Friday, May 23, 2014
Garmisch in a Bag (1976)
It seemed in those days I never lost a moment, I slept a scarce five hours a night, and only one with a makeup structure of iron cold dead sleep, and that had to settle me down, like it or not. My last vacation was to Luxembourg, and it had consumed nearly all my earnings, or savings. I stopped Cody’s reading lesson, I had given him ten cents for every page he could read without a mistake the past few months, and jotted down how much I owed him, a sufficient number of dimes had been accumulated; Shawn never seemed to need assistance with his reading skills. I had intentions of selling my car, but I had it fixed instead, and wanted to make one last trip—before being reassigned to a new military installation in the States—to Garmisch, Germany. And so I put aside my laundry money and used it for gas of all things, and figured I’d not be any recluse, although I never was. I found myself a leather bag I had kept for traveling under my bed, kind of a bag, a suitcase older than Methuselah, and put one item of clothes in it for each boy and myself.
Garmisch was only a few hundred miles away, thereabouts, and it was a resort area in the sierras, near Austria, and so the day was set, the car gassed up, and the twin boys ready, with long underwear on and me with a dark sweatshirt, a car full of groceries, the suitcase, and thus, we ended up in the Township of Garmisch, near noon.
After settling our hotel affairs and having mealtime, we ended up walking the hilly countryside in Garmisch that afternoon, which was a long weekend, I think the Fourth of July.
There was no snow on the ground, so the skiing was over for the season, and most of the hotels were half rate, and most were half empty. Shawn in one hand, Cody with a thump in his mouth, on the other side of me, we climbed the hillside, when Cody got tired of his thumb, then it fell back into my hand, Shawn’s never left. The hills were green, and the path up the hill was of stone, or cement in areas to my recollection, and alongside the path was a wooden fence. And Cody and Shawn their mother being of German ancestry, fit right into the countryside, blond hair, colorful eyes, milky white skin, strong bones.
The meadow glowed; all around the boys they were luscious in the midst of this enchanting beautiful countryside.
We had stopped along the climb, Cody had spotted a cow, with a big bell on around its neck, and I think he wanted to dingdong it. I had little patience with chance things, and Cody ran under the fence to the cow and Shawn followed him, quicker than a jackrabbit—and it scared me a bit but I let it be, and Cody jumped back, and Shawn froze in place—the cow was now huge, not like it was from the distance, and a young boy, above ten ran up to the boys spoke in German, I could understand some of his words, I made them out to be, “Don’t fear the cow, he’s friendly, he’s my cow…” thus again, I left well enough alone lest I doom the moment of fun running after the boys, and bring more fear into the situation than need be, and the boy, the German lad, looked at me, and we talked some, with expressible connotations, more so than pure language of German or English. The boy kind of bowed and marveled knowing that they, or we were beyond the deliberate creation of any language, and understood one another. And I expressed the underlie beauty of the landscape, and the boy smiled and ran off, and Shawn and Cody, had ever penetrated the German culture, once and for all.
They, the twin boys were only four years old then, but they knew, kind of knew they could never attain ultimate knowledge of life at their age, it was all a mystery of beauty, but no less than life, that beauty and life and their father were all intertwisted, and in the long range of things, the same non-understandable fabric like the sun following Cody, that Cody had to take at face value and put aside for another day, for full understanding.
In fact, it was that evening in the bar-restaurant, that a fiddler and his son were singing and playing a tune, I had ordered a beer for me, and some sandwiches for the boys, and a coke, and they felt so free and connected to having cleared their mind of the day, serenely joined the fiddle with his son, and danced a tinge to the melody. It was delightful to see them both, untroubled by real or fancied grievances of adult life, this evening they had their say, and the last word was theirs.