Scylla the Rock

Scylla the Rock
Birthday
October 28
Bio
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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Salon.com
OCTOBER 18, 2011 10:52PM

A Beautiful Day

Rate: 12 Flag

 What shadows we are and what shadows we persue-Burke

 Scylla pushes the Cobra hard down RT 750.  His son's car that they rebuilt from the suspension up, the supercharger whines as Scylla steps on the throttle. His son's Rottweiler is standing in the passenger seat hanging her head into the wind, tongue lolling out tail wagging hard and fast.  The day is beyond beautiful, a perfect azure sky with a warm bright sun.  Earlier Scylla had stretched out on his grass just to stare at such perfection and remember such a day.

Now driving down through the high Oahu plain towards Ewa large pinapple plantations on each side of the road, then the road west.  It is still early and the road is empty so Scylla runs the Cobra hard, banging up against the rev-limiter in each gear.  The top is down and Scylla can feel the heat building up in the dog's black coat as he reaches out to stroke her flanks, Paul Simon sings "A Mother and child reunion" over the stereo.  The Cobra is either the worst type of car for Oahu or the best.  It is too big and it's supercharged 5.4 litre engine sucks down gas (Premium $4.80 a gallon) at an alarming rate.  It is also too fast, Oahu is a very crowded island (some neighborhoods have more then 86,000 people per square mile) and there is only a short stretch of highway where the speed limit is above 55 mph a three mile stretch on H-1 heading north-west.  So even without a driver's license (a long story for another post) Scylla needs every so often, to take the Cobra out and drive hard, get those plugs hot burn the ethanol off the pistons, out of the heads.  Today he laughs as the power pushes him back into his seat, top down the wind a rush and a roar, the day is beautiful and just for a moment, a second that can last forever Scylla looks over and can see his son, short red hair, browning skin, that wild, crooked grin on his face laughing as they bang through the gears.  Scylla can almost reach over and as he's done a  hundred thousand times, laughing rub his boy's head.  Almost.

It's Sunday, Scylla and Brother Thomas watch football together on Sunday.  Currently each one is suffering what the locals refer to as "the mainland wait".  Thomas for parts to fix his truck and Scylla for a washer and dryer.  So Scylla heads to his big brother's house to watch the games, clean his clothes and then take Thomas food shopping.

Thomas followed Scylla to the islands two steps ahead of a subpoena and arrest for some legal (bar fighting) nonsense.  After a year or so Brother Thomas declared that Hawaii was where he planned to plant his sword and make his stand.  So we bought a house.  As Thomas's guardian Scylla had to handle the financial transactions.  Buy the house in his name.  Family.  That's it just family. Prices for houses on Oahu are astronomical.  So Thomas found a place up on the north-west shore next to the ocean in Makaha.  Past Kapolei are Nanakuli, Waianae and Makaha.  All "local's only" towns.  No tourists welcome.  No Haole's, (howlies) whites need apply.  Even the real estate agent tried to change his brother's mind.  These are the small towns of the working poor and the poorest is Makaha.  Yards are filled with vehicles, fighting dogs on big link chains and fighting cocks, homes with 7-8-10 people sharing 2 or 3 bedrooms.  On the weekend cock fighting is the rule and after 2300hrs the mayhem becomes general.  Thomas fit right in as he does everywhere, his neighbors love him.  It is hard to understand how a Bi-polar with violent schiziod tendencies blends in like Thomas.

After the games and food shopping Thomas tells Scylla to pull into the parking lot of a small store marked "Chop Suey House".  As they walk in Thomas tells Scylla, "I need to see my bookie and collect my winnings."  Thomas walks up to the counter, "Give me a lobster soup, duck in oyster sauce over fried rice and two spring rolls and do it twice friend."  Scylla wonders if he was ever as cool as Thomas, long and lean, brown from the sun, tatooed up and down.  Nope never.  Even now with the past and present they share Thomas is now and always Scylla's big brother.  The counter man is the bookie.  "Where does he find them?", thinks Scylla.  Yet he knows that if you would land Thomas on Mars within a week he would have made friends with every shady martian in a million miles.

The counter man fills a great paper sack with the order and then stuffs a smaller bag filled with Thomas's winnings on top all the while cursing in a pidgin-english dialect Scylla can't follow.  The food is wonderful.  A night without a cloud, stars uncountable above with clean folded laundry Scylla heads home.  The top is still down, the dog still hanging her head into the breeze.  A beautiful day.

Now Monday Scylla takes to the chore of his lawn.  One can use string or blades for weed-wacking.  Scylla prefers blades.  Though weeding hurts him for days and Sarah had told him to forgo the tool and use weed-killer, Scylla as always tries to ignore his weaknesses. Almost finished this chore a bearing in Scylla's motorized tool goes bad.  First a vibration,  NOW a bang.  Scylla shuts the tool off, he looks down; the head of the tool, blades and all is buried in his calf.  Scylla can see that while bleeding heavily the blood is not spurting out, a good sign.  He wraps his calf in two, then three, then four towels each one going to red fast.  Living alone Scylla puts the tool away, to fix later, and drives himself to the doctor.  Blood drenching the Cobra's carpet.  47 stiches later, from heel around to knee, Scylla is home with his leg elevated a large bag of  ice, wrapped in an ace bandage watching football. He calls Thomas and they discuss why the Dolphins are so terrible, after pouring himself a large Glenlivet, both his dogs jump onto his lap and get comfortable.   Night passes and God's good sun does rise, another beautiful day.

"I want to see these bad, bad, bad, bad men come to grips with their humanity."-James Ellroy

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Comments

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Wow! What a difference in tone since the last post I read of yours! I sure hope this is a sign that you are healing. Love to you!
My shins still hurt as I think about that blade going into you.
What a great story, I can see you cruising around Oahu in that Cobra.
One of the best memoir stories I have read.
Rated with love
I've missed your writing.
We share that mainland wait, isn't it something? I always complain to them on the phone, if you can ship it from NY to CA by plane and charge x amount, why can't you do islands likewise?
I am starting to think it is a philosophical question.
You're a brave man. 47 stitches, driving yourself and then watching football (which is probably the one that hurts the most, but then again, I hate football *smirk*).
You might be bad. But you're good. Real good. You know what I mean.
I literally yelped with joy when I saw a new post by you. Ok, maybe it was more figurative. I love the way you write. I can see you easily selling books. Wish I got to hang with you and your brother. Great writing. So glad that some days are striking you as beautiful. Want to hear the drivers license story ASAP.
I Love Life-Great new name. Thank you so much, love to you.

RP-One of the best writers I know, thank you for reading. The wound is no great thing in this life. Love to you!

Vanessa S.- As I've missed your writing. So thank you with your life and schedule to read. It means much to me. The "mainland wait" is both a philocophical and existential question. Pure logic never works. As a Redskin fan (it's another post but VP-Quayle liked to go to the games) pain is all I get from football only Thomas gathers joy as he gathers his winnings.

fernsey- My lass you are welcome on Oahu anytime. I shall write about the DL issue post haste. Thank you dear.
This was wonderful. I could, feel the wind and the power of the car. I'd gladly spend time with two Haoles to enjoy that wonderful meal and a beautiful day. Even have the massive Scylla-girl sit in my lap. I shuddered at hearing about the leg but it will heal.

I'm glad to know you spent some time in a beautiful day, it's good to see you again. You have been much missed.
l'Huere-Scylla-girl would take to you like milk and honey. She knows quality. We haoles would welcome a visit anytime, though two crazy Irishmen can be a bit much to handle. Well Thomas anyway. Stiches are stiches they really don't hold one back. It's off to the heavy iron auf morgen (as the Germans say) and lead on McDuff! Thank you my dear.
Beautiful writing and I really enjoyed reading your original slant on the day.

Not so much the accident from the blade, but I hope you're healing from that wound.
Linda C.-Thank you so much for reading. Wonderful. Nothing more then a scratch really, just used to juxstapose against the beauty of each day.
Thank you my dear sweet love Scylla!!! You are back and with the speed and vengence of a professional blogger!!
DSL- Though 'tis really only the speed of decent scotch and a morphine pump. Thank you for looking in and commenting. You are a dear and a love.
What a well told story here. Could feel the engine clearing out and see the pineapple plantations rising on either side. Love your descriptions of Thomas and the island.
Damn, if this is not fiction, you really did not need the new wound Scylla! Ah well, no sense telling you that one.
Great to see you back in good form here. Enjoyed.
Yow. Taut, vibrant, visual writing.
Thomas, Scylla, and Me In Oahu!!!
Thanks for the fine fantasies, dear lad.
I'm so glad you're back. Sorry about the leg, though. Your drive reminded me of ripping down PCH in Huntington Beach, all windows open, wind blowing my hair every which way, Led Zeppelin blasting. r.
This delightful post could be said to prove another of Burke's
sayings:

"I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others."
This is beautiful. You sound great. You have a unique voice here! We need you.