Monday, February 15, 2016
The Hyperborean Mythos Amsterdam: Deserted Orchard (1975) Part II of II
I entered the room with my twin boys. Like the hall and hearth downstairs, it contained the furniture necessary for the most meager hospitality of a guesthouse in Amsterdam. It was 11:00 P.M., It had an iron bed with a brown-drab-colored spread over it, a wooden chair next to it, a hat-rack and a washbasin, nearby. The walls were a dirty pale yellow, and naked of any pictures, a nail here and there, short and rustic, a sinister looking room.
I fed the boys a ham and cheese sandwich, they were per near four years old. Then I put them to bed, “What can I do until I’m tired?” I asked myself; a rhetorical question perhaps. Horrified by the idea of being shut up in this room sober. I paced the room shrugged my shoulders, it was fall of 1975, and there was a chill in the Amsterdam air.
I had noticed a little bar at the end of the street was opened, prior to finding this guesthouse. I could go there for something to drink, —if I didn’t make any noise the boys would remain sleeping, and I’d be back in a jiffy, otherwise I’d have to remain in the hotel room, dry as the night is long.
Half an hour later, after washing up a bit, I was per near jogging along the way to find the bar. With my eyes wide open trying to remember the signs, to the bar, and for my way back, it was farther than I imagined. I gave myself over to my thoughts:
This was for me and my boys a weekend vacation, I was twenty-eight years old, I had a good job in Darmstadt, Germany, the long weekend, a four day weekend, was mine to do with whatever I pleased. And I wished, as I always wished, to travel with my twin boys. This desire had frustrated me at times, my job strangled me night and day.
If I could live my life again, I would give up my drinking, the boring routine of professional drinking and live the unlived life which attacked me, with my boys, for so often I am teased by Satan’s demon of the countless opportunism and paths which my feet would have trotted, had they not followed the will of the drunk.
Since then I have wrote my poetry in dreams, to save for a later date.
As I made it to the bar, at the top of the foothill my thoughts came to a halt, the path to the door of the bar was like a path that a reptile crawled ahead of me, as to guide me in. I looked behind me, it was a slope of a hill I had climbed, curved: thus, I lost sight of my hotel-guesthouse, this area covered by low buildings, and now connecting streets, made me feel a bit lost.
Inside the bar, it was a blessing to see all the booze I witnessed; it had a mildew odor, as all bars seem to have, and smoke circled about like you were in Charlie Chan’s dope den; it never seemed to settle in anyone place. I ordered a liter of beer; I noticed four hooligans were watching me.
Now before me laid the long path back. It was a modest walk, surrounded by a crude brick and stone wall I hadn’t noticed before, or if I had, it now came clear to my mind. My walk was like a deserted orchard. I counted four blocks, I judged it should be six total, hence, I had two more to go. It stuck me for a moment, I might be lost, I mean, not lost but I wasn’t sure of the archway to the guesthouse, which one was it? They all looked comparatively the same. That is to say, the sprawling designs on each one looked similar.
At the far end of the street those four young hooligans had been following me, I meticulously watched them. I thought of them as pebbles and weeds the earth spit up, that posed for a fight, this was my way of prepping myself. I let them draw nearer, picking my glass liter of beer up like a weapon for them to see. I stood under a streetlight, thus I was half-buried in light. I struck the liter of beer hard against a body of cement. It seemed to carry an echo, a death threat to the hooligans. I don’t think I felt any surprise or fear, I have found myself suddenly face to face with grave situations before, and this was no different. I began to yell at the hooligans that it would be a mistake not to turnabout, and head on back the other way, and the sharp edges of the glass, sparkled, as the beer dripped out of it to its last drop. I even scrutinized closer, made a step two towards them. The night was left blank.
They turned about, and then I got moving slowly looking for the right archway. That was more a nightmare than the hooligans. Then it appeared. I brushed the sweat off my forehead with my sleeve, and sat down on the bed next to the boys, whom were deep asleep. Many minutes passed, my brain appeared to have shut down, stopped functioning, yet it refused to provide any logical explanation for my strange act of breaking my liter of beer, perhaps I could have chased them away without do so!
As night advanced, sleep spread its ink-colored darkness over me, and for one night out of three-thousand, I fell to sleep sober.
For Samantha Shields (by Request)
Part one to this story is under the title “A Hearth in Amsterdam” written 2008.
Where Part one leaves off, Part two, takes over.