The Canadian years, 79, the killing grounds

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Wednesday 18 February 18:31


The killing grounds

It was early morning, the first light broke through and there on a field along the road lay a person. I floated over as if I was a bird. On the one hand I wanted to be closer to see who was there and why. I knew who it was and I could not control my flight, this was the distance, I could not get any closer. But I knew who was there. I looked at the place from above, I was stationary, details were sharp. The man who was lying there was dead, I saw that in the unnatural position. Arms spread as if he was crucified on the ground. It was quiet and there was early morning mist, no bird sang. There was the road, which was a dirt road and there some way off, lay a rock, not particularly big but too big to ever be moved by hand. A bit away from there, diagonally crossed the path was a high tree, remarkably thin. The first tree to a plurality of trees, as a forward post or sentinel of the start of a forest. Between them was the man. I knew who the man was. I was perspiring heavily, he had thought of me when he died, I felt it. I heard snatches of music that I had heard before that day, find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground, mother earth will swallow you lay your body down. There were patches but I knew who was acting out the text. My muscles were cramped and I wanted to scream but I had no voice. Below me was something dark that I just could not see, but it was there, it was watching his work from a distance. I could not turn to see, I had no control over the flight, but it was waiting there, threatening and torn with emotions like ripples that reach out in a pond. Wet, bathing in sweat, I woke up. My throat was screwed tight.

I found by touch the button on my bedside lamp. I flicked it on. Light, it took a while for the images to fade from my mind. I lowered my legs over the edge of my bed and continued to sit. A few feet from the bed of my brother, sounded his deep breathing, thank God. I walked over to the sink outside our bedroom in the basement and took a swig of water from the tap and threw some water with my hands in my face. The images faded to patches of color and stains, and went over to the darkness of the basement, where the light from the bulb did not reach.


I lay in bed for a while to rationalize my mind, the images were gone. In my slumber before I could surrender to sleep, I had a comforting thought. I was afraid of death that hung around our house and I had mingled up the moving of my brother with the coming death of my mother. If someone was going to die, then that would be my mother. CKXL and its depressing anti Vietnam texts had done the rest. That was my first miscalculation. My brother would not go to Vietnam, we were North Americans, but only those who were American citizens could be drafted. My brother would never walk on that field, that was my second misjudgment and that is what happens when we are willfully blind in this life. I thought that I had mixed a variety of experiences and anxieties and had projected, even that incorrectly. Blind, because we can not comprehend the evil that lurks in damned souls.

Tune in and drop out, my little transistor vomited out cheerfully. It was time to get up. ‘Why so loud,’ asked my brother, as he stretched out? ‘I'm glad to see you,’ I said without thinking. ‘Because you will become the oldest here,’ asked me brother? ‘Yeah something like that,’ I said. I should have been more honest, I should have spoken out. ‘Next year this is behind you, then you're somewhere far away studying.’ ‘Yes,’ I nodded, and again there occurred a misjudgment in my mind.

Life is a balance of cause and effect, and if you change a cause than the effect changes with it. Without that we were aware of it he had started on a finite repertoire of last sentences until he’d say the last thing he would ever utter to me. We would have had to kill my father, then the cause would have been away but we would have been stuck in jail because you can not explain that you kill someone because you think that the victim is bad and has evil intentions. The result would have changed, nothing more. So many ways and so many options, and we continued to follow the path of destiny.

My father sat at the kitchen table and greeted us kindly. ‘I am up early because I wanted to talk to you before your day begins.’’ Boy, he told my brother, ‘we should enjoy the last days of each other’s company. Invite Karen this evening and we will make a nice evening of it.’ My brother exchanged a quick look with me, he laughed relaxed and probably thought, ‘you see it is all going to be alright.’ ‘Soon you'll be the eldest son,’ my father laughed now and amicably hit me on the shoulder, ‘do your best today, huh?’ I shuddered, ‘eldest son, you mean here?’ ‘Where else,’ my father laughed merrily.


‘It has gone to his head,’ I thought, but then again I saw his face change in a split second, had I imagined it or had I gone paranoia? No, he had observed everything analytically in a split second, his eyes betrayed him. My brother swallowed the bait with hook and all. ‘How nice,’ he said, ‘we can part our ways in a friendly manner.’ ‘Yes,’ my father laughed, ‘which I value so much, but I saw that his eyes did not comply , they observed the effect of his words. ‘Tomorrow I'll take you with some colleagues of mine to the pub,’ continued my father, ‘say a kind of pre farewell, I’ll invite Pastor Ohler  too.’ I could not fathom it. Until the coin fell, we were being lulled to sleep. Just like the neighbor where my father had placed a stone in a bag to make him crash his car, to whom he had waved  kindly. ‘You are far away with your thoughts my father said he had seen me ponder. The darkness weighed suddenly hard on me without being visible. The air became thick and I knew I had better control my emotions. ‘Oh,’ I said, ‘I’ve got to go, can’t be late for school and I walked out of the kitchen toward school.

On the way to school, I worked out what was happening, he was up to something with my brother, something bad and wanted everyone who could testify that they had had a good relationship. I knew this now as a certainty. But what was he up to? What could he do to my brother that  justified so much buildup?

'Hey man,' sounded Don's voice beside me, 'soon you 'll pass the school.' I laughed, and I was again in the other world where you just paid attention,  and not engaged in conspiracies.

San Daniel 2015

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