Looking for a Mr. Goodbar

October 11, 2015

Today I: took my first walk from New Genehouse; kicked an acorn cap, the wind raising it up like a Frisbee and sailing it; stood on the river’s edge and watched sailboats headed south across Alton Lake; visited with Stevie, she of Stevie’s Landing fish joint.

Then a miracle occurred. Walking Man, of whom I have written a short story and two columns, the old man who walks the twenty-four miles to and from Grafton each and every day, his lips pursed, his body gracile, his stare downward, came east along the River Road Trail . . . and he was not alone. A comely young woman, a brunette in spandex was matching him stride for stride, gesturing with her hands . . . and he was smiling, the corners of his mouth stretched to his ear lobes. And he saw me and blushed so red I thought his face might spontaneously combust: he was busted.

And pigs flew.

Jesus Christ appeared to me and we had a long chat about the implosion of the Republican Party and how Mike Huckabee gave morons a bad name. He said two of the disciples had been gay, but he wouldn’t name names. I told him I knew all along that the apostle Paul was gay; JC agreed.

I bought Mr. Christ a couple of Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ales, and to be sociable, he turned some spring water into red wine. We toasted JC’s favorite relative, Auntie Christ. We talked books. JC is currently reading John Cleese’s autobiography; I’m immersed in Euripides’ “Medea.”

Then the mayor of Godfrey walked in to the bar and had Jesus arrested for making wine without a license.

So I started back for New Genehouse. I passed my old rental place, now devoid of annoying trees. I have six annoying trees in my front yard, one of them favored by a pileated woodpecker, another harboring the ghost of Ayn Rand reading from the purple-prosed “Atlas Shrugged.”

While opening boxes from my move, I discovered a long forgotten tab of LSD hidden away in a little cloth pouch. I used to be a big fan of LSD. I put the tab on the escape key of my computer, for emergency’s sake. And there it rests. I might have dropped it this afternoon, but there was the Jesusy thing and the Ayn Rand recital and that’s without drugs.

So I settled for a Mr. Goodbar, felt the melt of chocolate and crunch of peanuts, net weight 1.75 OZ on my allergistic throat, and drank a forty ounce, unsweetened iced tea. Talk about drugs.

And I stared at the stubble of the harvested corn field across the highway, the far woods melting into watercolors, Walking Man smiling, the pileated woodpecker knocking on Heaven’s door.


About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: eugenebaldwin.com. I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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