Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Aqua Mustang 88 – INQUISITOR
I had gone there like a roving, incognito inquisitor, out to get the goods on these people. And I was also finding how much I loved the place, and even how much I longed for the person I had been. My wanting to get back to that person was a part of why I was roaming this mountain countryside. I told myself I was there only to convince the guilty, whether alive or dead. I enjoyed my new anger, railing in these meetings I went to about the people of this past of mine that I had tried to sugarcoat, then tried to ignore, then tried to forget. But now I wanted to remember. Oh God I enjoyed the anger, I enjoyed railing at these people I had once loved almost as if they were in front of me. I called them betrayers. I said they had broken my heart. I cataloged the damage. Whatever it was that had happened back in the White Mountains, there has to be an explanation there for suicide and sexual convolution and molestation and all the rest that was now, so many years later, coming to light in the present. Not knowing exactly what those people to whom we entrusted ourselves had done, I said they all belonged in jail for whatever it was.
Though concrete evidence was sketchy. I was much taken with a young woman, Michelle, in these meetings whose father was a therapist who had turned his practice into a dictatorial cult. I cheered her rage. She said she was looking for evidence. And meanwhile her life had taken a different turn, for she was living in a community of very liberal sisters of St. Joseph nuns. It was a place of safety in the midst of all the change going on – for like me what she had pretended was the best place in the world in which to come of age had become the most dangerous of all possible places. Surely a chamber of horrors. But She need cleared views, clear memories of what had happened to her.
“I want the visuals.” She said.
I wanted the visual too, and I nearly had them and then I would be distracted by other clear memories of the White Mountains, the clouds that sat on Lafayette, the northern birds, and those lawns at White Pines with white, in-ground bird bathes, where I had waded as a soon as I could walk, as documented by my grandfather with a what he called his Kodak, which had a bellows that pushed the lens closer to what was being photographed.
The sounds of northern nature, the hum of the deep woods. The times the mountains looked green, not cold gray and blue, and gave the feeling in life that you got when looking at old postcards that had the mountains on linen stock and they looked so very soft, and safe – for on these postcards, as in some memories, you did not see the craggy granite cliffs, nor the avalanche scars.
But the cool mountain mornings in mid-summer, with fires in the evening in late August.
The awe they all expressed a the very thought of my celebrated grandfather Gaga. And my grandmother Nana a leader too, and kind. And everyone spoke of her too with awe – except their old housekeeper Mrs. Miner whom I have just found – or who just found me, after all those years and who is so clear about what happened, and why she had to leave that world, but keeps keep stopping just short of filling in the final details.