There was no plan to write Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning. It just so happens it arrived in my lap from the vaults of my childhood. Memory and what one wants to remember are often two different things. Death can miraculously open doors that otherwise would remain forever shut.
As with all of my other writings, the entire contents of this undertaking will be shared live, here on my website. You can follow along on my journey as I post each episode as it is written. I hope you enjoy the journey and maybe even learn a thing or two from the beings that live on the other side.
Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning Episode 5
Cecil’s journals are old spiral notebooks with lined, coarse paper designed to hold the bottled ink once prevalent in the fifties. Cecil’s prized pen is there as well, strapped to the journals by a once thick rubber band that has melted from old age. I lift the journals and the pen falls free as the brittle rubber disintegrates.
I sit back on my heels and gently lay the journals on the floor as my attention is distracted by the agate with its whorls and banded layers. Freed from the dark, it has begun to hum and speak to me, not to my ten year old self, but to the man I have become.
“I have been waiting for you like the rock that I am,” It says. “Cecil promised me that if I were patient, you would one day return to put my magic back in your pocket.”
“How could I forget?” I ask myself aloud.
“You grew out of yourself and got lost in the concrete maze of your hardened world,” It says.
“I thought you were just a childhood game,” I say. “I thought your magic was all play like marbles and mumbly-peg.”
“To most that is what I am, I am make believe.”
“You are a stone!” I answer in frustration.
“But I am your stone, your rock. I am your voice before you went off to be the one who forgot who he was.”
(to be continued)
Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning Episode 4
The library shelves are empty but for a heavy film of dust. All that remains are distant memories.
Suzanne, Cecil’s wife, had done a thorough job of cleaning out everything but house’s skeleton before moving Cecil and herself into the confines of an assisted living complex in Fairview.
Then, after a year spent in the old folk’s home, their faculties and health took a precipitous decline and the golden years slipped away. Cecil and Suzanne passed a short while back, only hours from each other.
Their funeral was one attended by our big family and people I never knew. Cecil and Suzanne were apparently much more connected to the community than I had known. Another reason for taking a look at maybe restoring the place instead of letting it slide into oblivion.
Cecil had bequeathed me not only the property upon which I was now contemplating, but he had also shown me a secret trigger he had mounted in a crevice in one of the uprights to the now empty library shelves. It was an actual pistol trigger taken from a service revolver he had salvaged from a dead Nazi during the great war. When pulled, it opened a baseboard portal to release a drawer where I was allowed to keep some of my treasures right alongside with Cecil’s secret Bigfoot journals.
I hesitantly cross the room, slip my index finger into the slot and pull, and like magic, the drawer in the baseboard portal pops and slides open on its guides.
I kneel. The journals are all there, as are many of my long forsaken keepsakes: an agate, a wizard’s wand, an assortment of bottle caps, baseball cards and comic books. Sitting on top of all these treasures is a worn pocket knife given to me by my father. Tears well in the corners of my eyes as I finger the deer antler encased blade. I am ten years old and seventy all at the same time.
(to be continued)
Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning Episode 3
As I climb the stairs, I am overwhelmed by the welcoming sense of family and the beckoning warmth of the comforts of a real country home.
At the balcony, I pause and look down. Once again the living room springs to life. My parents are standing there by the front door. They are dressed for church, my father with his bowler hat turning slowly in his nervous hands, my mother kneeling in her flowered dress to pet Beatrice, the Wicker family’s Maine Coon cat.
I am aware that my ten year old self is standing just outside the front door, reluctant to sit in the porch swing for fear of soiling his starched blue suit. I remember having to pee so bad that I had to shuffle to the end of the porch and send a hot stream into the ever blooming Brown Eyed Susan’s that were prized by Suzanne, Cecil’s cherubic wife.
As if the past were actually now, I once again have to pee like a Russian race horse.
I hear Cecil heartily greet my parents and crack a Sunday go to meet’n joke. He was a witty little man, no more than five feet, two inches tall with a round red face like a leprechaun. I remember envisioning gears inside his head, always turning like the intricate works of my dads pocket watch.
When I get there, there is no water in the toilet, but like the kid I once was, I pee in it anyway.
I am suddenly struck by the weird thought, what if I were to meet my ten year old self in this wacky warp in space and time?
The narrow hall outside the bathroom leads to the house’s single bedroom and a library. Here is the lingering scent of books and pipe tobacco. Their heavy aromas are ingrained in the molecules of the wall papered walls. I remember as a kid trying to count all the vibrant, little red roses that are now faded to a yellowed pink. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.
I take a deep breath, caught up in the anticipation of opening the door into the library where I spent endless childhood hours lost in the sensations of Grand Prix racing, sledding the Iditarod, and searching for gold in the far reaches of the Yukon. And the Sasquatch, the gnomes and the sprites, they were always ever present here, recorded in my uncles journals.
“Big foot,” Cecil had said, “and the contents of these journals are our special secret, just between you and me.”
Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning Episode 2
I immediately sense that a disembodied Cecil has been waiting for this day, excited and giddy to see me. He has invited all his Sasquatch friends and a myriad of supernatural little people that he once introduced me to when I was a kid. I am blasted by their ethereal scrutiny and eerie frequencies as I step out of the car to take inventory of my inheritance. My whole body feels their eyes and begins to throb like a bee sting. My forehead prickles with a cold sweat.
I walk gingerly and take pause on the cobbled path, overwhelmed by nostalgia. Several barn swallows shatter the spell as they suddenly dart from beneath the house's eaves and swoop at me in angry defiance. I have disturbed their peace. They cackle and shriek, making an all out effort to drive me away. I wave my arms at their bomb runs and duck under the sanctuary of the porch, there I turn and momentarily chuckle at their antics of persuasion.
The porch boards have separated and have been rubbed raw, but easily take my weight without a moan. There is a padlock on the door to which the court has granted me Cecil's ownership key.
Inside, though a thick patina of dust has accumulated on the floors, the place looks mostly at peace and undisturbed. Their are patches of swallow and pigeon poop on some areas of the walls directly beneath their nests, but all in all, I feel a wave of gratitude that it has not been ransacked by transients or teenagers with a lust for breaking and entering. I think its condition speaks highly of the areas populace, the old country morals and respect for private property on which I had been nurtured and raised.
The hardwood floors, though marred by age, are perfectly sound, as are the built in maple cabinets and wainscoting adorning the spacious living room. It smells more empty than musty or dirty.
Before heading through the archway into the kitchen, I am drawn by the stairs with its spindled railing leading up to the second floor balcony. The living room ceiling is handsomely beamed with an elaborate chandelier of brass and leaded glass at the apex. As I look on, I am caught in a flicker of festivities, a scene unfolding from the past, a party of formally dressed patrons raising their stemmed glasses of champagne in a celebratory toast to Cecil and his beaming bride as they stand arm in arm at the balcony rail. For a moment there is music, then the scene fades like a wavering mirage and I am once again alone in an old empty house.
The kitchen is small but practical, modernized sometime in the era of the fifties by a large and ornate baked enamel stove. There is a cook's island of colorful field stone with a well-worn birch slab on which to prepare home grown vegetables and wild game from the fields and forest beyond the back door. There's an ancient enameled refrigerator that looks like an upright coffin standing forlornly in the corner that leads into breakfast nook that guards the back porch like an after thought.
Taking it all in is like drinking a steaming mug of brewing possibilities. I inexplicably get the bizarre thought I could live here.
I have to shake my head to dislodge the roots of such a crazy idea. I am certain it is probably Cecil whispering in my ear.
How could I even entertain such foolhardiness?
(To be continued)
Conversations With Sasquatch The Beginning Episode 1
The last house on the left is where the pigeons roost, huddled in a perfect row atop the grey-green roof peak next to the iron lightning rods that point to the heavens like weary crosses. There are still intact panes of glass in some of the dark windows, but mostly the interior is naked to the wind that makes a wheeze and a sigh as it climbs the creaking stairs into the attic.
The old homestead is mine, now. Handed down with a substantial tax lien and a weathered No Trespassing sign tacked to the front door.
I had surmised I would probably want nothing to do with the old place when I received notice from the court. I had planned my trip to Comins in order to do what ever was necessary to help the county auction it off in order to satisfy the delinquent tax revenue needs. That was my intention before I arrived on a blustery, sunny day in September.
The two lone sugar maples shading the front yard weed patch are ablaze in a patina of glorious reds, oranges and golds. The leaves are picked up by the wind and twirl in the air like a migrating swarm of butterflies. I am immediately struck by the forlorn beauty of the weather beaten house sitting serenely in its quaint setting beside a small creek, the golden rod and Black-eyed Susans, the cobbled path that leads poetically to the stick railing and columned front porch that is now beginning to sag beneath the weight of time. The red brick chimney on the north side facing is listing outward toward a gnarled orchard of apple and pear, in what looks like a desperate attempt to flee the gray, mottled skin of alligatored paint.
Any sane person would turn around and run. But, I am not always the sane one, you would soon find that out if (continued at: )you were to ask the remaining members of my family. I have never been one to toe the conventional line of thinking or believe that I had to follow the dictates of self-inaugurated authorities. I have often rejected the status quo in order to forge a life of my own making. I am now beginning to understand the process of how and why Uncle Cecil came to the conclusion of leaving to me, and me alone, 931 Reber Road.
The rest of my siblings can simply wish their wipe their hands of the place without even a sideways glance, though there are a couple of my brothers that I am sure are bitching about their lost claim to the land, 295 acres all told.
Cecil must have known that I would see beauty where no one else in the family would appreciate it. And then there is my penchant for conversing with Sasquatch, Gnomes and even the dearly departed. These entities have always existed in abundance here. Maybe Uncle Cecil saw turning the house over to me as a opportunity to hang around and haunt the place, or even sit down on the front porch with a bootle of Schnapps and me, for a seance on the merits of growing hemp instead of corn. Whatever the reason, here I am, enamored with what I am sure is considered by the community, an eyesore.
(to be continued)