The man who knew himself. Some fiction and some truth.
Walk a trail of tears please.
Who is who?
I am going to tell you about a story about a man. I know him well and I know his hell. But I am blessed to also know his heaven on earth. I do not think this is a tragic tale. I think it is amazing. Death and sorrow marks his grave but it is a grave he refuses to step into or lie down in. I know I could not do it.
Love seems to be some kinds of weird alter for this man. A man that has sunk so low and visited death so often that it puts a scare in me, deeper than the mulch and rot smelled in a cemetery.
Life is a little strange.
Let us go first unto the swim in the ocean. He had it all, but one night he sent the kids and friends back up the bluff to their home. He swirled his wonderful amber liquor of Old Bushmills in his cut glass tumbler and drank well. He was buffed out like any good So Cal 30 year old attorney sitting on his own beach. He had been a pro downhill ski racer and he had rowed the wildest rivers that man knows. He had scaled the Matterhorn and he had walked on lava of a dynamic volcano flow. Sailed 5 seas and worked in three continents.
The man had one better than a trophy wife. She was all that of a debutant but now taught severely emotionally disturbed children. He was adored as he got neighbor kids off of cocaine and Dui charges for free as long as they went to work for their parents.
Can you imagine that churches hired him to sermon to their youth and inspire young people to reach and gain new heights.
Oceans are constant, I am not.
He was a soccer and softball coach and was invited to every party in Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea and Leucadia and Solana beach and Del Mar.
So sitting there all alone he was determined to swim out so far. As to not be able to swim back in. And that is what he did. Bye bye world.
What the hell goes into a man’s head?
He did it he swam two miles out in star and moonlight, about an hour. And that was it. He was done and he threw out his arms and breathed deep to fill his chest and just began to float. He even looked up and counted stars and began to fade into the blue peaceful abyss. Serene would me the word. And he felt so at peace that he continued to fill his lungs and float. Eyes finally closed and a full release of life.
I can tell you this of the man. You probably just assumed he was committing suicide. Nope not the case at all. He was testing his faith. Yep. He swam out so far that he could not bring himself back to shore. Of his own power he would surely parish. He did not swim out to die. He swam out so that if God really had a plan for him, God would bring him to safety. Sure enough 2 hours later he washed up on the shore about 3 miles from his home. A short jog walk back. And there was the rest of his drink and a young lady.
Are you strong?
How would you act?
Good or bad things happen - depends on you.
Turns out the young lady was all hopped up on cocaine. And had clearly “borrowed” some of the Bushmills in the bottle. She was gorgeous and young and still in a sundress that clinged to her curves, showing off the complete sexual beauty that she was. Maybe 19 and clearly had been swimming. As she offered the man one of his own camel nonfilter cigarettes and offered to light it with his lighter, the brief flicker of light revealed a beautiful face that went beyond yes far beyond the physical outward look.
The man knew that she was a troubled soul. Knew that he could take her right there and right now like a dog takes a bitch in heat. They finished their cigarettes and Whiskey to a moon getting brighter. The sexual tension was so thick a knife could not of cut it. The man gathered his things and put a remaining towel around her. And guided her back to his home and sleeping wife.
Life is a celebration
He entered his home and turned on lights and provoked everyone from sleep and proclaimed that they had a visitor in need of love and care. He turned her immediate needs over to his wife, oldest daughter and visiting lady friend of the family and began cooking up some food and tea. He commenced a group hug after awhile with the girl in the middle.
His wife asked if he had gone on another swim, a nod was all it took and she got the notion. A celebration of love was at hand. Two guests were called. One guy named Jesus and another that went by the initials of HS.
The man, the wife, the friend and the elder children knew what had happened. Another of Dad’s swims and another person that needed love and healing.
Well the party ended at sunlight. Which was celebrated by a baptism of sorts down at the ocean.
Some kind of birth
Years passed and things changed as they should as we grow.
The man died.
Life is not so simple as miracles and happy endings. Life is tough filled with disappointment and tragedy.
But not for this man. He died to himself. God took the man to heaven and left the flesh on earth. Reborn. The man has filled his days with love and devotion. No longer the fancy pants lawyer and no longer the dad of old or the husband to that wife or living on a bluff above the sea.
The man hangs out with homeless. He preaches and teaches his days.
But what did I learn from knowing this man? Well I learned that bad men do good. I learned that good men do bad. I learned not to judge a book by it’s cover and I learned that no matter how bad I am, I can still do good.
I spent time with that man and was with him when he lost his own self. It was weird. The guy went to bed one and when he woke up he was somebody different. Not troubled but not the same, kind of like in a “new skin”.
Well his wife did not like it one bit. He no longer brought in a huge paycheck. He spent time in a homeless shelter and more time in churches.
Yep, truth be told he became weird. Funny but his children seemed to love him more. But his wife began to hate him. I just studied the man and declared I would follow him everywhere.
About five years later I woke up from a chemotherapy session that left me near unable to know who I was. A kind of amnesia. A sense of not knowing who I was. It was a bad place to be that I later learned was normal from the drugs used to kill the cancer. There was a man there, a doctor that I had known since near birth. A good friend I suppose. Though our fathers had fought against each other. Chuck was what I called him.
Well Chuck told me who I was. I was the man. I was the man who had saved helpless people. I had turned my life upside down. And then he introduced me to a wonderful gal who sat hours with me. Her name was Angel and she related the story of the man on the beach. And how he had saved her.
I will not rest. I will not ever know me. But I think it would be good for you to know me. Maybe I am wrong.