Sunday, December 23, 2012
Finding self while walking with Strangers: Earth Angels
By Mark William Darus.
I awoke about 3pm this afternoon. I let the dogs out and while doing so, filled their food bowls. Both dogs romped about on the white surface of the snow and seemed happy in doing so. As they did so, I replaced my sleep clothing and donned items more suitable for the outside world.
I brought the dogs in, gave them snacks and they ate as I left the house.
Chilly air hits me as I walked to my truck. Brisk air, biting at the nose as footfalls create a ‘crunching’ sound with each step forward.
I look about me. A film of white covers objects of steel, raised concrete and wood.
A season attempting a foothold over the land. Wishing for its rightful place here at this time, taking baby steps to later walk and reach a full run.
I start my truck and open my gates. I glance at my tiny pond, not frozen, I feed the fish in it.
I reenter my truck, back out and head to the ‘Morning Store’ where I have gotten coffee from for over 18 years. Best coffee in Tremont, Cleveland Ohio: Tremont QuikMart.
Having coffee that I take a huge swig of, I light an L&M with full inhale, and begin to drive.
It’s always fun watching people develop ‘winter feet’. That area where they acclimate themselves to driving their vehicles on ice.
I go by the West Side Market area of Clevelands Westside. Bustling with life and energy as people happily walk about visiting it’s many bars and restaurants. Long-haired blonds with skinny legs, men in t-shirts, brunettes in low-cut tops. Nice.
I decided to hit the upper area of Edgewater Park. This became very interesting indeed. Apparently the salt trucks did not visit here. I saw tire tracks aiming at trees, utility poles and sidewalks.
Speed limit 10MPH. No shit, I did about 5MPH and spun out twice. There is something to be said about the sensation of losing control of a two ton object at such a low speed. You truly view things a tad different with each near miss of a curbs, trees and poles. My breathing and heart rate stayed the course as I powered my Trailblazer forward.
I cackled like some child on Xmas day getting a slot car track with each close call avoided.
Eventually finding a place to park, I gulped a beyond large swig of coffee, it’s spillings covering my grey beard and dropping to my lap, creating a familiar warmth.
I set my camera in place after wrapping her leash several times around my right arm and left my truck.
Ignorantly wearing a baseball cap instead a head covering worthy of this time of year, I walked on.
Looking around me I was immediately held by a beauty that can only be seen this time of year here. It’s ability to be cold in air, stark displaying of leafless trees against foreboding skies and yet bring a warmth of heart reaching the mind.
Oh yeah, I was psyched for this.
I started firing shots left and right. I saw a family sledding and spoke to them.
Watching their children thundering down the slope, their parents cheering them on, sharing words between us. Seeing their children pulling plastic sleds behind them, their massive smiles, I could feel their tiny hearts pounding violently in their chests. Triumphant, exhilarated, wanting another turn at bat, another round. C’mon mom/dad, just one more time!
These things hit me hard. I don’t know why though. I soon walked away.
I leaned against a tree and lit a L&M. The tree was icy and leaning against it soon took me downward. Gravity works and in little time I was on knee and one foot. Being someone that has never really hated the feeling of falling since I learned how to ski in the ninth grade (thanks Mom!) I let myself fall down.
When I hit our great Mother Earth, I saw this, and took a shot.
This was the beginning of a sunset that has me writing this entry.
How’s that for windy intro? Yes, I know, I do get highly wordy and most gusty in my mental tossing’s here as well as on Facebook. Well, perhaps not so much on Fbook as here…
Wrong hat on head, tiny winds blowing across Lake Erie slowly numbing my earlobes, I strolled across crispy ice covered grass.
CRUNCH-CRACKLE-CRUNCH: Each footfall took me further on with the sounds of car horns above me. There were no birds chirping, no gulls crying yet the sounds of jets heading toward Hopkins chimed overhead.
Vibrant nature captured me. Bare lonely limbed trees, water crashing over cold rock with the background of changing skies of shades of greys and blues. I’ve always held the changing of seasons in my city by the lake. This year I can try to capture the miniscule moments once again.
I thank my god of “otherness” for this. When I say ‘otherness’ it may be the same god you pray to. Any of you that have read my blog knows my thoughts. What you have as a higher power is what you have. Makes no difference to me as I don’t judge. I don’t judge your country, nationality, creed or anything. Atheists to me are the same as anyone else.
We all share this place. We all work, and sometimes don’t, with one another. We talk and walk with one another, share close space in check out lines, bump into each other at gas stations, and tend to all agree over increasing prices.
We’re connected and are one, whether we like it or not.
Sorry about that, I do off on tangents that seem to only make sense to me alone.
I start pumping pics. I walk down an odd set of stairs and hit a beach I have never seen.
I find a fallen tree over the sand and begin to fire more photos.
“Are you okay?”
\ I hear a womans voice from nowhere. I thought I was like walking on the moon here, alone.
There is a lady and her man, arm in arm, looking at me. Behind them is a snowy white blanket against rock and dead trees.
“I’m, fine. Isn’t this gorgeous tonight? Why do you ask?”
“You’re crying.” she says. Her man shares an expression of concern.
Concern?!?!?! My mind runs on this one. Concern, over me??? I do inventory with my free left hand, my right holding my camera. I discover their fingertips hitting water that seems to be coming from my eyes. Startled, I step back in shock and hit the wet sand with my ass after stumbling over a fallen log.
“Are you okay?” her man asks this time. They pull each other closer as a jet screams overhead to Hopkins Airport.
Well, I have always been an idiot when it comes to personal falling/impacts. After learning skiing and correct way to fall, when I do tumble, I can laugh it off as if never hurts and must look funny to those that see it as I simply go into a Jello glob and ‘THROP’ about.
Laughing, I smile at them and say: “no, really, I’m okay.”
“But you were crying.” She looked me solidly in the eyes.
Her gaze hurt! I felt pain! I wanted to run, but couldn’t. I wanted to hide under a fallen tree, burrow into the sand like an ostrich. Her eyes somehow drilled into me like a titanium bit, going further than it should have. I looked at the cold water of Lake Erie, thinking…
“Don’t you even think about it!” He said in a genuine tone of compassion.
“About what! Huh?” They were both looking at me. I have never felt so utterly small in my life. My mind ran the gauntlet of a myriad of psychological things: Fight or flight, reject, project, deflect. My mind ran verging on short-circuiting my brain.
And their eyes never waived as they look down at me.
Fuck, Shit, Run! Just run…
Mark, Don’t let them into your kitchen.
Don’t kill us. We’ve held you in one piece.
They step toward me and my body on sands I’ve never known.
I am so frightened. I don’t cry. I don’t feel anything. I killed those parts of my life and have done okay this way. This gives me strength…
Her right hand held by his left, they both reach down to help me stand. The view behind them from my angle show the clouds, water and landscape in a beautiful moment.
Laying on cold wet sand, I am sobbing. I can feel my body heave air in and out with no control. Hearing my own sounds as I snort and blubber things from nose and mouth. My glasses are shot with moisture, there is snot going toward my mustache. I Idly think: Well these photos are a bust…
Looking up to them, raising my upper body to my knees, I bury my head between my knees. Like a worthless version of Sonic the Hedgehog on a Spin Attack, I didn’t move anywhere.
I am a flesh-ball on this Earth. Standing 5 foot 8 inch frame reduced to that of a 2 and a half foot booger of space. A mere fly dead on your windshield at 60 MPH on freeway.
My mind runs to earlier this week, and I say out: “I just started a new job!”
“You’re name is Mark, right?” she asks.
“You were crying and didn’t know it.”
“So, what does that mean? How’d you know my name, not that I care at all…”
“But you do care,” the guy says. “if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be crying in the first place.”
“Oh yeah, and you didn’t want to bed your mother.” I express in retort.
“Mark, no one without emotion can do what you display while taking pictures.” she spoke as my eyes locked on her face. She is brunette, slender and has big green eyes.
“You are at a turning point, Mark.” the guy said as he smiled at me.
“HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME!!!” I demanded.
Never changing expression, she softly said to me, “you spoke aloud as you split. It’s okay, really…”
Their hands embraced by each other, I lifted my left hand to them as I met their eyes.
They lifted me up.
They both threw their arms around me.
Angels exist. And I Really don't thing religion has anything to do with this.
Mark William Darus.
post script: I dedicate this entry to Five Women. Two of these women are my sisters, two are my daughters and the last I've known for over twelve years now. They all have an equal place in my heart. You cannot put them together in the same room though. I have wrestled with this for a long time and I fully know the only time this would ever happen at my funeral.
Yet they all mean so very much to me.
Christ know's I've given you all many areas of my life to rethink your thoughts on me. During this process, I can imagine what you thought and such. Sorry for this.
My road attempting to allow myself the feeling of emotions is not going to be easy. That's okay by me.
MERRY CHISTMAS TO YOU ALL!