Pulling an old pocket watch out of her purse she opened,looked at it then said,"If you don't mind,,you can drop
me of at the college and I'll ride home with John.I want to go talk to one of those counselors while I'm there."
"Sure,,if ya want me to,,no problem.Has it been that long,,what time is it?"
Putting the watch back and pulling out a pack of Salems she said,"Allmost eleven."
"Wow." was all I could say as I pushed in the car lighter and reached for my Winstons and tried to find some
place to moor my thoughts to rebuild what memories where hiding between seeing the old coot chomp on his pipe,,opening the
trash can,,the vaporising of the planchette and getting back in the car.I guess she guessed my thoughts,,probally aided by
the furrows and frowns flitting across my face since,,while I flipped a cig out of the pack and into my mouth,replaced it
in my pocket then reached over,pushed in on the lighter and held it to heat it quicker,she said,"Don't worry,,you will remember
all of your visit,,by and by."
Then as I held the now brightly glowing coil of the lighter towards her for her to light her Salem she finished
with,"And some things will come to you sooner if you need them."
As she pulled the heat into the cigarette and puffed it to life I asked,"Hey,,did he do some some kind of voodoo
on me?" then used the still hot lighter to light my Winston."No,well,,sort of yes,,but really no because he wasn't using anything
but what God gave him.Which is a lot.He quit using any connectors along time ago when he renounced his obi and killed the
loas he was working with.You'll remember more on your own.He told you all about it.I was actually surprised how talkative
he was with you."
Placing the lighter back in it's hole while I asked, "Do you remember all of it?" Her reply was tinged with
irritation,, "No,,dammit,,he fogged a lot of what he said to you when I was in the room.I know he was talking,I just don't
remember what was said.But I do know he talked a lot more with you than I thought he would." was surprising enough to incite
my nagger to asked,,'who'd a thunk it?,,youse is spechul!'
I ignored it and asked Johns mom,"Do you think things are gonna get weirder or worse or what?Did he say anything
about what's going to happen?"
After a few moments during which the words from 'Running with the Devil' coming out of the speakers took on
a much more than usual poigniant meaning she finally said,"I don't know,,he didn't tell me if he knew,,or I don't know yet.But
I am sure things will be worse before they are better.That's how these things do once they focus on someone.But if Hiram knew
something he probally told you something that will be handy later,,and you'll know what it is when you do."
Considering the weirdness of the past day I had no doubt things were going to get weirder,,but the nagger had
a simple way of expressing the same thing,,,"This is the fifth dimension. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless
as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit
of man's stomach and the heighth of his buzz. It is the dimension of freakin' weirdness. It is the area your butts been sucked
into called the Twilight Zone." It expressed it so well,,I had nothing more to say to my self about it.
Johns mom sat quiet for a few minutes,,smoked a few drags on her mentholated cigarette then said,,"He's a wily
one,Hiram.He lays things in your mind that pop up just when you need them.Most of the time he's right on the money,,not allways
After that,,we stayed quiet,,all three of us,,listening to the fare on the radio untill I got to 58th and turned
to go to the college.After turning right on to the road that ran along the canal,,she butted out her cigarette in the ashtray,turned
the radio down and asked me,,"Did you know that a tribe of Indians used to live along the Indian River and all through this
"Yeah,,the Seminoles." , "No,,not them,,,before them.Like when the Spaniards were in control of Florida."
"Uh,,no,,I allways thought it was the Seminoles.Why?" , "I was just curious about how much you knew about the
history of this area." , "Why?Do you know a lot?" , "I don't know squat,,but it was one of the things I heard Hiram mention
from the kitchen.And something about a tribe in Louisiana in a placed he called Nomans.Then I came back in with the tea and
he fogged me after that.I'm sure he did it just to tease me."
Flicking my Winston 100 out the window onto the blacktops opposite lane before pulling into the student parking
lot I asked her,,"You want to go to the front door,,or where?" , "Do you see his car,,I'll wait for him there."
Looking around and not seeing Johns car I said,,"No,ma'am,,I don't." and went into a grid search pattern through
the rows of vehicles."Where in Louisiana is Nomans?Did you hear anymore about it?"
"I don't know where it's at,,but he used to spend a lot of time there.He has talked about it to me a little
bit in the past.And Grandpa Michael has too.That's where they stayed between trips a lot of the time.But they hardly ever
talk about it."
Turning and going down the next row,,thoughts of old time sailing ships plying backwater bayous filled my head.
Cutlasses,,doubloons,,bottles of rum,serving wenches,,swinging off the yard arm,,arrrrghh!!The life of a pirate taking a break
from the sea.Yo-ho-ho,,sixteen men on a deadmans chest!Which then reminded me about the Pirates of the Caribean spring loaded
models of skeletal pirates guarding mounds of treasue while being bedeviled by gators and octopi that I put together and painted
"Home port,eh?" ,Smiling around a feeble derisive snort she said "About as much of one as they had I suppose.Other
than our island that is." , "Why would Hiram be telling me about it?" , "Ya got me there,kid.I don't know.But I bet you will
sooner or later,,ha,,as long as he wants ya to that is."
"Allright,,this is just weird,,why would he tell me stuff he don't want me to know?What did the old guy do to
me?I can only remember coming in,,his face,,opening the trash can,burning the pointer in the fire then getting back in the
Suppresing an obvious desire to giggle she put her hand on my shoulder and said,"Nothing bad.It will be fine
I tell you.Now,stop."
Looking at her I said,,"Well,,I don't know that.The guy done messed up my head.I can't remember nothing." ,
"Stop,,it's right there." , "Right where?What is right there?I can't find no memory of nothing." , Swatting me on the shoulder
quickly but not hard and raising her voice to mother levels she said,,"Now you've passed it,young'un.Stop and back up a bit.What
do you want to do?Make me walk back to it?I'm getting old,boy!"
Realizing that she was talking about Johns car,,I said,,"Oops.Sorry." and braked to a stop,,threw it into reverse,,turned
to look out my back window then backed up the 30 or so feet by which I had passed his car.
As she was getting out I asked her,,"Are you sure you will be allright?" , "Yes,son.Now you go on.I'll be just
"Okay then,,I'll see you later." , "Allright."
Taking my foot of the brake I rolled maybe a foot or so when a bird or something darkened the chrome around
my side view mirror and a thought caused me to step back on it and lean out the window a bit to ask,,"Oh,,hey,,what about
those duppies or shades or what ever ya call them?"
"I wouldn't worry about them right now,,it's daytime,,but be careful anyway.Since that pointer got toasted,,they
won't have a thread to find you for a while."
As she said that,,I was squinting at her out the window,,the view of her standing in the bright sunlight seemed
to dim while a pair of 'steel blue grey' eyes formed out of the colors of the sky in a gathering of fuzz above each of her
shoulders while the words,,"The loa what sent'em isn't knowable yet.But it will be really peeved now,,since ya got rid of
it's varmint,,and I will be watching to spot it.The Odem girl has a rider and it has the board,,they will come up with another
pointer then make sure you are findable to whichever it is what wants ya."
In the time it took for those words to infiltrate my mind,,the image disappeared but the look on my face made
Johns mom giggle a bit and say,,"It looks like you just remembered something he told you."
"It was like his eyes came out of the sky!" Laughing aloud she asked,,"Be glad that's all he made it look like,,he
used to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid,,monsters,talking fish,,all kinds of crap he thought was funny,,what did
"Well,,something about,,he doesn't know what loa sent the duppies.But it's mad over the pointer being destroyed
and he is watching for it.Oh,,and the Odem girl,,who's that?She has a rider,,oh,okay,,,it's Amanda,,yeah,,Amanda Odem.That
makes sense.Anyway,, they,,her and her rider,,will get another pointer and then the loa will be able to find me again."
"Well,there ya go.That's how Hiram works it.Now that you know,,be prepared since you won't get a warning,,just
like this time."
I guess I was just staring at her slack jawed because her next words,,while kind,,had a harsher more authoratarian
tone,,were,"Now,,pick your jaw up and drive carefully wherever it is you are going to go to.Keep your head and try to relax."
Closing my mouth then 'harumphing',,I asked,,"Keep my head?Relax?Dead people sending me a weegee board then
phone calls from the beyond,spirits,duppies or spooks are after me for some reason,,all kinds of wierd stuff is happening,,the
day turned into night,lady,,some guy that owns a zombie,,fogs my mind then his eyes pop out of the sky and he talks to me
in my mind,,and you want me to relax?Sure,,okay,,no problem.Ha!Just as soon as I go find some good pharmaueticals to knock
my ass out for the next few hours,,maybe.But,,sure,,I'll get right on that."
Laughing again,,she suddenly stopped and looked at me rather cold eyed and said,,"My daughter is good at what
she does so if she says you were who she had to send it to,,then you are the man.Now,,don't you forget this,boy.No matter
why this is happening,,you are the one to fight it.My son is involved and if you don't stand strong,,we will all be very sad
over whatever will happen so you get your mind right and keep it that way!"
She paused,,took in a lungfull of air then continued,,"So,,if you gotta go chill out with a bag of dope or some
phenobarbitol or alcohol or whatever,,well you just do that and calm yourself because things are going to keep right on happening
whether you are ready or not and you need to be ready for it.I suggest you get yourself somewhere quiet and pray because if
there ever was a time to ask,pray or beg,,for divine intercession,,well,young 'un,,I think you're about to be in the middle
of one.Now,,I don't know if'n you can handle what's coming or not,,but like I said,,my boy is in the middle of it too,,so
if you ain't up to it,,well,,just go get some rest before anything else goes on,,how's that sound?You are the hinge pin boy,,it's
on you.Me and Hiram have and will do what we can to help,,but you are the one who it's focused on,,God only knows why,,but
you are the bright shining warrior chosen to face it."
That last bit caught my attention,,not that the fact she knew about the calls from her daughter,,or her telling
me to take some pheno,,not the praying part,,no,,the 'bright shining warrior' bit rang in my ears like a peal from a big bell.
"Warrior chosen to face it?What do you mean by that,,and who chose me?No body asked me a thing!"
She stopped,,looked at me as though she might take a step closer and swat at my head stuck out the window,,which
made me pull it in a bit,,then said,,sort of sad like and yet full of tension and the love I knew she had for me,,"Well,son
,,God does things in ways and for reasons we can only see sense in after they happen so you go on and pray we make it to the
place where we can make sense of all this,,okay?Now,,go on,,drive careful and God bless ya,boy."
I said,,"Yeah,bu,," and she cut me off with a very curt,,"Go on,,boy.Now,,be careful,,God bless ya,,I'll see
Getting the ideal clearly,,this time,,I replied contritely,,"Yes,ma'am.I will.Thank you." and let my foot of
the brake.About three heartbeats later I yelled loudly up and out the window,,"God bless you too!" and then gave the car some
gas to speed up my approach to the end of the parking row before braking to a stop at the end which was where the road that
ran in front of the building was.
There was a very cute looking strawberry blonde girl walking across from the building into the next lane over
that was staring at me as though I had three heads or something.Realizing that she had probally heard what I yelled out to
Johns mom,,I quickly glanced the other way to make sure no body was coming,pulled out in order to slap a silly looking grin
on my face,stick it out the window and say to her,,"God bless you too sweetie cuz seeing you is a blessing.You are cute."
as I rolled past.
Pulling my face back in the car and putting my attention on watching the few folks crossing one way or the other
across the main drive by I reached down to turn the radio up a bit.Hearing Aerosmiths 'Back in the Saddle Again',,I turned
it up quite a bit more then went ahead and got out of the parking lot.
After that tune ended,,an incredible stream of some good music began with 'Listen To The Music'.Being the first
time I had been alone with my thoughts since last night,,my mind must have thought that was a good idea because it sort of
took a little break,,I simply listened to the music and drove..'Roll on Down the Highway' was next,,then 'Take The Long Way
Home' ,'Carry On Wayward Son','Life's Been Good','Come Sail Away','The Logical Song','Don't Bring Me Down'.
That made me think it was probally the last in the set ,,but it kept going,,much to my delight with another
CCR tune ''Takin' It To The Streets,then 'Let's Go',,'(Don't Fear) The Reaper','No More Mr. Nice Guy'.
As Billy Swans 'I Can Help' ended,I was almost a block from my house.The deejays voice came up and said,"I'm
gonna end this set with a with a real blaster from the master,,heee,,hee,hee,,you're gonna love it,,hee,,hee,ha,ha.Remember
I luv you guys,,',,after which he spun Sister Meads,,The Lords Prayer for a few verses then his voice faded quickly back in
and out with,,"Ha,Ha Ha,,,now,,since your heads are all cleared," while 'I Can See learly Now',replaced it about two thirds
of the way into the song.
This did make me smile,,he was right it did snap me out of the fugue cruisin' and groovin' can throw one into."Perfect
timing." I said to the radio right before I switched it off and pulled up into my driveway.I cut the Buick off,,stretched
a little and rubbed my eyes then lit a cigarette before getting out.
Getting out my eyes started feeling like grit was in them and while going to the door a heavey wave of tiredness
come up out of my shoes or back pocket or some where else like the clouds in the bright blue sky to settle firmly right in
the middle of my skull.So quickly did it infuse my mind and body that I felt almost drunk trying to get up the steps.Keeping
my balance,,barely,,I made it up and began doing a 'poke and scratch' trying to key the front door open.
About the time the irony was just begining to wear off,,I hit the hole,twisted the knob and stepped into the
house with a sigh.Walking into the living room the tired sensations were solidly replaced by a plain desire to go lay my head
down and snore for a while.
The dark cool house just made it more overwhelming.I stumbled into the edge of the wall turning into the hall.Then
I had to grope for the wall before I could navigate to my bedroom door.Suddenly realizing I had to unlock my door I stopped
and leaned my back against the wall to find the key.Finding it mainly by feel of shape,,I got my door unlocked and got in.
Shutting it behind me,,I staggered to a chair at the table on the far side of my room and plopped down so hard
I heard the chair creak pretty loud.Dropping my keys on the table I leaned over to get my shoes off.
After managing to fumble the right one off,,I dropped it on the floor,leaned back in my chair,butted my cigarette
out and realized my body felt like there was a vibrator on low under the chair causing me to slowly sink and merge with the
arms and cushions of it.
Wanting to get my other shoe off and fling my body across the bed that I could see through my barely open eyes,,I
tried to raise back up to reach down,,then decided to just use my right foots big toe to push the shoe off my left.Three starts
later I flipped it off and heard it bump into the end of the dresser off to my left.
Sighing,,I slumped into motionless and enjoyed the feeling of becoming inert,,
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