The peace that ensued was the intended take-away from each visit of this awe-inspiring kind. Whether I had been failing to grasp the socially acceptable views of a collective perception we had labeled as “reality”, or just wallowing in the paradox of mundane chaos that had been woven into the fibers of an everyday life; the visitations I so coveted had a way of restructuring my balance, though each occurrence lasted less than a second. Perhaps it re-balanced my structure? Yes, perhaps that is more correctly stated as such. Either way, or both ways combined; it brought a high-grade dose of tranquility, permitting me to slip out of the tensions that had me in (whatever current stranglehold I had subscribed to), and to begin anew, as if a pristine creature; one that had zealously emerged from under the healing waters of the Tigris.
When the self-proclaimed “elitists” set forth an ambitious program under a banner of “Public Safety” and “Social Reformation”, the alarms in my discernment chambers pitched forth a cacophony of high frequency alert sounds. I knew too well what the underbelly of this propaganda machine consisted of. With nobody willing to listen, and nobody left to inform, the world’s economic infrastructure imploded like Building # 7 on 9/11, and sent a shock wave of pandemonium that clutched the world in its entirety. Six months prior to the economic collapse, Dr. Phow Chi had been brought before an International Tribunal for Crimes Against Humanity. Dr. Chi was accused of unleashing a biological weapon under the guise of a vaccine, created to provide immunity for a pathogen named SIRVA (Systemic Infectious Replicating Viral Agent). SIRVA had been proclaimed to be the deadliest pathogen with the highest rate of human transmissibility since the Bubonic Plague. The solution to save the world at large was promoted as a vaccine that promised an end to a global epidemic. With nefarious intent and two decades of laboratory research for gain of functionality, the elitists counterfeited a virus for which they’d already created the “cure”. The fallout began immediately following the dispensation of available “vaccines”, and morbidity statistics showed exponential growth with each passing month. Coupled with the unprecedented rate of suicide from the financial crash on the World Market, this New World Order was positioning itself as subtly as a Panzer tank in a kiddie day parade at Times Square. As a result; many like myself now wandered from place to place, with no destination in mind. These travels, between hither and thither, with nothing but the thoughts that wandered in similar manner as the body to keep one’s company; often treated me to a nostalgic affair, for which I proffered great fondness … for those numerous occasions on which I had been visited by the White-Winged-Dipping Night-Time-Visitor; as I’d affectionately come to know him.
My mind would remain busy by gathering evidence of past interactions with my white-winged visitor, including the picture that sent my thoughts spiraling in an effort to bear testimony of the spiritual connection between the wondrous creature and myself. This white owl; the bringer of hope and builder of bridges over troublesome paths; was ever with me in his majestic display of serendipity. The frames into which he’d make his entrance from nowhere; dipping his wing as though he’d landed squarely on a decision to do battle with my windshield, shooting a glance that locked our eyes for but a moment, then quickly pulling up before the moment of impact and exiting the frame just as quickly; were countless. The picture I’d found from my high school scrapbook only served further to confirm that this feathered predator of the night had a kinship with me long before my awareness of any such bond. The picture showed the owl directly behind my head, as though he’d couched himself within the folds of my hat, with his hoary head donning a pope’s zucchetto of his own. With measurable adoration, I reminisced, allowing my lips to feign a smile in honor of those instances. The slight smile returned to its preferred posture: one of hardship’s making, laced with determination. It had been a year since the last encounter, and that idea found me drained of all hope; tired, hungry, and ready for whatever awaited me on the other side of this grand illusion I had laughingly referred to as “life”. Perhaps he was the harbinger of death, after all; just as the native Americans had said of my “spirit animal”.
The gloaming was in descent, and I had yet to stake a claim for the night’s hunkering. It burdened me with shame; not having sought out my temporal abode at an earlier time of day. Was there nothing I could manage of what was once a task given to common sense? I rubbed my eyes; then flitted my investigatory gaze across the visible horizon.. Like a quarterback checking down his options, I let the metaphor run its course in my mind: slot receiver covered; fullback covered in nickel zone; wide right route anticipated; tight end in the crease; wide left picked up a block, option four: tight end, step up and deliver between the numbers, and completion! First down and moving the markers, so I rumbled that direction for the hopeful huddle. Upon approaching the line of scrimmage, a shape came into focus. It looked like the kind of old barn that you would immediately imagine when a “barn on a farm” is mentioned. Its cliché physique was a welcome sight for this man of many miles.
I was calculating the ineluctable repose that would be sending forth its welcoming party, as each of my steps became more labored than its predecessor. Having discovered my fortune in the form of a barn, I busied myself with the spending of all its reward as I closed the distance between it and myself. The realization of my day’s end had thrown weights upon my feet; a self-made, experimental subject to the psychosis project. Just seconds shy of an eternity, I managed to set a severely weighted foot inside of the outer wall. The smell of old hay wrestled my nostrils, and I thought to sneeze, but was ultimately robbed of my nasal orgasm. While mourning the deprivation of said release, I spied the elevator. A rickety ladder, complete with the incompletion of rungs, led to the loft that would grant freedom to run my brain through the gauntlet of life’s recent descent into bedlam. Capricious had my train of thought become, with regard to my will and self-preservation. As I reclined upon my backpack, I stared out the large opening where bales of hay would be put through and stockpiled. It served as a portal, through which I gazed into a night sky dotted with pearls that lit their oceanic container. As the physical portion of my being cried “defeat”, and attempted to pull me under the ebbing tides of slumber, I could hear the utterance of a familiar voice. “You are so tired. So many miles with nowhere to go. What is your goal? How will you know? Why do you try? Isn’t it better that you give up and die?” At that moment, the wooden beam extending outward, with a pulley on its end to be used in the hoisting of hay bales, came sharply into focus. I saw the length of rope, which reached from the pulley and was tied in a half-hitch back inside the barn, just to the right of the opening; with such graphic clarity and distinct contrast, that I could have counted the fibers on each braid from where I sat.
Without the realization of having done so, I had come to be standing. My steps were not my own; yet they took me to the gibbet that would soon suspend my sorrows. As I affixed a perfectly-knit, thirteen-knot noose around my slightly elongated structure that supported my head, I asked forgiveness from a God with whom I once had daily conversations. I peered over the precipice, and then to the heavens. The sound of angel’s wings could be heard audibly, and it all the more justified my quixotic death in that phrase of sound. Then, like a chorus; into my peripheral, a brilliant, white figure came to join in my dysphoric space.
“Quite suspicious and absurdly flagitious”, came the voice.
“Excuse me?”, I managed to squeak out. I was otherwise useless, as my magnificent, white, barn owl expounded on his exposé.
“You append: atrocious two; our symbiosis”, came the answer. In response to my silence, he continued; “My muse; vicarious, you make temerarious. In a life discrete, you’ve not been discreet. A weak criterion snuffs out the tricerion. Upon an enigma to cause a stigma rather than involve yourself to resolve this present quandary is quite contrary and outright unprofitable to those; indomitable.”
I asked why he hadn’t come to dip his wing for that season I’d endured, but his words were ended; and he vanished into the vacuum of twilight, as I released the noose from my head. It was good to visit with my old friend; angel, owl, real and pretend. I had been granted a stay of execution … and peace ensued.