Blood and the Hunted

By James Mischke

Here, take this.  You€™ll need it.€  Symkowsky was handing me a .45.  I had gotten out of the military only a year or so before and had come to detest firearms.  Later, he had offered me a job as a security guard and I had turned him down flat.  But now I was in his home.  I had just awakened back from Asia, having searched in a dream world for a final possible identity remnant as a result of a Sayonara affair with a beautiful Japanese lover during the war, still having hoped that it could work out somehow.  The sun had risen again and in the morning light, Japan was gone, all gone now and I had come back to reestablish myself on the soil of my birth, this time in a small town in the Rockies at a somewhat remote, but well respected liberal arts college.  It was time for a long educational R & R.

Symkowsky and I had fortuitously encountered at the registrar€™s office.  Just back from hitchhiking the length of Japan, I was looking for a place to lay my head and he was looking for a caretaker for his rather posh home up on the lake, far north in the mountains.  €œThe road stays plowed all the way.  Don€™t worry,€ he had insisted.  That luxury cabin proved to offer considerable solace.  I spent hours of morning twilight time recording dreams in notebooks and taking them to town, working with shrinks in the hopes of knowing myself ever more deeply.

I was not without friends.  People came up to the getaway in the long, dark, winter evenings to visit and drink a little wine.  While doing our culinary thing, we would typically smoke a little hash, drink some wine, and consider our common academic world.  On the weekends, that tightly knit little group that had fought and cried and generally hashed it out within some hybrid form or other of a therapy or €œT-group€ typically showed up in that dazzling early Saturday brilliance of those blowing, dusty snowflakes caught by the morning sun, toting their snowshoes, preparing for all day in that world of glistening crystal, daring to ford streams on snowshoes, sometimes only to fall into freezing cold, half-thawed, half-torrenting creeks.

(. . . . there is a lot more to this story . . . .  to download and read the full story as an Acrobat PDF, please click here.)

(Posted to on 24-June-2011)