished painting the landscape with his magic brush!

Two perpendicular lines dipping downward, a spot in the middle followed
by an uneven, asperous line below it, which one would assume is a mouth.

Not in pretext to the situation given my state of mind, but rather, anyone with eyes to see
would say that this leaf did indeed have a face. In a grayish blue ink, identical to that of a
tattoo fading, ecology could suggest that between evolution and theology, there is in fact a
direct link. As I stare in silence pondering, it appears now that the proverbial essence of life
itself had been touched by the mighty hand of God himself. Indeed, it was pure conjecture.

Since the hypothesis of god cannot be proven in logical terms and considering that the Bible
was written in parables, I myself find it necessary to believe and have faith in things that go
far beyond my own reach of understanding. I do it for the sanctity of my own mental health,  
as well as that of my eternal soul, which dwells deep inside a prism within my heart. So in  
those final moments, I can close my eyes in peace without ever having to look back. If, there
is nothing there, okay, then it’s back to the beginning of a dark nothingness. But what if it’s
true, and you didn’t believe in anything, but yourself. Then, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

As I continued to formulate a basis for the Holy Trinity, and how each
of the three were in fact one, I became lost in a maze of curiosity. 

Why was I focusing on things that could only confuse me?
Why do I burn out my brain on rhetorical nonsense that
theologians have struggled for years to comprehend,
when I
should be concentrating on living life?

Oh father, am I that
far gone, where I cannot see
the light shining through the brume ahead of me?

Not watching what I was doing, I tripped over a half rotted log, before stumbling and
running over my own two feet! I fell to the ground like I was diving into a pool while
narrowly missing a collision with a tree. “You all right, man?” Pete asked, sounding
quite concerned. “Yeah,” I said, feeling shocked. From a distance, I brushed myself off
and thought of what could have happened, had fate thrown me a different line. I saw
my face hitting the tree. My nose bleeding heavily, and the surgery needed to mend it.

It hadn't even happened and I was bummed out.
They come from out of nowhere to destroy me, these awful thoughts.

The weed had not only dampened my spirits, but it had seeped down into the layers of my soul.
It always made me feel so useless, like I was the biggest failure on the face of the earth, and I was
going to Hell. No matter how kind I was as a person or how good I was to other people, it always
boiled down to me being burned in Hell and feeling paranoid and miserable like this for all eternity.

I can't stand it anymore!!!
God, why can't I just stop smoking?

While I was now in complete denial of anything being wrong inside, I was
starting to become more disassociated with everything that was currently going
on around me. It was almost as though I couldn't care less if the whole place
burned to the ground, and I never saw it again. Right about here, I truly felt like
I was trapped inside a black hole, with no hope of ever escaping. 

I then started to get those really bad thoughts,
wondered why I even bothered to get out of bed this morning.

                                                                               Pg 66

Thoughts of being drawn and quartered in 16th century England, where even the slightest infraction
would carry a penalty of such gruesome torture, it makes the knees buckle when you think about it.

Or spending your last days in Italy on a Judas Cradle. Being seated on a wooden stool that rises to
a point. Weights were added to the legs to drive the object, which was never washed or cleaned, deep
into the anal cavity. Sometimes, those inflicting the pain would hoist a prisoner as high as six feet into
the air, Judas cradle and all, before letting them drop! You do not want to imagine that agony. With a
woman, it was usually the vagina that was torn open or shattered. It was a very slow and painful death.

The worst thought which entered my head was living in Europe during the time of Saw Torture.
It would take a really sick mind to think of something more barbaric than sawing a man from ass
to sternum while he screams out in agonizing pain.
This torture was reserved for homosexuality.

Then, I thought of the poor souls having to undergo the torment of being fitted to a skull
crusher. As the crank is turned, the victims teeth shatter through the gum until the jawbone
is forced past the nasal cavity. Sometimes the eyes would pop out of their sockets. Then
there's the pear of anguish, the Catherine wheel, disembowelment, being buried alive, etc.,

Lest we not forget the terrible empalement of having to sit on a large wooden stake,
while it slowly and painfully made its way for the neck, chest, back, side or mouth.
Sometimes it would take days to die, and that person was usually left to rot while he
or she was still alive. The end was never sharpened, or the victims would have died
within the hour. It is a well established fact that Vlad the Impaler took pleasure in this
form of punishment. He would enjoy having his meal while watching the impalings of
men, women and babies pulled straight from the womb. It is estimated he murdered
anywhere from twenty thousand to three hundred thousand people in this manner.

Today, in the heart of Romania, you will find a plaque commemorating the
monster known as Vlad Tepes, who ruled Translvania from 1448 to 1456.
The things countries do for the sake of tourism are atrocious, to put it mildly.

Occasionally, I cannot help but wonder what punishment God has in store for these men.

Those who have tortured others in the most barbaric ways, either to extract a confession,
or merely for pleasure. The monsters who exist only to make others suffer. I believe the
punishment fits the crime, and it is written in the Bible that no sin goes unpunished. I am
quite sure that God has a very creative imagination, and his punishment will be far more
severe than any of us could ever possibly imagine. In the end, I'm sure we may even pity
the most wicked, because the pain and the suffering they shall endure will have no end.

Why is man so evil?
Why is he so easily led into the fire of his own damnation?
Maybe I should have just stayed inside today.

Ever get the feeling your whole life is a mistake?
That you should never have been born?
How perfect would everything be right now,
if we were still in that place of nothing;
but oh how terrible indeed, I thought, to be nothing now.

Normal people have good jobs because they follow their heart. Others are pushed into
college and have found that it pays off, because they are making the big bucks. Some
merely finished high school, but have carved their own little niche in life by learning a
skill that they are proud to showcase. Some are dating. Some are married. Some have
children, so the family tree lives on. They all have all of these things, but none of them
have what I lost. I know where the problem lies. What went wrong. I realize it is no
ones fault. I also realize there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. For I am cursed. 

Can you bring back something that is lost in time?
Can you fix something that has been broken beyond repair?
Can you separate the dreamer from the dream?
Sometimes the only thing we can do is cry inside.

Up until the writing of this book, I was actually doing quite fine. I was
able to lay the past to rest and get on with my life. Quitting drugs was
the first step I took. Finding a job, and going to work was the second.

Sometimes you just shouldn't dig where the ground too shallow. . .
Sometimes you get more than you bargain for.

I will admit, all I wanted to do in these years was get high and document. In a
despairing way, it felt like that was all I was living for. As I stood there with the
eyes of the world upon me, I was being taunted. If God could stand before me,
I wonder what he would say. Sometimes things go bad for no reason, I know.
However, I think in my own opinion the very worst of all has to be when we
voluntarily acquiesce to it. Then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I knew happiness and sadness were emotions that could be manipulated with,
and I thought of ways of doing it. I also knew that somehow they were being
transmitted on the same wire. Instead of feeling sad, why couldn't I just feel
happy? I then decided to try using psychology on myself. What did I have to
lose. Rather than focus on negative energy that was already there, and one that
I was presently feeding off of, I omitted all thoughts relating to death, disease,
pain, suffering, sorrow. If it was bad, then it was wrong, and if it was wrong
then it had to be destroyed, and so I made it disappear until there was nothing
bad nor evil in all of existence. Soon, the clouds of despair would pass.

I thought of the lyrics to “The Fireside Song” by Genesis and sang them aloud in my head.

“Once upon a time there was confusion, disappointment, fear and disillusion.

there's hope reborn with every morning. See the future clearly at its dawning.”

I must admit, the first Bee Gee's album cannot hold a candle to the first Genesis album!

                                                Genesis - Fireside song

Soon, everything was perfect again,
in a place where peace had been faithfully restored.

                                                                               Pg 67

I then gazed down upon the landscape of a florally sound sylvan. Leaves that
seemed to grow underground were now funneling upward from the earth's surface
in strange conical shapes, while some were opening to reveal their unique designs.
The root fibre of this strange and exotic organism could be seen when its leaflets
were parted ever so slightly. They ranged from minuscule to microscopic and
expanded across the grounds surface, as if they were gently crawling.

Pete decided we should open the bag of chips, and so he did, and we began eating.
As I got to the sixth or seventh chip, I found it difficult to keep putting my hand
inside the foil bag. To me, it felt like there was some weird kind of temperature
change going on in there. Almost like I was putting my hand inside a chest cavity
during surgery! So uncomfortable was this feeling, I had to shake the chips out.

How disturbing were these thoughts of mine, this brain! “Don't let those thoughts
get you," said Peter sounding a bit distressed. “Beat them away with a stick if you
have to but don't let them in.” I think it's a little too late for that now, I said feeling
guilty for being alive. “I don't even want to imagine how depressing that must be,
especially on this stuff.” “It's beyond madness,” I said, feeling worse than ever.

By the tenth chip, it felt like I was chewing on glass, and wondered how much
damage I had already done to the roof of my mouth, now on fire from the salt.
As I unwillingly envisioned my tongue all ripped up from the sharp shards of
these over salted potato chips, I thought to myself, “they're baaaaaack!”

I knew there was really no damage.
I also knew it was a mixed reaction brought on by acute paranoia.
I was just upset that I couldn't control my mind.
I wanted to think what I wanted to think,
not what the Devil wanted me to think!

It was like trying to restrain a hungry bear from
devouring a blood soaked doe on the roadway!

Since I couldn't swallow the remaining chips which felt like a
mouthful of glassy sawdust, I had no other choice than to spit
that yellow glob into my hand and dispose of it inconspicuously.
I know there’s no bleeding, and I know there's no damage, and
yet still, I fall victim to the delusion and it takes hold of me. 

Like being slowly escorted into a Turkish prison,
you find there is no hope in anything anymore.

As we approached the gentle area, I could see a thousand
yellow, brown and black mushrooms flourishing in the wild.

Some were red as if dipped in blood, while ever tainted by the passing of time.
I walked over to a coin sized mound of pure white mushrooms as thin as a hair
growing three inches high. There were big brown ones with dark yellow leopard
spots and jet black sticky ones that were so grossly deformed they would strike
one as being vile. As if just touching them might bring death!

                                                                               Pg 68

Only a disturbed individual would plunder this patch and bring grievance unto the
harmonious spectacle of life, growth and prosperity that begins without waking.
For one to ravage such forms of natural beauty and leave it in turmoil goes without
saying, for this is truly our own land and we as a people should treat it with the
utmost of respect. Because of this, we did not deviate from the path, but instead
took refuge under a shady tree where we sat for awhile and rested. In the center
of all this nature and insects moving about to make better their lives, were the
remains of an old tree fort built in the early thirties by the MacAlister boys.

As I looked up at it, I could almost see with my own two eyes, that distinctive time
line that separated matter. It was an invisible shadow that bordered on the ponderance
of time and motion, but not relevant in theory to the actual progression of this movement.

The movement that had passed was no longer in the past, but the present!
That is why we can never go back, only speculate. God made sure of that.

If the time was now twelve O'clock and the year 1934, would there be any life altering
significance? No. Outside in the street and cities, surely, but in the woods, desert, ocean
and frozen plains, I truly doubt it. A dog, however, might take a couple of short sniffs
and notice a mild change in the atmosphere. It's possible, but they won't let you in on
their little secret. That's privileged information from one hound to another!

I loved thinking about things that were beyond my own brain's comprehension.
Things like going back in time and gathering what I need for that long journey
ahead of me. Not to go back and buy baseball cards and comic books to make a
fortune with at a later date. I can do that now if I wanted to with the same results.

No, it isn't money I long for. It's fixing the shattered mess I left behind that
plagues me constantly. If I could only go back, then perhaps I could change
the past, thus altering the future. Putting my affairs in perfect order, so we
would never have to move, and relishing every day, as though there might
never be another. But the sad truth is, I can’t go back and change a thing.

To correct this world's mistake.

This is my destiny, my curse.
To struggle onward.
To endure but never overcome.
To continue moving in one direction,
but to get absolutely nowhere but further behind.

As I gazed up at a weather-beaten tree fort that was so badly damaged
it appeared to be melting out of all sides of the tree that had long since
outgrew it, I pondered the fate of those MacAlister boys.

                 The Flowerpot Men - Children of tomorrow

                                                                               Pg 69

Reviews for chapter 1

Harry Lichtenberg - I wish I were with you guys smoking that reefer!

If any image on this site is considered to be offensive, it will be removed. If it has been copied without
proper consent, please contact me immediately and the image will either be removed, or credit shall be
given unto the person or persons responsible. Whether it be an artist, photographer, cartoonist., etc.

PG 61) Rusty car by Ryan Doray -

62) Vintage ad for Old Crow Kentucky bourbon whiskey
circa 1952 -

PG 62) Consumer protection
by Goncalo Viana -

PG 63) Chinese public health poster -

PG 63) Autumn
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 64) Woodstock poster
circa 1969 -

PG 65) Grateful Dead
hand painted denim Jacket by Keri Lynn -

PG 65) Into the clearing by Don Huber -

PG 65) Spiritual evolution
by Simon Haiduk -

PG 65) Fire
by Petra Valouchova -

PG 65) Current
by Vladimir Kush -

PG 66) Autumn Labyrinth
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 66) 2 faced world 2
by Markus Vesper -

PG 66) Reality Maelstrom
by Chris Dien -

PG 67) The Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus
by Dieric Bouts (the elder) -

PG 67) The Judas Cradle
by Unknown -

excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology

PG 67) The martyrdom of Bhai Dyala Ji
by Unknown -

Impaling by Unknown @

PG 67) Torture
by Markus Vesper -

PG 67) Homeless, please help
by Kristie Bretzke -

PG 67) The gold bug
by Louis Grell -

PG 67) 2 faced world
by Markus Vesper -

PG 67) Peace Tree
by Shepard Fairey -

PG 68) Mask III. Gratified
by Leon Kubasski -

PG 68) Nocturne
by Ilene Meyer -

PG 69) Trying to stop the time
by Gyuri Lohmuller -

PG 69) Cal Ripken produced by Topps circa 1982

PG 69) The Stranger
by Agim Sulaj -