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 rooted male. 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 while not looking directly at him at all 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 alcohol, 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 early 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 fuck 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!" 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 trash can after a heavy storm,
and so I brought it into the house, scrubbed it with soap and water and found it was an
adequate replacement!

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. 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 insane. "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 someone gagged on alcohol
and the salivary glands opened up to produce running water. I almost threw up!

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 loaded 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 I thought, to have all this at no cost! We then proceeded to the 2nd trail. Letting
the trail lead the way,we followed that path till it wove around a series of white birch trees. Some
were so withered their weight could not be counted, and it appeared, they could topple over with
a push of one's finger. 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 hollowed bark of trees like a leafy form of light green cauliflower that was just gushing with
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.

I studied the xylogenous fungi which grew on a withered tree, and I couldn't figure out for
the life of me 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 decided to put that thought on the
end of a hook and cast it into the great beyond. . . It was gone.

Gazing around 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.

                                                                               Pg 63

Peter then begins to remove from his wallet a flattened out roach. Judging from its size I would
have to say, (without actually going back in time and measuring it) 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 coming off! "It's gonna be hard to smoke this thing
without a roach clip" Give it to me, I said. 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; tell me."

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 fucked up."

I handed him the match and watched in amusement as he tried in vain to peel open the paper
stick! After two minutes, it was getting boring 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 take apart a T-bone steak, thus leaving him with hands that bare
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! "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 it before asking my friend for 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! I coughed vehemently and the fiery
ember came flying out. I handed him 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
with neither band nor songs listed, and who wore Tarkus
and Aqualung matters not. They were the embodiment of time long sheltered by a dream. A reflection
of one's soul piercing the eyes of who ever bore witness to that envisage.

We have now grown a year older, and if we are to lead the world then we had better put the
peace pipe down. Oh fuck it, my head's in a cloud and my words are revolving around me. . .

What was that you said Pete?

"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.


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 is usually when it needed to be replaced. Those
old pieces are then tossed aside into the foliage where they are 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 more than four logs from a truncated tree cut
eighteen inches high
, and the imperfect circle of stones and ashes for the
winter fires. It was here we sat for a while, but said 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 that we were able to relate to, which immediately presented
itself within each gaze. In a passionate sense, it was being able to love and interpret all
that surrounds you, without trying to comprehend its intricacies, nor their complexities.
To literally be able to absorb everything we see, and filter it out in a long sigh.

As I began to think of "Animals" by Pink Floyd, I couldn't imagine a better entrance into
the 1980's than that album. When the last rays of sunlight had finally dwindled from the
sky, the 1970's had been cast out. Like the leader of a frat house who becomes a legend in
another time, but has long since been deceased, I contemplated that strange dilemma. Any
teen who has not gotten high to "Dogs" should seriously consider doing so!


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 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 my eternal soul which dwells deep
inside a prism within my heart, so in those final moments, I can finally close my eyes without
ever having to look back. As I continued to formulate a basis for the Holy Trinity and how
each of the three were indeed 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, when I
should be concentrating on advancing in life? Oh father, am I that
far gone I cannot see the light 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 the same way I would have dove into a pool while narrowly
missing a collision, face first into a tree. "You all right, man?" asked Pete sounding very concerned.
Yeah I said, feeling shocked. From a distance, I brushed myself off and thought of what a damn
fool I'd become. In my mind, I saw my face hitting that tree and breaking open with bone and nerves
all exposed and my nose bleeding heavily into my mouth. 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 even remotely wrong inside, I was,
in fact, becoming more and 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 down,
and I never saw it again. Right about here, I truly felt like I was trapped inside a black hole
with no way of ever escaping.

Then I started to get those 'really bad thoughts' and wondered
why I even bothered getting 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 those 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. We then
have 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 stick while it slowly
and painfully makes its way for the neck, chest, back or mouth. Sometimes it would take days to
and that person was usually left to rot while he was still alive. Stray animals passing by wouldn't
hesitate to begin gnawing away on the victims bleeding entrails. 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.

All because two individuals have two different point of views. . .
Be thankful you weren't born then.

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 we will pity even the most
wicked, because the pain and the suffering they shall endure will never 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, most of them anyway have great jobs because they followed their heart.
Others were pushed into going to college and have now found it is paying off, because
they are making the big bucks. Some merely finished high school but have carved their
own little niche in life by learning an individual skill that they are proud to display.
Some are married. Some are dating. Some are soon to have children, so the family tree
lives on. They all have all of these things, but none of them, and I repeat none of them
have what I lost. I know where the problem lies. What went wrong, but there is nothing
I can do about it.

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. Going to work and doing my job 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 we just feel happy? I then decided to try using psychology
on myself. What the hell did I have to lose, I was depressed now anyway. 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, everything! 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. The world was beautiful once more!

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. Now there's
hope reborn with every morning. See the future clearly at its dawning." I must admit in all
honesty, the first Bee Gee's album cannot hold a candle to the first Genesis album!


Soon, everything was wonderful 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 quite 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 I did when it started. 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 that was
now on fire from the salt. As I unwillingly envisioned my tongue all torn and ripped up from the
razor sharp shards of these over salted potato chips, I thought to myself they're baaaack!

I knew there was really no damage.
I also knew it was a mixed reaction brought on by confusion and worry.
I was just upset that I couldn't control my own mind.
I wanted to think what I wanted to think,
not what Satan wanted me to think!!!

It was like trying to restrain a hungry bear
from devouring a blood soaked doe which lie downwind!

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 eager hand and dispose of it inconspicuously. You know
you're not bleeding, and you know there's no damage, and yet still
you fall victim to the delusion and it takes hold of you.

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 growing 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 God's 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. Hell, 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 daily. If I could only go back. If I could do but this one thing oh Lord, then I
would gladly die for you this second. Putting my affairs in perfect order so we
would not have to move and relishing every day, as though there might never
be another, but the sad truth is I can never go back.

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.


                                                                               Pg 69

Reviews for chapter 1

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

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62) Vintage ad for Old Crow Kentucky bourbon whiskey
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PG 62) Consumer protection
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PG 63) Autumn
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PG 64) Woodstock poster
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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 -