Blackhumouristpress's Blog

October 23, 2010

The Ineffable or The Hitchhiker

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 7:18 am
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   “Sometimes things are just not as they appear, young man…” said Terrance as he drove his large 1972 Chrysler Newport down a desolate country road late at night.

            “Yeah…  How so?” Asked Purvis, who grasped a lead pipe in his right hand as he waited for the right moment to beat Terrance over the head to steal his car.

            “We spend our whole lives thinking that what we think is true is true.  You take that war in Vietnam…  I spent two years running through the jungle.  What I’ve learned is that we don’t really know anything.  You take absolutes…  Absolutes.  The things we believe that are completely true and just are because we all have come to accept an idea, that does not make it a truth.  Rationalities run our lives with reason or so we are lead to believe. We all are born, live and die, right?”  Said Terrance.

            “Yeah…  I dig what you’re saying, man.” Said Purvis.

            Purvis had just robbed a family that was quietly sleeping in their rooms in a remote area on the outskirts of New Orleans.  Purvis dodged the draft and was hiding out with drifters, thieves and drug addicts wherever he could.  In the presence of the parents who were bound and gagged, Purvis raped a sixteen year old girl, kicked the family dog to death and made off with several hundred dollars in currency as well as some jewelry.  Purvis stuck out his thumb as headlights came towards him for the first time in what seemed like a half hour as he walked down a dark country road.  The sounds of frogs and crickets filled the air like a symphony.  Purvis thought about alligators coming out of the cattails and attacking him.  Purvis had no way of knowing if they were out there and if they were hungry. 

 Terrance had hopped into his car to go for a ride after sounds began to make shapes and colors. Terrance was watching The Hollywood Squares when the sounds of the voices on television began to emit smells and voices such as Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynne were followed by colors.  There were swirling mélanges of pinkish purple.  Terrance was eating some crawfish stew when everything just snapped.  The walls began to heave like they were breathing and voices told him he needed to move on before Charlie found him. Terrance decided to leave his house and go for a ride. Fate or divine intervention brought Purvis, a young, white, angry male together with a black man who had served in Vietnam and had a PHD in philosophy and suffered the effects of Agent Orange and LSD.

 Purvis had never met a black man with such a strange way of speaking.  It all sound like English but he had no idea what he was talking about.

            “The Greek thinking was killed off by Constantine and his mother upon finding Christianity… If had not been for Constantine’s mother, we’d all be pagan still.  Is it any wonder that the dark ages were dark?  Dutch pictures of a Dutch Virgin Mary and Christ child…  How did that happen?  How did Paul find the gentiles?  He was looking for Jews…  That’s the joke of it all.  Paul was looking to convert Jews, man!”  Said Terrance, with a hardy laugh.

            Purvis took the heavy lead pipe and cracked Terrance over the right part of his head.  Terrance heard a dull thud and for a few seconds, all his thoughts seem to dissipate.  He looked over at Purvis who was shocked that the large black man was still driving the vehicle while blood poured into his right ear.  Terrance stopped the car abruptly which caused Purvis to slam his head against the dashboard.  Terrance grabbed rope from under his side of the bench seat and tied up the hands and feet of Purvis.  All the while Terrance never stopped speaking.

            “You were born a blank slate young man…  There is no such thing as original sin.  Someone taught you to be who you are.  Someone filled your slate full of hate.  Sad that things got to come to this.  In the whole universe, something brought you to me tonight.  Why you think this is possible?  A curse and a blessing all at the same time…  I know what you’re thinking…  Some white man gave the monkey a brain and created a monster.  I ain’t no monkey and no monster.  There was no Frankenstein and I wasn’t fabricated by some great white mind… At least I don’t believe this to be true.  Then again beliefs are a funny thing.  We all believe that America is destined to be something that god had planned.  Everything is in god’s plan.  Progress in the age of enlightenment, right?  The whole world wants to be American.  I want to live in America, everything is good in America…  John Wayne loves god and god loves him like a damn disciple.   God told white people to come to America and bring black people with them to lighten the load.  Can’t hardly believe how that whole thing worked…  Capitalism has brought about a perversion that has hampered our ability to find our soul.  We got a soul in us, man.  As much as you feel you had the right to try to off me and drive away in my automobile for monetary means, to help you get a fix and a meal til you need to hunt someone else again like an animal on the Serengeti.  I don’t blame you.  You come to the water hole and lost this time to a stronger and more intelligent animal.”  Said Terrance.

            “You are one crazy nigger.  You gonna kill me, than just do it.  All this crazy talk…  I can’t take it.”  Said Purvis.

            “Where do you think you’re going to go to once you leave here?  Do you think you’re going to go to god?  Go to hell?  Maybe a hallway as far as the eye can see for the rest of time.  You take numbers for example and then you can understand that infinity is possible.  Forever is forever and it don’t end, man.  We got a starting point and it difficult to accept that from zero, we can go either direction for ever just like heaven and just like hell.  And forever is a real long time.   I grew up a Baptist with a father who was a minister and the more I learned, the less religion made sense to me.  We look for justice and legitimacy in everything we do.  Religion teaches us this.  There is too much that cannot be explained.  You wanna have faith in something subliminal… Something intangible.  You can go to sleep and a dream makes more sense than reality.  Your reality right now is like a bad dream, young man.”  Said Terrance.

          “You’re really nuts, man.  I wish you’d just speak English.  You gonna torture me? Then just do it.  I don’t want to hear all your stuff anymore.  I don’t even understand what you’re saying.”  Said Purvis.

            “You ever seen a baby born?”  Asked Terrance.

            “No.”  Said Purvis.

            “You ever seen somebody die?”  Asked Terrance.

            Purvis had killed animals and then later people.  It was always random and devoid of empathy.  The people killed had material things that Purvis needed and desired.  Killing was a way of separating what one had from what he needed.  There was no remorse.

            Terrance got close enough to kiss Purvis and whispered in his ear.  The blood trickled down from Terrance’s ear onto the bench seat.  Purvis sweated profusely and for the first time in his life, thought of all the people he had killed and tortured in his life.  Terrance was torturing him and would ultimately kill him.

            “Life…” Whispered Terrance into the ear of Purvis.  “Life is ineffable…  Among truths and beliefs and deities, I can tell you this is a universal among universals and Socrates and Aristotle would back me on this.  When you think you’re time is about to pass, there are the questions we cannot answer as living beings and life suddenly has a lot more value.  Faith?  Nothing?  You tell me, young man.  I’m gonna wait here listening to Smokey Robinson.  You Crackers don’t know nothing about Smokey.”

            The song, More Love, played on the radio while the two men sweated and bled.  Purvis had never heard the song.  Terrance heard the song for the first time while sleeping with a Vietnamese woman who looked to be ten years old even though she was twenty two with three children.

            Let it be soon, don’t hesitate
Make it now, don’t wait
Open your heart and let my love come in
I want the moment to stop when I can fill your heart
With more love, and more joy
Than age or time could ever destroy
My love will be so solid
It would take a hundred lifetimes
To live it down, wear it down, tear it down

This is no fiction
This is no act
This is real, it’s a fact
I’ll always belong only to you
Each day I’ll be living to make sure
I’m giving you more love and more joy
Than age or time could ever destroy
My love will be so solid
It would take a hundred lifetimes
To live it down, wear it down, tear it down

As we grow older no need to fear
When you need me I’ll be here
I’ll be beside you every step of the way
A heart that’s truthful and keeping you youthful
With more love, more joy
Than age or time can ever destroy
My love will be so solid
It would take a hundred lifetimes
To live it down, war it down, tear it down.

            Purvis couldn’t focus on the lyrics.  Terrance almost began to start crying.  He felt almost angry that a strong emotional moment could not be shared or understood by another living being near him.  Purvis was suddenly worth less than life. 

            “We are born, we mature and then we decay…  And it don’t make no sense and it ain’t no comfort, young man.  Is there anything of value in anything in life?  Is there anything real in the mystery that is life itself?  We are going to die.  We don’t know when or why.  We can look for symbols to help us understand what life is about…  To understand the crux of humanity.  We put a man on the moon and what does that mean?  What does that mean to you?  We got into an automobile and drove down this road.  That you can comprehend.  The moon?  What is the  moon, man?  I been to Asia and that might as well be the moon.  Nobody I knew could have found Vietnam on a damn map before 1962 but they could have told you where the moon was.  Nobody can really say for certain why going there was a necessity and if they could explain it, is what they are saying the truth?  What is the truth anyway?  How do you define the moon anymore than truth?”  Asked Terrance.

            “You weirdo…  What the hell do you want from me?  Look… Just let me go and I won’t say nothing to nobody.  I hit you over the head cause I was scared.  I’m sorry, man.”  Said Purvis.

            “I understand that you are perplexed by the mystery of life.  I know that I am and it plagues me.  How do I live with this thing that makes me powerless and emasculates me?  Life is a circle.  You start here and end here and for what purpose?  I have concluded that it’s all not going anywhere.  It’s hard to believe that we leave here and go nowhere and that we are plagued with the thought that maybe this is all there is.”  Said Terrance.

            “You’re really sick, man…  Really.  You need help.”  Said Purvis.

            “I maybe the only sane, clear thinking human being you will ever meet…  Then again, I believe that I am the last person you will ever meet too.  I just want you to appreciate how fragile this all is before you go because we are all really just hanging on by a thread, man.  Fate and faith sound almost the same when you say it in English.  I haven’t figured out the difference….”

            Terrance was about to smash the head of Purvis when flashing lights filled the dark night.  Terrance smelled lemons and grapefruits as the sirens blared towards him.  The sounds made strange shapes.  Terrance was hypnotized by the lights and was unable to move.  Several police officers approached the vehicle with drawn guns.  Purvis was all too ready to purge himself of his sins.  Terrance was held in high esteem as a war hero and one who sought to right wrongs wherever they raised their heads.  Amen.

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