IN THE BEGINNING
Jim - a first chapter
A story usually has a beginning middle and an end but what if mine does
... I saw
her sitting by the bar with another woman.
I begin but begin what? Not sure if this is a story and if it is
what exactly is its purpose? A story usually has a beginning middle
and an end but what if mine does not. Does that make it something
other than a story?
Is there a point that I am trying to get over to you reading this,
some kind of wisdom that I can impart upon you that will make you
change the way you see things forever? Hell I may think a lot of
myself but even I could not claim to be a sage. I just feel the
need to tell you as though if I dont get it down on paper
it will consume me.
Why write it down anyway I never have done before? Is it just a
combination of thoughts where truth and lies blur in the middle
to give a partial story? Do I write to inform or to simply ease
my troubled mind? Im not a writer in fact I have never written
anything in my life more complex than a cheque
Are they just thoughts? Surely a thought is just an action not carried
out physically? By writing it down does it make it more than a thought,
as if in some way it turns it into an action? How is that possible
when we interpret things we read differently? Will you read this
and think of it as an action or a thought?
How much truth will actually finish up on the paper and how much will
I hide from you because my frailty will not allow me to impart what has
happened in my life in case you judge me too harshly? Its not even
as if what you think should trouble me as I will never see your face or
have to share a cab with you. Strange how we can even be affected by people
we have never met or are likely to meet. Is that a human fault or is it
simply another sign of my insecurity?
You see how difficult this is? So many questions that have no answers.
Maybe I should just start and see where the words take me.
Its hard to imagine that I have only been on this earth for 34 years.
It feels at times that it has been more like 340 years. A long drawn out
process that has proved painful but eventful, happy and sad so many things
depending on the angle you judge it by.
It was a song that started this. Before you laugh think about it. How
many songs have you heard in your life that have made you question, to
think? If I could sing maybe this story would have been a song and not
a story. Granted it would have been a very long song but perhaps a good
song Driftwood floating in the dark, breaking into pieces, pieces.
One line, nine words changed my life so that it would never be the same
again. Why could I not just be normal and have a mid life crisis like
the rest of humanity. Can you have a mid life crisis at 33? When is mid
life anyway? I had a friend who died at eighteen when was he given the
chance to have a life let alone a mid-life crisis?
My life at that stage had taken several twists and turns like all of our
lives. I had been on a plane off and on for some 14 hours and had finally
arrived in Las Vegas. Fourteen hours to think and listen. I felt like
Driftwood, in fact I was driftwood. 33 years old in a good job with a
wife and young son, mortgage and plenty of bills. Sound like you? Tell
me do you feel like Driftwood?
Something changed inside me on that flight. Hard to believe nine words
and a 14-hour flight can change a man but change me it had. It was as
though it clicked a cog in my mind that had been rusted for the past god
knows how many years into gear again. Thoughts charging through my mind
like a train one after the other. What is the meaning of life? Why were
we all here? There has to be some kind of answer. Gods what gods? If there
are any gods are they laughing now?
I was in Las Vegas for a convention. Computers. Same convention I had
attended every year for the last
. Well a lot of years. Nothing too
special another convention another row of endless meetings with a never-ending
row of people who in truth I neither liked nor disliked. They were simply
grey faces in a variety of suits. Apart from the hip young guys who wore
jeans and t-shirts because they wanted to buck convention. Thats
funny; your normal rebel would take to the road and go on save the forest
marches. IT rebels wear jeans and t-shirts and even get their ear pierced!!!
Citizen Smith eat your heart out you know nothing of rebellion until you
have rebelled in the great IT arena.
I saw her sitting by the bar with another woman. She was truly the most
beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. You knew I was going to say
that didnt you but she was. Her eyes shone and I was in love. Before
you start I have never in my life fell in love after seeing a woman at
a bar so dont imagine I am some sad lonely guy who falls in love
daily. Already I am defending myself why?
To try and make some inroads into this story we talked for while went
to a few other places and as we parted for the night we kissed. Not a
mouth open tongues at nine paces kiss just a kiss. But is not just a kiss.
Something happened for both of us. The world did stop around us and all
we could see was each other. A silence loomed before us, neither of us
could talk we just stared at each other and wondered what the hell had
just happened. She was gone in a heartbeat grabbed by a friend who didnt
like either the two guys or myself I was with.
The pain over the next 24 hours was unbearable. I tried to remember if
I had told her what hotel I was staying in, I never went to the convention
the next day but sat in my room by the phone waiting and praying it would
ring. I had met the most amazing person and had let her go out of my life
as quickly as she had come into it
It was the smell I will never forget. Difficult to describe to those of
you who have never experienced it. Death has a smell regardless of what
any of you think it has a clear and defined smell. Dont ever mistake
the smell with fear because they are too very different smells. He was
lying face down and half his back was missing. Blood drained from him
and ran over the concrete glistening in the sun. The medic ran up and
told us to move so he could help. I remember thinking help? The only help
he as going to need was on the other side. Sorry I didnt explain
I have jumped back a bit. Belize to be precise. Youve joined my
thoughts as I stare down on a member of 2 Para who was too lazy to clear
his weapon and as a result has just managed to remove himself from the
great scheme of things. What is the great scheme of things anyway and
what is so great about it?
© Jim 2002 (An experimental first chapter - if you like it, email
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