There we stood in the blaze of the late afternoon sun. Kings of our own, amongst the fields of ripening apples and raspberries, lords over of all we could see. Funny how something as astronomically simple as being alone can provide illusions of grandure. The two of us stood out of place against our backdrop of leaves and trunks, in our levi’s and boots. Sweat dripping down our brows, we hacked away at the overgrowth of weed that infected the rosy red fruits. Righteous saviors we were. Expelling the wicked with our swift justice of clippers and claws. We were the Boondocks Saints of the world that was the Allotment. Thinking to myself who best fits Connor and who best fits Murphy I notice my thin pot-bellied companion take out his handkerchief and dab at his face. He breaths in hot sun, alleviating his back for just a moment. I attempt a search and rescue crawling through the miniature forest of bramble cutting up my arms -my partner shakes his head at me laughing, wondering if I am for real -I soon arise with both hands brimming with a mound of fresh red pods. A smile stretches long and big across his face. The two of us plop down next to one another. I toss up a berry high into the air and catch it as it falls into my mouth. Sweetness beyond description explodes as my teeth crush into it, releasing the juice. My amigo tries the same. It hits his chin and bounces off into the tall grass we sat in. Much to learn still, this padawan does. We look at each other and laugh. I wonder if Tom Joad ever got to have a feeling as tranquil as this. I sit and wonder about the Joads.
We ate our fill of the berries and continued to sit soaking in the sun as we did. Behind us the sky was pale and the sun flared hot as she sprayed us down with heat. We sucked in the breezes that came with her. still so much to do, but that can wait another moment longer. Our rusty boom-box belted out static as Like a rolling Stone sauntered out when it could beneath our voices. I listen to his yarns as he lives them back to life. Constructing elaborate narratives filled with run-ons as his cockney language inspires more of the Joads as they dance across my mind. He tells me about his life, his sins, and his virtues. His escapades are great and numerous; of How he slew a fire breathing ex, rescued a damsel in distress, betrayed a brother-in-arms, had songs written about him, how he found a lost and forgotten treasure, meeting a monk among the thorns of roses and how he failed to protect a lord in a time of great peril. His stories split off each other like branches of a great tree, to inform me of the endless back stories of this, and of that, so that I can grasp at to what it is he is saying. As he monologues I see his desires to be back in the self-proclaimed enchanted life he knows of slaying dragon exes and rescuing princess. He longs not of this kingdom we share that stands open before him. He all but confirms his premature departure.
I retract inwards lost to my mind. His words are muted now as I enter my infinite state of singularity. To be so sure of something. So strongly in defense, so intensely loved is this boy’s life, so much so that no one can rip him from it. I envy this addict. I struggle with these boys so that I may have what they have. To be so near that I may feel the radiation from their throughly explored life within the holy spirit. I long to do and see great things like this boy besides me. I can’t help but want these things. I let my conscious take me deep into the depths of my dark brooding rabbit hole of a soul. I envy to have the holy spirit like they do. To sing out my love for god like they do. to share like they do. I envy to not fight the powers that surround me anymore. help me make that leap O god! help me cast away my weights of doubt to fully embrace your presence as divine and everlasting.
I manage to catch a few last words from the pot-bellied-boy. He confesses to me he has never left the UK. I know in the depths of me that this will be the boy’s fate. He continues to talk but I’m vacant to his speech. It is the life he wants to return to one day soon. There is no stopping him now. A tear rolls down my face and hits the corner of my trembling lips. The bell rings. It’s time. He gets up to leave, I stay. He asks if I am coming and all I can manage is “you go on ahead now boy, I got some unfinished business here.” I don’t watch as he leaves, I just listen as his footsteps grow faint and disappear for good. This would be the last time I would ever see the pot-bellied-boy.
I pick up my clippers and in a heavy breath of grass and sweet fruit continue the mindless work of cutting. I cut, and I cut, and I cut, to numb myself of this newly awarded wisdom. Before long there isn’t much left of the field of red buds. Dusk starts to settle over the orchard in which I worked, turning the red into faded pink crimson. I stop and close my eyes and think of home, of my California castle by the sea. He is alone now. Lost in his own mirky cloud that tarnishes his heart. Forever alone now in this ever darkening world of limitless isolations. It is then that the holy spirit like a cool breeze washes over me like holy water itself speaks to me:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jerimiah 29-11
I give myself to you lord. I will never stray again. Make me whole in ways I cannot fill. Let me be a sponge to you lord. Let your magnificence reign through me.