Scylla the Rock

Scylla the Rock
October 28
Rogue Soldier Bad Cop I always believed in redemption through violence until I became crippled and retired. Now I seek redemption through forgiveness. "...fear, that secret fear that follows every professional to the grave. Namely, that one day, out of a past so complex that he himself could not remember all the enemies he might have made, one of them would find him and demand the reckoning."-LeCarre "Men die and they are not happy"- Camus


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MARCH 14, 2011 2:16AM

Brothers Paladin

Rate: 17 Flag

Point Panic 

Brothers Paladin

"He stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now, sir, we stand by each other always."

-General William Techumseh Sherman discussing his brother-in-arms General Ulysses S. Grant


The car moves swiftly up from lower Kapolei beach towards the central highland plains of Oahu.  Two men, brothers ride along in silence while K.D. Lang sings Hallelujah from the stereo.

The car.  The car is a 1997 SVT Cobra convertible.  Scylla's son bought the car as soon as he returned from Iraq.  From 16 months fighting in the Sunni Triangle.  How surreal to have morning coffee while discussing  the relative power of the L shaped ambush over the U shaped ambush with your son.  Scylla and his son rebuilt this car; a 5.4 litre twin screw Lysholm superchared, inter-cooled engine.  550 horse power, 500 ft. lbs of torque.  Scylla can still see his son riding up their long driveway, car filled with friends; everyone smiling and laughing.  Only now does Scylla know that he should have stretched each moment, made, even by the briefest of seconds,  his time with his son last just so much longer.

Reaching the center of the highland plains in Waihiawa the car turns onto Kamehameha Highway and begins to climb the Waianae Mountains towards the North Shore and the promise of big surf.

The men.  Brothers. Would any recognize these as brothers?  Scylla tall and Brother Thomas not, Thomas so handome and Scylla not. They are both heavy thru the chest and arms, hard green eyes, yet in their walk they appear most linked; shoulders rounded, hands loose fingers curled as if walking into a punch, walking on the balls of their feet.  Another fighter would recognize another practioner of his or her profession.  The top down, Brother Thomas sits half reclined, half against the door smoking a hand rolled cigarette.  47 years old and still to fucking handsome to live. "Feros Ferio" (I am fierce to the fierce) tatoos his chest whilst "Hiberni unanimes pro Deo et Patria" (Irishmen united for God and Country) is inked across his back from shoulder to shoulder.  Taned brown as a local Brother Thomas drinks from his coffee, extra light and extra sweet, his waist nipped as neatly as from his days as a middle-weight kick boxer.  A Rottweiler bitch rests her head on his shoulder every so often venturing to slurp a drink of his coffee, to which Thomas responds by biting her on the nose his surfboard taking up half the small back seat. 

Scylla drives, how do you live and survive second born to a Catholic family whenst primogeniture belongs to a brother named for Thomas Aquinas?  Scylla, all ugly covered with scars in lieu of tatoos has learned the hard lesson of fighting.  To fight and fight to spit your blood and pain back into your enemy's face is everything and nothing.  The cause is all.   Scylla with the one scar he can not hide, a single angry red line descending from a shock of red hair, now grey at the temples down an incipient widows peak bisecting his eyebrow, across his cheek down (if ye dare to look) across his chest. Scylla who let his only son die, gunshot on a hot Mississippi night.  Scylla who would now surrender everything for his only son.

 Brothers.  They have fought each other as children and fought each other as men, now stand together always.  Each is the others Paladin, sworn to defend, right or wrong, unto the end unto the death.  A vow not lightly sworn or lived.  Scylla rows the 6 speed transmission, 8 thousand rpm redline, keeping the car heading up and up.  Scylla two heads taller yet seeming stockier then Thomas, shifting into neutral knowing that they can coast down to the beach.  Scylla who has failed.

The beach is a stretch of the mighty blue Pacific, before them as God's own grace marked as "Army Territory", on any map.  A beach these brothers have named "Old Soldier's Beach".  Brother Thomas to his surfboard and the water, Scylla to his dog and then the water.  This dog that was his son's and named Scylla after their shared favorite book.  Scylla the man stops and stands.  It is too much, he has failed too finitely he does not deserve this baptisim of warm water.  He is stuck, forever, he has sinned to deeply.  He stands silently in tears whilst Scylla the dog remains at his side.  Forever.

Suddenly Brother Thomas is front and center.  Thomas grabs this scarred head in powerful hands, "You are me and I am you.  We live as God wills each day now get in the water!"  Thank God for Brother Thomas.

Now Scylla the man breaks the surface, shaking his head and thinking of someone far away yet so close.  Scylla the sinner, Scylla the failure.

Brothers, Paladins each sworn to defend the other right or wrong unto the end. 

"Who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?"-Plato

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Remind me to put you on the guest list for my funeral, though you will have to wait a while. There will be lots of fried finger foods, three kinds of ice cream cake all decorated with flowers, already selected flavors & decor. I think you should hear this music now too.

This is where I'm going, where you'll see him and he'll see you.

This is one that I'm leaving for those who have to wait to see me again. I think he wants you to hear this one, I know I do.

"We live as God wills each day now get in the water!"
If God was here he'd tell you too your face you didn't fail, you're still here as you should be. I'm what you get instead so I'll say it, it's as it should be. I hope you like ice cream and don't mind waiting for cake. Love to you all.
My dear l'Heure Bleue,

No worries as I love ice cream and waiting for cake is no small thing. Though I do hope that my invitation is many years away. My failure is a matter of record and I have hope no longer of escaping the punishment due this sin. My son, my son.
We all tolerate what happens, the truth is, I share the blame with you. It is a matter of record, we all failed your son.

Your son is gone a lifetime to early, what greater punishment is there for you? My heart goes out to him, and to you.
It's good to have your brother in your corner now. Very important.
I never know what to leave as a comment since anything I say will seem so trite compared to the loss of your son. Scylla, keep writing knowing that your son is near by.
I feel as if I am in that car, could hear the tight turbo escalation of the motor, Cobra, a fine car , top down , good for those road trips when silence is a virtue and Hallelujah not a hymn but the gospel. Keep close to your brother in the surf, sometimes we get lost when the tide is swift under our feet. Peace friend.
Beautifully written. You possess a gift for the written word.
Well Brother Thomas is my age. I hope people will say that I am "too fucking gorgeous to live".

As for stretching out time with your son...your words scared me a little. I am always waiting for my son to grow up. I am forcing the time to pass. I would hate to look back and regret my actions. I think that my mortality is always in the back of my mind. I just want him to be older so that he can do without me. Maybe that is why we don't savor the moment with our children.
Your ability to convey such a gamut of emotion in this snapshot is captivating. I didn't read words. I saw scenes. And I felt deep, deep, emotion. Astounding. R
The Cause is always all. Once upon a time, i hear tell,
there was a man who was maybe a bit different,
A loafer and a drinker with a ken for making fools of everyone
in the know, who
consorted with the best women in the land,

and his idea was :something of a brotherhood.

He couched it in religious terms,
cuz he knew they'd listen.

On his couch he drank hemlock.
on his cross he bled tears for the sorry state of
masculine bonding
in these end times.

Thank God this time it really IS the end!
"Who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?"-
we shall see, we shall their deeds they shall be known.
no soul is a failure, it is a perfect jewel, made in the image of God; to err is human, God made us imperfect
no soul is a failure, it is a perfect jewel, made in the image of God; to err is human, God made us imperfect
i love this speed of light shi
i l ove this speed of light shit i got goin now
for a day anyway

"He stood by me when I was crazy,
and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now, sir, we stand by each other always."

no need to give details man to man.
who is the crazy
yikes i am actually typing too fast.
who is the drunk &who the crazy.
to them who car es.
to the women, they gotta know.
conditions their mercy
It is good you can remember these good moments with such clarity when we need to. Hold the good memories of your son close. As so many have said already, your writing is so clear I feel like I can almost step into the moment.
I love this! Your strength and bravery shine illuminate the crisp language and tight dialogue. You are the rock.
Are you blind, man? Perhaps you cannot see, or will not see, your son is here. In every word you write, in every thought put to paper (or to LCD screen) there emanates the being, the manifestation of the soul that is ever present. Why would anybody wish a loved one to exist on this plane, this torturous hell we call "reality". Those who departed did so for reason, they reached that pinnacle of necessary understanding, that the rest of us lack to take that next step. The body is just a suit we put on to exist on this plane.
yes, thank God for Thomas
Oh, (((Scylla))). I hope you can find a way to forgive yourself as G-d surely has. I am so sorry for the depth of your pain and loss. Glad, too, that you and your handsome brother have each other. My pain and loss are different, but I can see the place you are in from here. Stay strong, friend.
please heal; you are a perfect soul; the soul is inherently perfect and can never do anything wrong; to err is human, we will all err until we become one with God
glad you enjoyed the water
Wow.... What a powerful post. I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers for strength and healing.... Maybe here through our writing we can start to heal together.
I tried to rate and comment before but the machine kept kicking me off. I love tales of brotherly love and loyalty. Thank god for you and Brother Thomas! This was fascinating and powerful. I want you and Blueu at my funeral. Cole slaw will be served in your honor.