The Visit

It had been a long time, it felt like an eternity since I had slept in my mother and father’s house. It felt good to be somewhere that did not require of or expect from me some virtue. I could relax and let myself be at home. I was surprised to find just how difficult that was to do. The military idiosyncrasies die hard, but that’s not all bad. I found that a sense of pride could not be amputated from my new bearing. Still there was something that I must escape. A strange and eerie force hovers over my destiny. I know now what it was for it breached the very arbor of rest to disturbed my father and mother’s sacred tree. A lewd and sorted way was etched into my soul though diverse acquaintances and my own misguided passions. It led me to a miry labyrinth of confusion; cloaked in arrogant denial. I followed long and far, but no longer. I have found an escape from the demon of youth’s careless struggle. I have returned to the last remembered signpost of trusted goodness, and here I did stay and rest a while. The first night at my parent’s house I fell to sleep easily. I rested far from past phantoms. I imagined a hedge around me now with my father’s profession creating its strength, for he would preach Christian good news every Sunday. This imagined solace reinforced with a virtual moat of safety filled with memories of my mother’s kind and thoughtful spirit. Yet, I could contribute nothing to my safety and for this I should have taken heed. So I drifted off into ignorant bliss. The peaceful sleep was interrupted gently at first. I saw the image of my father in the room where I had take refuge for the night. He was searching in the corner where a shelf of boxes and books were kept. The subtle scuttle turned with a frantic slamming of a heavy box and it caused me to immerge from the floating mist of my slumber. I saw the dark shape in the corner searching and becoming frantic. My father often has need of various books and documents in order to establish a principle of shore up an outline and I paid no immediate mind. As the search intensified it became evident that there would be no sleep as long as this search continued. If it would help at all, I decided, I will fid out what I can do to assist my father. I dropped my feet down onto the cool carpeted floor and decided I might startle him if I interrupted his train of thought. I decided to walk out of the room and around to my parent’s bed room where I was confident that my mother was still awake reading or watching television. The feeling of irritation from being disturbed was changed to curiosity as I began to examine my father’s evening attire. As he crouched over a shelf full of papers I could see that he was wearing a dark brown hooded robe. Not too strange, I deduced, considering his dry sense of humor, his profession as clergy and the resemblance of the robe to that of a Benedictine monk’s. I still wondered just what could be so important that he would interrupt my blissful rest to find. I made my way through the dark path between the edge of my bed and the cracked open door of the guest room, keeping my head positioned in such a away as to keep my footsteps the light let in through the partially opened door and the commotion in the corner all in peripheral sight. My footsteps trudged slowly as through self-made mire that drew my body toward the doorway, yet my curiosity toward the avid activity on the other side of the room. Intrigue started to slowly sink and shadows of a new animal within emerge as I realize the unique manor of the night search both vaguely familiar yet unmistakably uncharacteristic of my father. Passing through the door caused the light to shine more brightly upon the area that my father franticly frisked. I had paused there at the recognition of this lighting of the subject long enough to realize that the search seemed to remain no more the effected by the recent illuminating action than, to my intrigue, a waterfowl by the start of a rain. So there I stood prey to a figure of fear stalking me from deep within the canceled corruption of my soul. The light became amiable as I stood a while in a cob of dementia gathering both wit and will to turn to my mother’s room and sought sound for my thoughts. With the turn of my head I saw my mother and the haunting emergence sunk down enough to allow a casual voice to escape and pose the question “What on earth is dad doing in there?” and her eyes met mine with kindly quizzical response, “Well, he’s getting ready for bed.” The shuffle of papers and books scratching the slate of my mind met a second brushing noise with an eerie harmony. That was the brush, brush, brushing of teeth in my parent’s master bathroom. Captured by a sudden terror freshly inspired by the reasoning of normal cognition, I froze a moment as small game often does just before falling to the cunning huntsman. I back away from both the normally comforting scene of father and mother and the bizarre figure in vague sight. The strange and yet familiar existence in the guest room regained the trail of my fear. The familiar left me unable to make escape and I again began to focus on the room wherein lay the terrible disturbance. The room transformed into another realm as I did scan the scene of the paralyzing play. I saw not one but two players in the midnight cloaked stage. The likeness of the second was upon the bed where I had been and though the first actor did seem to be of familiar motions the second was altogether familiar to me as no other figure could be to me for it was my own mask that I did look upon. Escape was futile and furthermore it was impossible to comprehend its formula. A script unwritten and left until the final act of daybreak, and with the falling curtain of dusk would come the understanding of an old companion that sought me out and found me even within the imagined bulwark of familial sentiments.

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