Today’s post contained a peace offering from my younger, shorter, smarter and angrier little sister.
Carefully wrapped in brown paper was an old cigar box; it once held 25 cent cigars, individually wrapped in cellophane, their foul aroma lingered, this had been Dad’s.
I opened the lid, held tight by a small, sharp now rusted nail. Glued to the inside of the lid was a picture of a half-naked brunette, pornographic by 1959 standards, with braids, a head band, arms crossed to cover most of her ample breast and wearing a fringed loin cloth. It was a copy of a Vargas painting that had been cut from one of Dad’s Playboy’s.
And there it was…my heart, the book of questions. A small black book, 3” x 5” five ring binder and on every other page a question, questions asked by Grampy Vogt. “You’ll have to give these some thought, Mikey. When you answer some, they’ll make you smile, some you may want to share with the world and others…well, those will be the answers you will be looking for.
“There are sixty questions.”
The extent of my depression is such that there are unimaginable gaps in my life, some are over years and looking back over an emptiness like that; to keep from going totally mad, I fill the voids with stories, stories that are consistent with the scars that cover my body and my mind.
Holding this book in my hand; I remember that conversation as if it were this morning, “Grampy, what if I don’t know the answers…where will I find them? Mom and Dad think I should have a Britannica for high school, will that help? Do you want me to give you the book back when I’m done, and you can grade me?”
“You keep the book, and there will never be any grading, not between you and me.”
The first question:
How would you define eternity?
I don’t have to look at what I had written, I knew the answer. I had used and abused this wording so many times, that it’s now etched in my brain. I don’t know if I read this, someone may have offered a direction; but I was 15 when I first used this, in a love letter to a 14 year old girl describing how my love would endure. I used it again when 17, sitting on a rock in front of Walter Colton Junior High, holding hands with Jeanette DeH.
Once, every thousand years, a crow is born on a windblown rock of an island off the coast of Ireland, this single crow is born with a destiny; it must fly to the moon and seek out a single mountain on the moon’s dark side. This mountain dwarfs Mt. Everest and is a single piece of granite.
This crow flies to the top of this mount, unseen by any man in all of history and sharpens his beak and returns home.
When those crows have worn the mountain down to dust; that is passing of but a fraction of a second in eternity.