Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 29

                       The Mystery Man and The Clown!

Approaching the steps leading up to the front door of my father’s house, I blew a thick
cloud of cigar smoke from my lips that gently ascended upward to encircle the streetlight
above. I then lobbed it into the bushes. Pushing down on the brass thumb rest, I found
it was locked. “That’s odd,” I thought, and used my key to unlock the mechanism.
Here they come ladies and gentlemen, the mystery man and the clown!

As I ambled down the hallway, I felt like I was walking down an aisle into the heart
of some strange bazaar where anything goes, and all the people I once knew and
loved, would soon present themselves to me in a very unfashionable way. I was
just hoping ‘the detectives’ would not detect anything out of the ordinary.

Unable to deter this odd feeling that encaptivated me, I decided to embrace it
before strolling past the dining room which separated
itself from the kitchen.
I could now hear a roaring crowd behind
the pastel curtain somewhere
between the kitchen and the park.

The redundant sounds of life, echoed a stillness in my heart for those standing in
impecunious shadows. Within an illustrious setting, memories of yesteryear that have
unfurled themselves for me today, shall rise up to grace the foreboding skyline of my mind.

As we entered the kitchen, I thought, here we go, but there was nothing. No children
running out of the woodwork to greet me. No dad with his questionnaire form and stern
appearance; nor Gerry, lost in endless piles of laundry to wash and fold as she chased
after kids going two-and-fro, like a dog running after its own tail on a flea bender.

The house appeared to be devoid of all life, but that simply could not be.

As we proceeded up the stairs, we were greeted by my Aunt Gloria.
“Here he is,” she said in a rather calm voice, “the mystery man.”

The incandescent woes reflected from
the ceiling light emanated
in sorrow to the likes of which I’d never seen.
Like my body was
gone, and I was standing there only in spirit.

“I haven’t
seen you in over a month,” she said. “How are you?”
“Well, uh. . .” was all I could seem to utter before she focused her
attention on
my friend Richie, and said with an exasperated sigh,
“I live right next door to Charlie, but I never see him.”

(After tonight, I thought, she'll probably never want to see me again)

“That’s because my nephew is so elusive and so mysterious, no one
ever knows what he’s up to. He doesn’t attend family functions. He
operates like a CIA agent and most of the time he disappears for
days on end, coming home only when it suits him.

So now. . .”

I cleared my throat loudly to prevent her from going any further
with her
rhetorical comments, but it didn’t work.

“So now, when one of his relatives asks about
him, I have to
tell them he’s among the missing. What else can I say, right?”

Rich was oblivious and just smiled.

“Where’s Pete the Lizard?” she asked.

“I’m surprised he’s not with you two.”

“I looked for him earlier, but he was nowhere to be found.” I replied.

Pete got that nickname from my father because of the way he acted around people.
Like a lizard hiding behind a warm rock, or the tortoise afraid to stick his neck out for
fear that the axe may fall. He never had anything to say around my parents, or anyone's
parents for that matter, and it always appeared that he was hiding something, when in
reality he was just being himself. Around us though, he was quite the comedian.

My dad once said to me, “If someone can't look you in the eye, beware,
because they're up to no good.” In the end, Peter would rectify himself,
but only after years of hard struggle.

                                                                               Pg 140

My aunt didn’t seem to recognize my condition and told me the baby had a fever and
was taken to the hospital. The baby was my youngest sister Carolyn. She was a fussy
baby that mostly cried, and did her damndest to attract as much attention as possible.

The house was now hauntingly somber, even though it resonated with many lights.

Everything seemed more disturbing in the light, as if the truth would reveal itself in the
next word spoken. My aunt appeared sad in a way, and as she continued to speak, most
of her words became lost in translation. It’s not that I didn’t understand what she was
saying. I just couldn’t comprehend her words put into any type of order. Like reading a
novel and trying to remember passages, when you didn’t want to read the book in the
first place. I put on an acting show to convey my emotion, but felt only panic and shame.

If she knew, would she tell the others?
Would I be persecuted for my role in this play?
Was I wrong for exercising my right to uphold our freedom?

It wasn’t like I was using intravenous drugs and then going out and robbing
convenience stores. Everything I did was well within the boundaries of what
my peers might deem as acceptable. I was merely experimenting with the
effect hallucinogens had on the mind, and then documenting it afterwards.

I would write extensively on the subject before revising it at a later date.

Since I wasn't hurting anyone and being that it was solely to aid in my research
studies, I felt confident enough to experiment on my own; unlike many I knew at
the time who were fearful of opening that door. To them it was the equivalent of
ingesting a poison that would take them to a place of unfamiliar surroundings
filled with phantasms and nightmarish shadows. In a way, they were correct.

The key was to not make a habit of it.

In fact, there were only a handful of days that would be allocated toward
building a world around trying to solve the impossible equation. Attempting
to understand how the drug can make a user perceive that his external world
of inorganic contrivances had been awoken, and were now reaching out to him.

For this, I shall forever be labeled a blunderer.
A dreamer. . . A wisher. . . A fool.
A family failure who never amounted to anything
more than an explorer who was ultimately lost at sea.

One day, can only hope to prove I was right. 

In time, perhaps they will see all my experimentations were

worth documenting. Then maybe, they will understand why
I was so compelled to explore. If nothing more than for the
sake of my own unique writing style, shall I be vindicated.

If I ever decide to write a book, I am sure it will be an interesting read, but without
proper schooling
in the art of writing, I'm sure my work won't receive much acclaim.

In truth, we can do nothing more than try our hardest and either fail, or come out ahead
of the game.
Any way you look at it, I'm going down swinging, for I will not be crushed
by my progenitors and the
restrictions they place on me.

In other words, if I am to walk in these shoes, then I must lead the way.

Why is it that I must answer for every single thing I do in this life?

Secure a career or nothing you do is relevant.
Is there never an end to it?
Does it ever get better?

Only time knew for sure, and I'd be damned if I was going to let
anything interfere with me carrying out and completing this mission.

In this state of complete oblivion, I noticed my world was changing.

Instead of the earth revolving around the sun, it seemed the world
was now revolving around my aunt. As I stood there flummoxed,
I felt at any given moment I could begin growing an appendage.

Rich was looking at the wall as though he were reading a scroll,
and I honestly thought at that point I was busted. Instead, my aunt
just rambled on while I listened to fragments of broken sentences.
Never let her see your eyes, I thought. Once they lock, you’ll open
a vault of lecture, and I would rather die than to be preached to in
this state. Just remain calm and appear to enjoy the conversation.

Though inside, I was churning and yearning for escape.

It was all I could do for I was trapped in that purgatory. Stuck in a
nebulochaotic realm of utter madness with no way out, while Rich
stood behind her counting flowers on the wall. I simply had to bide
my time. After what seemed like an eternity, my aunt left the house.

                                                                               Pg 141

It was at this moment, that time began to move in a very peculiar way.
I flicked the light switch and watched my room illuminate. On my wall,
the little brown men were working feverishly in the field, gathering
what they may for the Spanish harvest.

They were sweaty and tired, but somehow
frozen in time for they were not moving.

In a small village across the way, the wives and townspeople were
out shopping and buying gifts. There was a cacophony of laughter
in the air and a magic wind swirling my imagination to the hilt. 

There is no better design for a room than exquisitely rare vintage wallpaper.
My grandmother kept several rolls hidden in the basement of her old home.
Preserved from the ominous hands of time, it now covers my bedroom wall.

Peter Sellers, was looking quite content from where he was tacked into the wall.
He would survey the room in seemingly cool e'Lectric sunglasses on a totally
far-out poster I bought several years ago. That classic comedy of '68 entitled,
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas,”and I said “wow,” when I cast my eyes upon it.

“I sure have one groovy looking poster.”

                                                            Harpers Bizarre - I love you, Alice B. Toklas

There was a very peaceful aura about this room that made it comfortable to be in.
Everything in just the right order with nothing out of place, can certainly help.
After scrutinizing the rows of lacquered wooden steps, which led into my baby
sister's room, I found the ceiling lights to be too bright and turned them off.

I then went around my bed to where the long walk-in closet was. I turned
the elongated gold knob on the dusty relic and the acrylic glow of three
chunky Lucite rock-candy swag lights produced a fascinating effect.

Three spheres strung together by two long brass poles, that when lighted
created an appearance of lava. Sandy grain in texture with thick plastic
squares held in place that strangely resembled orange pasta. They appeared
wet and translucent in color and seemed to be contracting and retracting
in the same space. Alien matter, I thought as I watched them breathe. 

So grossly deformed were these characters,
as if extracted from the mind of Hieronymus Bosch.

So unfeasible to me, was how they have evolved to become pets.

Almost as if these quiescent objects had been dormant
since time began, and only now decided to awaken.

I did not need to pack bags, yet I was on vacation.
No one was performing, yet I was being entertained.

It was a splendid show to watch these new life forms, dance
and sway for me while they swelled and oozed beneath their
own skin, as if they were alive or from another planet.

Touching its exoteric membrane, I found it to be, in fact,
quite cool. Nevertheless, it was unquestionably alive.

Whatever I had taken for granted before was no longer boring at all.

A lamp, an end table, the hardwood floor.
They were brilliant.

These things I could no longer ignore. Each one had to be
examined thoroughly for they now had meaning unsurpassed. 

Everything was a mystery to behold.
A box waiting to be opened.

The carnival was lively and livid
in the circus of wonderland,
and nothing was to be taken without notice.

            Hurry, hurry, step right up;
get your acid-trip for only three dollars!

                                                 Tides In - Trip with me

As I stared at the freeway of lights in my room, I was in imminent danger of getting
lost in it all. There seemed to be too much input and not enough time to absorb it.

I was becoming more and more confused as the iridescent shades
of lights and colors transferred themselves to the contour of my
world, bringing me ever closer to the edge of astonishment.

A symphony of illuminated perplexities had formed, turning an ordinary setting
into an area now overflowing with life. Like a jungle thriving in its own serenity,
my habitat was equally as ambiguous. Aside from that, I was beginning to lose all
sense of time, wit, motion, perception, depth, and reality. From a mental standpoint,
there was no difference being lost here in this quiet room, than being lost in traffic
in the middle of a wild intersection. In this state, where relative matter seemed to
be rearranging itself all
around me quite harmlessly, I began to wonder, if indeed,
it wouldn't begin to start
rearranging ‘me.

                                                                               Pg 142

Similar to a stereogram that tricks the eye into portraying an illusion,
there was no throwing the eyes out of focus, or concentrating intently
to see the imagery and creative perception within the veil of induction.

All that is hidden shall be revealed.
That which is cloaked shall be unmasked.

And be not alarmed when you discover the figurine on the
nightstand knows your full intentions. He is merely watching
you observe him. Take it with a grain of salt, for the very
things that possess no life shall become animated.

Just because his little eyes can follow you around the room,
doesn't give him the ability to conspire. And even though
you feel he has the ability to judge you, always remember
that your emotions control his actions, so make him a defender
of justice. Allow he who now has life to join in the voyage.

Indeed, it was all a big eye show. . . Candy
for the brain.

I was being inundated with new ideas faster than I could process them and
all the weight from these new ideas were starting to weigh heavy on my mind,
and the bag was beginning to break. The ‘stop and go’ effect it produced in
my head was kind of amusing, until my behavior became erratic. In a world
where walls shift and simple properties expand to become more complex, one
could say that in all due reasoning, it should have been left to the cartoonist.

                                              *I should not be here*

I soon found at the bottom of a dry wishing well, that the very essence of peace
and love was nothing more than a vile joke. Only a monster, I thought could be
soul searching in this part of town. Where every breath is saturated in intangible
doubt, and the winds that blow in off the coast are merely ghosts of season’s past,
existing within the limbus of their own predilections. 

Moving fluently and without hesitation you flitter in light absorbed shadows,
but I cannot touch you, for I know not where you are. I can only deduce that
you are beside me now, trying to quell my anguish. In this world of ever-growing
disconsolation, I feel I am but a stepping stone of man’s hypocrisy. In this ever-
expansive void of my own undoing, love and longing have become impalpable.

Where exiguous thoughts become a whirlwind, the cavern of man's creativity is now
a place for the solemn to dwell. In a room where my emotions have
been shredded,
I sit. Like a donkey on a footstool, or a dunce cap in the
corner that cannot think,
I have allowed myself to be consumed.
Until all that is left is the grim realization
that everything in the entire world is nothing more than a reflection of emptiness.

A necessary arrangement for the saints and the sinners, and the gods and
the demons, and the powers that be to acquire. Where terrible places give
birth unto loathfulness, it is the beginning to the requiem of sorrow.

If, before the sun sets, I should fall, cover me with earth and hasten.
Dance and sing and drink and stumble, but never cry, for I shall be at
peace. To soar amongst the ethereal beings in a place called Heaven.

Who the hell was I kidding?
With the luck I've been having, I'll probably rot.

The angst within my very spirit has overtaken my mood, and I could not concentrate
on a solitary thing. My mind was had been overtaken by the situation and I feared I
would soon begin to lose my grip on reality. The man who once owned the world is
now nothing more than a living train wreck. He is accursed for the sins of his past,
but the sins of his past are not really sins at all, unless love is an expletive.

How can feeling love for someone be wrong, if it is a mutual bond between two
consenting people?
Sometimes things that appear to have God's approval,
become poisoned by the blood of society.

The brooding despair slowly subsided to calm serenity as I gently caressed the asperities
of an ill-begotten truth.
Here in a room with a clown will I sit and ponder my own demise.

She was mine.
She will always be mine.
There would never be another
love like ours.

A savory lip from the candid smile that washed away brought tears
by the busload to saw through my heart. Never to be felt again, we
weep in the quiet shadows of our own self-pity. Never to be seen
or heard from again you cremate and scatter all that is mine, till
nothing remains but a vast barrenness torn from the human spirit.

There is no closure.

Before the windswept ashes came a promise of hope and along
with that hope, a chance to start a glorious new life together.

Yet, still there are some who would dare to besmirch the wind
rather than embrace it, but I am only a man, and will not condemn
them for their abject opinions. They mean nothing to me.

It is a lot easier to cast stones when someone else is on trial.
In theory, we all live in glass houses.

Places of refuge we come to know and understand from birth.
Things we grow accustomed to, and institutions of learning.

The very fabric of our society has been woven from these threads.

But I, on the other hand, have strayed from the straight and narrow.
I have taken a different path, and my conscience is afflicted with sorrow.

I believe we should not judge one another, but rather, help each other
in times of need. In times of struggle and in times of unrest we should be
there to lend a helping hand. In all truth, it is easier to cut the cord and
allow the other person to fall into oblivion, than to risk being pulled into
the great abyss as well. Sometimes taking the path of least resistance is
not always the best option. Sometimes we need to think for ourselves.

Indeed, I had entered a surreal world that would not stop, and to tell
you the truth, I didn’t want it to stop. I needed to understand it for my
own reasons. I needed to remember everything that happened in those
years, and I needed to brand those memories into my own flesh.

Rich was now perched in a corner of the room.

He had not stopped laughing since my aunt departed and that was forty
minutes ago. Or was it ten? All that were missing were the cap and bells
upon his head and poulaine shoes upon his feet. . . He would laugh at
and everything, and so I dubbed him, the clown of New Dorp.

                                                  Status Quo - The clown
                                                                               Pg 143

Reviews for chapter 29

Phyllis Macintosh - Your poetic style has influenced a reaction in my right ventricle! Does that sound good?

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PG 140) Raconteur
by Ilene Meyer - 

PG 140) Flea Circus
by Leah Palmer Preiss -

PG 140) Figment by Bill Melvin -

PG 140) Tired Hero
by Julien Chaves -

PG 141) Twilight in the nursery by Jacek Yerka -

PG 141) The primordial inception of life at daybreak by Justin Michael Jenkins -

PG 141) Childhood's end by Dennis Konstantin -

PG 141) The absent poet by Joachim Lehrer -

PG 141) Executives shadows bridge by Guy Billout -

PG 141) Dead end
by Jacek Yerka -

PG 142) I love you Alice B. Toklas,
theatrical poster -

PG 142) Movable immovables
by Gennady Privedentsev -

PG 142) Visit Wonderland by Jazzberry Blue

PG 142) The Way
by David Ho -

PG 143) Butterfly (a stereogram) -

PG 143) Schwarmerei
Alessandro Fantini - 

PG 143) Filaments of Destiny
by Wojtek Siudmak -

PG 143) Equestrian statue puzzle
by Wojtek Siudmak -

PG 143) After the flood (No.1)
by Marcin Kolpanowicz -

PG 143) Night time sorcerer's
by Jaroslaw Jasnikowski -

PG 143) War and Folly
by Michael Pucciarelli -

PG 143) Philautia by Alessandro Fantini - 

PG 143) A jester
by Philippe Mercier -