Once in a Blue Agave Moon: (unk. chapter, out of sequence, tbd)

 

Jed Drummond awoke to the smell of coffee and bacon. It had been a long day’s journey to reach their camp; a temporary outpost so far off the beaten path as not to be discovered, it afforded safety in its isolation and a hidden underground larder of fuel and other supplies that would be needed for the last leg of his journey.

It was one of many FBO’s (fixed base of operations) that he used to conduct his business ventures.

By the time he had pitched his tent and set up camp, he was exhausted. Thankfully he slept undisturbed for longer than he could remember. It was so quiet that the dog had not even barked once.

He had slept most of the night in the “dreamless sleep of the dead,” as he called it, and it wasn’t until early morning that he began to dream of earlier, simpler times so easy as to be taken for granted; so much so that they were more conspicuous in their absence than when their luxury was everywhere amidst a sea of humanity drowning in its discontent.

As he slowly awoke, like a fish coming to the surface from the bottom of the sea, he heard soft feminine voices in hushed tones and the occasional clink or clatter one would associate with breakfast’s preparations.

This alone was such a luxury as he had not known for a very long time. He was usually the first to awake, and until recently, more often than not, alone. Although rarely wanting for company, he had chosen to live alone ever since his divorce, more years ago than he cared to remember.

Phrases like “familiarity breeds contempt” or “absence makes the heart grow fonder” had been his guiding principles in times when the ambience of loneliness wafted like a heavy musk amongst the desperate souls trying fill a void that could not be displaced by money, security, or objects.

In the process, he had lost contact with all of his closest friends, mostly women, who grew weary of waiting for him to “seal the deal” despite the fact that he believed that somehow, circumstances even he could not foresee would bring them back together again.

He believed they all needed time and space to mature and learn life lessons they would never experience willingly at each other’s hands within the smothering, stifling influences of either marriage or even monogamy.

More than once, he had begun to doubt those beliefs, but there was no way to turn back the clock, and he already knew that the only thing worse than the pangs of solitude was the suffocating tandem loneliness bereft of privacy or independence that two resentful souls, each a prisoner of the other’s misguided and fearful intentions could inflict upon each other in the name of Love.

He was right that there was no way for him to turn back the hands of time, but the Armageddon Virus had effectively stopped the clock of Western civilization dead in its tracks.

A misguided, digital, binary Jihad launched by opportunists who invoked the name of Allah to distort the teachings of Islam, fed by the endless provocations of those who would use the names of their gods to fuel an endless spiral of hatred and violence on both sides, it had seemed the End of Days was upon them all.

Yet beyond that, it was pure chance that had brought them back together.

As he awoke this morning, finally realizing how much he now cherished this Here and Now moment amongst newly reunited old friends brought together by circumstance and common cause, this gratitude he felt was so overwhelming that he sighed deeply, eyes still unopened as he felt a lump grow in his  throat.

For years, he had not allowed himself the luxury of tears, whether of joy or sorrow. “Men don’t cry.” He had been raised to believe their was something wrong with him, even as a child, when circumstances too sorrowful for words had prompted him to allow his weakness to show, until early in his twenties, when his mother had died and his father, the toughest, yet kindest man he had ever known suddenly wept like a baby in front of him.

It so unnerved him that they never spoke of it again, until his father passed away, leaving him overcome with self-contempt over the most basic of human emotions.

Now, years later, in a world of chaos, loss, death, and despair, it had become the Tears of Joy that had been the hardest to suppress. Ironically, it had taken the collapse of Western civilization to put him in touch with an abiding sense of gratitude that permeated every blossom, or cool breeze, sip of clean water, or kind face he saw wherever he looked.

But old habits are hard to break, and as The Three Winds (as he called them) parted the flaps of his tent, bringing with them coffee, breakfast, and cannabis, he laughed and shook his head, coughing lightly to mask how glad he was just to be alive, right here, right now.

Chazz Vincent

05/31/2017

 

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