I Wonder If I Shall Fall Right Through The Earth?

The Blackest Black I’ve Ever Been In
The Aftermath
Dec. `75

On that awful night, I broke into Brad’s room, removed three large
Arsenic crystals from his rock, and swallowed them. After coming home and
finding his room broken into, Brad came down to see if I knew anything
about what had happened. He discovered his rock along side my empty
bottle. C.S. arrived shortly after Brad called her, and the two of
them woke me up. Brad immediately called his doctor friend, and to
both his and my amazement, the doctor told Brad that that amount of
unrefined digested Arsenic would not be lethal. I guess I was lucky,
but, at the time, I didn’t feel lucky.

After I recovered, I moved out of the Syndicate and back into the house
at 5 Cliff. The short, of the rather long story, was that I did my best to prove
to C.S. that things could be different. I wanted to marry her. I told her
I would pay for her divorce. She liked that idea, but she wouldn’t
commit. She said, “We’ll give it some time, and see how things go.” As
far as I was concerned that was a reprieve. Before the week was out, I
applied for a mining job in Lead, the mile high mining town above Deadwood.
When the Homestake Goldmine hired me things were looking up.

Working in the mine was a new experience for me. On my first day on
the job, I crowded into an elevator with forty miners. We dropped 4700
feet. That was pretty close to the bottom of the mine. Most of the
miners got out above me. I hopped on the miniature train and the guy
dropped me off at the end of the line. I was told to go into a stope
(a small tunnel that forked away from the main tracks) and look for
water seepage. The only water I could find was running in the
pissditch (literal and metaphorical) and that was normal.
I was psychologically prepared for that duty, but being abandoned
within the bowels of the earth was another story altogether.

After an hour with no train in sight, I started walking down the main
tunnel. Blue lights gave off enough dim light, so I could turn off my
headlamp. Back in the stope, where there were no blue lights, I turned
off my headgear, and it turned into the blackest black I had ever been
in. When the train finally did arrive, the driver was mad because I
had left my spot. By the time we got back to where the other miners
were, my shift was half over. Apparently, the other miners were happy
to see me. They were fighting amongst themselves to see who would get
me. Nobody wanted to work with a guy who might flip out. Abandoning
new hires in the mine’s darkest corners was common procedure, and I had
passed the test.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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3 Responses to I Wonder If I Shall Fall Right Through The Earth?

  1. It’s 11 pm here. And I don’t want to stay up late. It will affect my health in the next morning severely. See you tomorrow and I will give you an interesting comment! 😀

  2. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    You know, last night when I read this I felt very sleepy but too curious to turn off my PC. Don’t know why I felt laughable when read this. Maybe because I didn’t fully understand this (too sleepy to check new words) or because that’s the feeling left from the previous post. Or maybe you are a bit like me. Can make people laugh uncontrollably at first but after that when you have time to think you feel a sting in your eyes.

    Hah! Sounds like Charlie Chaplin. Can make people laugh and cry at the same time! 😀 A true sign of a genius comedian! 🙂

    Years ago, long long time ago, I was “lovesick” and felt extremely miserable, I typed a letter to my friend who’s studying abroad. Though I felt nearly dead at that time, I still made fun of my words and acts and people in my email. Immediately my friend told me that she laughed crazily when reading my email. I felt offended, felt she’s the heartless person because that’s the most miserable words in my life. Now I realize that’s because of the way I describe my tragedy. That makes people laugh when they read it at first and still haven’t got time to think deeper.

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