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I Camped
A Rocky Mountain Remembrance

The story below is of and by a kind of person I call a "Taboo Man," essentially a shamanic personality that has no place in modern society, the "Omega Man" the last person in the social order, because he stands apart, alienated. Healthy—and therefore tribal—societies are elastic enough to accommodate and make use of such a person. Our modern ideals, based on slave-holding and tax-farming social structures, are strictly hierarchal in the most rigid manner and find no place for the alienated social alternative.

I camped with the other scouts one summer along bear lake.

As usual, because of my odd ways I was the butt of the older kids jokes.

We were doing our mile swim in Bear Lake. I was a very strong swimmer at one time in my youth. They had a marked distance to swim parallel to the shoreline, I bailed in with the others, we all swam, some of the kids dropped out, unable to finish, the advisors following in boats, picked them up, one young counselor had just returned from Vietnam.

We swam to the take out point and the they told us to go ashore, we had completed our swim. I just turned around and headed back to the starting point.

The man said to me, "What the hell are you doing?"

I replied, "I'm going to swim back, not going to walk along the shore."

I had no idea why I did this at the time, like Forest Gump, just felt like swimming. The Nam vet allowed me to do this, followed me, I made it back to starting point, could have went some more.

The older kids really hated my guts now. As I think back, I think I did this to tell the older boys to fuck off. I know of not one, who would have attempted this swim.

Then other time I swam the mile, was with a fat kid. The older boys picked on him also. I stayed with him. He was a really good kid, just didn't want to stay in shape. I kept telling him, "Don't quit, don't let those pricks win, if you stop they won’t let you forget."

There was no time limit on the swim. I had showed him the dead man float, to rest. He had more guts than those older boys. Was amazed at his grit. I even thought he might die of a heart attack.

He finished the swim.

I told him how amazing this was, and I meant it. We became friends throughout school. He eventually got into drugs and commited suicide, two years after high school, but I will never forget the balls he showed that day he finished the swim.

I remember him always, have forgot about the others, just disapproving shadows to our journey together.

…A life time later, today:

Getting ready to fish, entering store to buy beer.

Male Polyphemus moth hanging from awning rafter,

females spread pheromones at night, to attract male,

like unto the sirens from the rocks,

for one last fatal embrace,

they have no way to feed,

no mouth parts for sustenance, breed, lay eggs, starve to death...

I think about Odysseus, poking Cyclops in the eye, if he had kept his mouth shut would have been fine, Karma.

Monarch butterflies arriving,

laying eggs on milkweed,

3 of 4 generations to get here,

eat lime pigs as caterpillar, egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, adult, then fly to Mexico to winter, no map, migrate north in spring, start again...

Odysseus took ten, but he was just a man.


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Solomon KrankJune 28, 2017 4:36 PM UTC

And jabbed the fire hardened phallus, right in his eye!