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
the 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.” “Who knew?”

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'd
harvest scraps of wood, left in a heap for the taking. This kept that which was
underground from growing and if not for our diligence, the whole area would be
amassed in thorns. In doing so, we secured the land which to that day, had not
been breached. The following year we would work together to make the benches.

It was a sunny day in April of '81 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,
my father 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.”

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 began to attempt repeating 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
(Laughing) 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!!!”

“Yeah but seriously, I'm not a hundred percent on going.”
“Bullshit, 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.”

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.

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's,“The Wall” album.

“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.

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! 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.

“Did I 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
of! 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
proceeds 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 dolip-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. Paulie 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, in a voice that could have come from Bela Lugosi!
Putting a nice sized pinch under my lower lip, and packing it down, it didn't even take
minute 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.
” “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 yesterday? That's right, a dead animal! You are a-penis!”

Laughing in a mock tone at my expense again. “All right,” I said sounding most disgusted.
I stuck my nose in the bag, and 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, you won't be!” I put the long leafs in my mouth,
as I would have done with a heaping mouthful of spaghetti and began chewing.
This is great I said, before spitting a thick tarry blob that narrowly missed landing
on my right 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 to myself quietly.

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 all times at a respectable
distance, so I could avoid getting lacerated! I didn't mind this encumbering task for
it always brought prosperity to a day that was so lacking of it. As I snipped the thorn
strands 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 savages! 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 want to do is drink, and when they drink they become exceedingly loud! 
Then they talk about drag racing or grapple over whose chick is cuter. 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 here amongst nature, one 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 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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