Any way you look at it, I had made a bad decision. Bad choices were becoming a way of life for me. Cody knew me better than anyone, so I blame him for my most recent mistake.
“Drought looks like it might be the worst one in years,” he says, like a gentle cowboy.
“Eat your supper and let your brother do the thinking, baby,” mom says to me, without seeing that I was watching Cody suspiciously.
Fat chance, I am thinking, not really sure what that meant, though it was my attitude towards the ratio of me doing what I was told.
I finish my mashed potatoes and slide my plate forward to indicate my intentions of excusing myself from the table. My mom nods to Cody and me, and we loudly push back our chairs and flew out the front door to get the last of the evening’s daylight. My brother started his old Jeep
Good ideas always came to me in times of trouble, but I didn’t “have no strategies” in the common sense area, as my ma and Cody always told me. Hell with them, I thought. I had remembered thinking I could outwit them in the past so many times, just like this exact situation. Jesus is on my side; I folded my napkin and wiped the beads of sweat off my brow.
Knowing how clever I was, I snuck out the barn at dusk with my plan, my intellects, a garden hose, and two packs of matches. Lightning was off to the east nearby town, but I knew it was just the dry lightning that didn’t bring rain in this heated season. My judgment couldn’t be flawed this time; I had thought this through for at least a half an hour after supper.
Now, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I was typing out my plan on the keyboard of my dad’s old 486 IBM which he casually borrowed when he was laid off from his “team, and I prayed to my lord and savior and the words just sort of flowed out of me, like back when I was pitching for the town hall baseball game and my doggone pants fell down, right in front of Mickey Swallow, Brice Lancaster, and Vic Alright. This last bewilderment was not what was it was or was not, for I was only as confused as the crickets in the wildernesses of the black forests and angels and I was doing okey-dokey in life up until that point I had thought; I had thought wrong, though, thought my predicaments were as preposterous as the next person’s; my mother had arranged my perspective perversely, and I was thrust into a vortex of the most awkward series of experiences a child of my delicate cognitive approach and tactical advances to problem solving was so immediate and dangerous, that I could not resist. I held my gray intellect in one hand and my toaster oven in the other, and I wept and sang while tearing through the thickets and damp leaves of the hills of Dover.
When I reached the last plain of the foothill, I involuntarily vomited my supper and my midafternoon snack, and prayed that Jesus would hold the wolverines back and my chances of survival would increase my at least one half.
Finally, I thought that I would have a clear head and make the decision of all decisions: I would know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, slow and fast, etcetera. I would behold the enormous gift of the precious commodity of all that is instantly gratifying; I would reach the pinnacle of the mountain I had needing to conquer, this delusion of adequacy would satisfy my approach to my most current dilemma: whether or not it was right to murder my brother and his boyfriend.
Cody was with me in county jail when he was the first to try to kill his own self. We were only in for one month, but the day before we were to be set back to regular society, he threw a fit – one like in the movies when stuff gets all dramatic or the hounds are just about to gain ground on the cute little fox or the clumsy bank robber who is ignored and mistaken for his mother’s narcissism. Bad luck usually went hand-in-hand with bad decisions and bad choices. Cody told me to kill him and I told him that was a bad decision that would bring nothing but bad luck. But I was wrong. I was terribly wrong a lot of the time.
The woods would be dark when they found him and I would be asleep. I would be at rest for the first and last time. I realized my fortune – as I had expected that I would when I reached the top of the foothill. I take nothing away from anyone and I leave nothing for no one. I finally made the best decision, however, you never know if a decision is leaning toward the good or the opposite scope of evil until after you make it, sometimes you never know, so why not? I had nothing to lose but my mind this time.
I wonder from time to time
how are you?
are you making sure everything is all right?
are you checking on me?
are you across the streets I pass
those rare days when I bother to look down those streets?
how are you, anyway?
I think about you.