Drink’in With The One On High
Black Hills, South Dakota
I needed time alone. I was glad I had left the party, and there were
at least three hours of sunlight left. The fifth was still half full,
and once I reached the trail, I put the puppy down, and took a long,
choking, drink. I had never hiked this part of hills before. It was always exciting to hike in the Black Hills. You never knew what to expect. You might stumble upon old bottles, Indian artifacts, or even
abandoned goldmines—all leftovers from the gold rush days in the late
19th century. You had to be careful, though; the allure of the
unexpected could get you in trouble, especially if you were already
half drunk like I was. In fact, in no time at all, I became helplessly
lost. Hoping to see something that would get me back on the path to
the cabins, or at least to civilization, I climbed to the top of a
mountain. The climb–not to mention the fear that overcomes you when lost in the woods– sobered me up. I had carried the puppy most of the way, and it seemed that I had been lost for way too long. The puppy, for sure, wasn’t up for this kind of hike.
From the top of the mountain, I could see trails below, as dark clouds
were rolling in above me. I was apprehensive, but not yet ready to
panic. I decided to walk down to the trail and follow it, but first I
would rest. I took another drink from the vodka bottle, and looked
down at the puppy that was fast asleep at my feet. I looked up at the
sky and started to move slowly around the puppy. I did not want to be
lost; I wanted to be home, in my own house, away form all the
tension that had arisen between C.S. and myself. I continued walking
around the puppy, looking up at the clouds, and then back at the
sleeping dog. The vodka started to go down easier. I felt like I was
in some kind of trance, and then my head started to spin. As I
stumbled, and fell to the ground, I became angry. I looked up and
screamed, “Hey, big guy, what are you looking at?
“Some poor lost drunk, or a joke for your amusement? Do you even care? Is voyeurism your thing? Aw come on, everybody has to get their kicks some way. I’d offer you a drink, but that’s kind of hard to do. I guess I’ll have to drink for both of us. Wow, that’s good stuff—too
bad you can’t enjoy it too. Tell me; am I really worth your time? I
mean, malcontents abound. I’m sure there are more interesting ones
than me! Do you hear me? Admit it! You don’t need me. And, I sure the hell don’t need you. There, now we’re even!
“Wait. Before you go, before we end this little taa-do, I have a
question. Why so shitty a job with creation? What were you thinking?
Being God and all, why did you have to stack the deck? Why so much
unfairness, unhappiness? It’s first class for the few and table scraps
for the many! Talk about shortsightedness! I mean, take me for
instance, when you handed out brains, why so stingy? Talk about a
short shift. Oh, by the way, you missed me in the “talent line” also.
You must have been on coffee break. But, hey, we need all the Mr.
Mediocres of the world—right! Maybe to make you laugh? Forgive me if I’m not amused, though. Down here there’s not much to laugh about;
know what I mean!
“You just love playing with loaded dice, don’t you. We get a heart, and
then you fill it full of holes. Why so little contentment anyway?
What’s that all about? You’d think just getting through the bad times,
the hard times, would make us happy. But noooo! No satisfaction there. For Christ’s sake, there’s only so much to go around. Those who can–take, those who can’t, get diddly squat. You did that—what a guy! Oh, by the way, I haven’t forgotten about love. Your generosity was
overflowing there, or is it lust I’m thinking of? Excuse me! I know
the real thing exists. I got a crash course in it. Remember? But why
is the grass always greener on the other side of that hill? Of course
it is. You should know! You created it that way.
“`Lucky in love, unlucky in life,’—bullshit–if lustful urges and
roving eyes don’t sabotage love, then the lust for wealth, fame, and
glory will. Where’s the fairness? Where’s the justice? Survival of the
fittest you say. Believe me, if I was given just half a chance, I
could have created a better world than this–Don’t give me that crap
about freedom. Right over wrong, good over evil, that’s all bullshit
too! Brains, brawn, and cleverness—determine good and evil. That’s the way it’s always been. Reinventing good and evil has always been the privilege of those who rule. Go ask the Indians! Blankets for land! Oh sure, smallpox infested blankets for the white man’s manifest destiny. The `good guys’ won—right! Don’t get me wrong; I can appreciate a good thing. We wouldn’t be having this conversation on a beautiful Black Hill’s mountaintop if the Indians had got their way.
“But wait, you know more about that than I do. The church, Your
Church, burnt the `witches,’ and `heretics’—right! In the end,
advantage always goes to the clever, the powerful, and the cruel. And
what for—a better life? An Afterlife? There’s a trump card if ever there was one. Things may be shit now, but wait; in heaven everybody gets their reward! Is that it! Is that your `Sola Scripture promise,’ your Christian message heard round the world! `Trust in the Lord,’ and rejoice in the glory of eternal life! Really! Trust the one who offers
a never-ending feast of the weak to the strong. Yeah, that makes great
sense! But no thanks! I don’t feel very trusting today. If its trust
you want, trust in this: Keep your false promises, corrupt henchmen,
and Love, unconditional or not! I don’t need that shit anymore. To
false hopes, great expectations, and love gone sour—I say goodbye,
good riddance. Enough already! You can stay in your precious `Paha
Satva Mountains,’ You and Carole Sue both. Not me. I’m out of here.
That’s my pledge! With this drink of vodka I seal that oath—let it
be done. It is done!”