Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 17

             Enter the field of Ah

Soon there was no walkway, only brambles strewn about which had grown so closely
together it was almost impassible. Together we faced the obstacle course and after a
minor ordeal, we came upon a clearing on the other side. We were approaching our 5th
destination. From where we stood, everything seemed to be fine and the day couldn't
have looked more beautiful. A few clouds floating by in the opposite direction made
a woodpecker stop, or was it the sound of our footsteps? A few more yards to go.  

Here was an area known to us as, the field of Ah. Twenty feet past this clearing was a
path cut into a fifty-foot collage of thorns and thickets that I would maintain out of sheer
boredom. With my machete in hand on a hot summer day, I was unstoppable. There is
nothing quite like a well-maintained path to keep everything in order and make our time
here a pleasant one, but when we got to it, I noticed something missing from the picture.

                                              *The path was no longer there*

Through total neglect on my part due to outright laziness, there was now only a one-
foot opening which had at one time formed a long expansive tunnel. Even though I had
not been back here for some time, I didn't think it would be as bad as this, so I neatly
unsheathed a new pair of pruning shears from my back pocket and began the grueling
task of trimming.

“You should have brought the machete for me to use,” said Peter,

“Who knew?” I replied, in a state of sheer bafflement.

Peter said only one thing more, and that was it. “That is going to be one royal pain in the
ass.” Through the swearing and tearing of flesh was this burden before me. I tried to ignore
the thorns as they moved into place and wrapped around the very essence of my anger.
Entangled in grief and bleeding from several wounds, I continued to remain posturing in
my quest to prevail. Hooked into the pores of my skin, like blades of glass were these
tiny intruders that neither gardener nor hungry insect could ever masticate.

After a fair amount of time elapsed, I managed to maneuver my way through, ever so
carefully clipping, until finally, I reached the other side. I then summoned for Peter, who
was waiting patiently some thirty feet away. As Peter drew near, he asked me how often
I come back here to do this. I told him every two weeks in the summer. Any longer than
that and it becomes a monotonous chore, I wind up hating. We sat down on two makeshift
benches that I and my friend Paul made for the area from long lengths of timber and twine.
We were most resourceful, when it came down to making something from nothing.

                                                              Pg 84

Four years ago, Paul and I labored in hacking a clean cut path through the thorny
brush, before widening it into a crop circle. From nearby construction sites, we
would harvest scraps of wood, left in a heap for the taking. This kept that which
underground from growing, and if not for our diligence, the whole area would
amassed in thorns. In doing so, we secured the land which to this day has not
been breached. The following year we would work together to make the benches.

It was a sunny day in April of 1981 when Paul came
to my doorstep carrying with him a small paper bag.

“What's in the brown bag, I ask. Lunch?”

“Never you mind, what's in the bag there Sammy. . .
Cool your jets down and let me get situated.

As he plops himself into one of the wooden high back
chairs, neatly coordinated around the kitchen table,
he begins rehashing, The Great Adventure Fiasco.

“Let me tell ya, I got it all mapped out this time. You, John and Pete are gonna
sleep over my house the night before we go, because last year you guys made
me look like a fucking dummy! My old man was gonna drive us down there, and
then nobody feels like going. What happened, he said,
they stiffed ya? I guess so,
I told him. I wasn't even gonna hang out with you guys anymore after that. Just be
honest, that's all. If you don't wanna go, then say listen Paul, I really don't feel like
going with you guys on the trip, that's it. I'm not gonna flip out like a fucking two-
year old and throw a temper tantrum. . . Get the fuck outta here.”

“Listen Paul, I really don't feel like going with you guys on the trip.

“Excuse me,” he said with the straightest face I had ever seen.
As I attempted to repeat the sentence, I could not compose
myself and immediately brought my lips into my mouth.

“Can't say it with a straight face, can ya scumbag
You know who you look like right now?

Ole grannie farm-apples down the road!
Muddya doin' summy, she says with her lips in her mouth like that!
I can never understand that woman when she talks.
She's even worse than old man Barton!

He's another one, that half-a-mongoloid!!!

“Yeah but seriously, I'm not a hundred percent on going.”
“Oh, you're going. I don't care if I gotta drag you and the
other two scumbags by the ear. Ya hear me? This time we're
all going,
and I don't wanna hear another word about it. . . ”

                                                              Pg 85

“I see what you're doing asshole! (Now laughing heartily)
You're trying to jangle my nerves, but it ain't gonna work.
And before we shoot outta-here, you're filling that gutty sack.”

We soon left for the field of Ah with a gutty sack that looked like an enlarged liver.

“Nothing but the finest Gallo red, Hubert!” said Paul, while patting the bag gently,
and singing his own rendition of Nobody Home from Pink Floyd.

“I got a-bag--a book-brush and a comb--brush.”

And then laughing, like he was about to pull the switch down on me in the electric chair.

                                           Roger Floyd - No service                                           
Then with those long marsupial arms extended out as far as they could
go, he squirts a fine stream of wine into his mouth. The way it kept flowing
toward the back of his throat without stopping and without him swallowing
made it seem like he was filling up a tall wine glass.

When my stepfather arrived in this country,
he brought a leather pouch he filled with wine.
The only difference between a bota bag and
a porron is that the porron is made of glass.

No sooner do we get there does he hand me the gutty sack, and I
in return, hand him the little brown bag I was forbidden to look in.

“I gotta tell you about this girl I seen last week? She was about five two,
chestnut hair and these bright green eyes. I couldn't stop looking at her!”

“Where was she?”

“She checked into the hotel as I was signing somebody out, but
she had this body I can't stop thinking about! If I would have saw
her again, I would have sparked up some kind of conversation.”

He then proceeds to take out what appeared to look like
a small hockey puck and slowly began to unscrew it.

“How does it smell?” asked Paul, bringing it over to my nose.

Upon smelling it, I replied, “it smells like spicy chemicals.”

“I'll give ya spicy chemicals, upside down, back-a-the-ear! Dab a little-
a-this there Charlie-boy, and let's forget about them old chemicals,” he
said, laughing like a jester with that glint of true madness in his eyes!

He then rolls his hands together in an impetuous fervor,
as if he was trying to make fire with a stick.

He then begins singing. . .

“Just a pinch between the cheek and gum;
it won't be long before the doc-tor comes!”

*He started laughing and I laughed louder*

“You're a nut-job,” I belted out!

Putting a nice sized pinch under my lower lip,
it didn't even take long before it began to burn.
“Eh-eh,” I said as I spit out a thousand dry flakes;
“what are you trying to do, give me cancer over here?”

“I hear you man!”

He then pulls out a clear plastic bag of Jolly Farms,
long leaf chewing tobacco!

“Gonna try some there, Charlie Cheswick?” asked Paul,
sounding like an out of control R.P. McMurphy.
“It's awesome!”

“I think I'm gonna have to pass on that.”

“Aw-man, don't be a-douche bag, come on!”

“It looks like a sticky brown bag of plants.”

“Yeah, and what did you say my mother's chicken looked like last week?
That's right; a dead animal! You are a-penis!”

Laughing in a mock tone at my expense again.

“All right,” I uttered in a frustrated tone, before sticking my nose
in the bag. Breathing in deeply, it smelled divine! So I pulled out
a nice sized clump that dangled down about two feet and looked
like weeds that had been soaking in molasses!

“Remember there Maximus you swaller, you gonna holler!

                                                              Pg 86

“If you make me laugh, and I fucking choke to death, I ain't never doing this again!”

“That's right, he said clapping loudly, you won't be!”

I put the long leafs in my mouth, as I would have done with a mouthful of spaghetti
and began chewing.
“This is great,” I said, before spitting a thick tarry blob that
narrowly missed landing on my shoe.

“Didn't I tell ya? Ain't that some shit!” He then proceeded to do the same. Without
warning, a tiny drop of that heavenly nectar went down my throat, and it felt like
I had swallowed pure lye. I let out a scream like I had just been shot in the throat
with a nail gun and spit the rest of it out!

“Don't you listen to anything I say?
If you swaller, you gonna holler!!!”

Strange days indeed, I thought.

The sun was now streaming through the trees, casting its light directly upon our brows.
I thought nothing of it, as I walked around the inside of its perimeter snipping off vines
and thorns, which had begun to grow out and into the sacred circle. All along its edges,
thirty or more bright green tentacle like arms grew in, while I and my trusted pruning
shears kept the brambles at bay. Peter was apricating in the warmth the sunlight had
given him, while I tended to the thorns; keeping them at a respectable distance, so I 
could avoid getting lacerated. I didn't mind the encumbering task for it always brought
prosperity to a day that was so lacking of it. As I snipped the thorny strands of bright
green stalks and tried to avoid getting pricked by them, my mind left me to wander.

Another place of refuge in a land of inescapable people. Crazy kids flying around in cars.
Honking horns and screaming like banshees. You can hear them babbling about conquests
of women for it is the nature of the satyr to redefine infidelity; the key to unlocking their
domain. All they seem to do is drink, yell, and then afterwards become obnoxious louts.

There always seems to be some form of anger behind the grin,
and that we could certainly do without.

Who needs to be among such madness?
Surely not I.

That is why, when I find myself here amongst nature, I can find
the serenity and peace much
needed to transcend everyday living.

There is nothing in a tree to make one angry.

There is nothing in a flower to make one swear.

Just an occasional calm soothing breeze
blowing in from another town
to grace the untroubled woodlands. Here the echoes of life are stilled.

From out of nowhere a noise could be heard coming over the horizon.

As it entered the
airspace directly above our heads,
it looked like something had just flown out of a
history book.

“Wow” said Peter, “that is a U.S. Army cargo plane.”

The massive giant
had four old propellers spinning in unison
to the sound of victory in the sky. We didn't
know where it was
going or what it was doing up there, but it sure looked nice.

It also
left a wonderful impression on my mind;
one that would linger for weeks to come.

                                                            Nazz - When I get my plane

                                                              Pg 87

Reviews for chapter 1

Elaine Fischer - Who is this Paul? He sounds like a real clown! Has he changed
over the years or did you just invent him for the sake of the story?

Charles Pendelton - Actually he is still a clown, and a bit of a jackass at times,
but not like back then! He has matured on an adult level, but he is still annoying!

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