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Uploaded July 5, 2018, Chapter 8, The Brass Cane. A favorite story from, My Life Before I Decided to Commit Suicide: A Love Story.

The Brass Cane

This detraction didn’t stop my brother HarryHarry from acting upon his duties to torment me on a regular basis. The cycle of brotherly love didn’t miss a beat. I have no idea what Eileen was doing. Crying about something somewhere to someone I’m sure. 

On this particular beautiful fall day in the front yard, HarryHarry and I were playing like we had an Irish battle spear and we were dressed in full Fighting Irish regalia from the Iron Age. We were tossing a brass-tipped walnut walking cane back and forth as if it were the last war weapon in existence and we were fighting against the filthy Protestants. This final toss would make or break the war for Irish freedom from English oppression. We were a good 20 feet apart or so. “Aye laddie, take that ya dirty Limey lover.” “And here’s to your mother in her Army boots!” Back and forth, back and forth, each time creating a new spite-filled phrase. “Your mother kissed my father’s Blarney Stone!” “My father said yer mother’s buns was nice and fluffy!” “Thank your mommy for providing milk to the entire English army.” The sayings just kept coming. It was brilliant really. One soldier throwing the weapon and the other falling in the greatest exasperation of pain. “Aye laddie, ya got me!” “You deserve to die you slimy maggot!” “Thank your dear mother for me.”

And then … there it was ……… HarryHarry threw the cane toward me. His form was perfect. Olympian. His right foot was planted firmly in the New York sod, weight distributed evenly, his right arm extended so far back the tip of the killer javelin brushed the rolling tips of green grass. I saw with me own eyes the grass send a message to his hand. That slight reverberation from my homeland’s grassy tips were sent through the brass end and through the walnut staff to his perfectly laid finger tips. His eyes were focused on mine. When you fight an enemy, never look anywhere else but in their eyes. This is the wisdom of the Irish. Don’t look at the left hand or the right or at the feet. Look in the eyes. You can tell every move prior to it happening if you focus on your enemy’s eyes. This is also the way Superheroes strategize. 

He thrust his body forward. I tripped over me own feet backward. The Irish battle rod rolled off his fingertips rotating clockwise with zero degree waverance. Soaring through the air like no other spear had ever soared. Not a sound. Not a breeze. The birds stopped chirping and just watched with their little heads cocked to one side. The squirrels stopped shelling, worms stopped burrowing, and all watched. It was the most perfectly thrown Olympic javelin since Greece began the Olympics. Both tips glistening, blinking an S.O.S. in the sun. I lay back and followed its flight until I lost it in the sun’s glare. I just sat there blinded by the sun with my retinas burning and my pupils shutting down to a mere pinpoint. Where did it go I wondered? The glory of Ireland played before me in my mind. The building of Newgrange stone by stone, the Giants building the causeway, the fortresses, the lovely black-haired, blue-eyed Irish lasses, the fight for freedom, the Godly intelligence of our people. Where was the weapon? Where was my brother’s scepter? I was held down by the sun unable to move. I just sat there staring at this white light eight million miles away. It was so beautiful. Was this the indescribable white light those nearing death see? I am at peace. I begin to hear the penny whistles faintly gaining ground in the distance. It is here I will stay. Please let me rest here Dear Lord. The knuckled walnut spear harnessed between two brass tips traveled slowly across the sky guided by the message of the grasses and then ………. it crushed me as it drove itself into the center of me forehead. My head sank into the grass and soil that lay beneath. I heard my skull crack. I saw horses racing across the River Shannon in full gallop. Hawks twitching for prey. I saw an image of a tall thin man kneeling over me placing a pewter disc on my forehead. It was warm and soothing. There was no sound except for the penny whistles and a still, blinding brightness. The skinny man raised the brass-tipped cane toward the sun and a stream of energy ran from the sun into the cane’s tip. The other end of the cane was placed on the disc against my forehead. Bodhrans. I could hear bodhrans. Marching bodhrans, bagpipers and the whistles. Getting closer and closer, louder and louder. The louder they became the dimmer the light became. It was a reversal of energies. I was out cold, barely breathing. 

I awoke on the front lawn by myself. The sun was now behind the house. It was chilly and damp. No one was there with me. My brother probably ran in fear that he had killed me. Or maybe he ran to get my sister and they were rejoicing back by the barn that he had killed me. I never did find out, but I swear those two are out to get me. Nothing hurt. My head. My skull. I seemed to be all right, physically anyway. 

 

My first post:

The Magical Birth of Charlie Moore

Up to this point in my life, before moving to Nedrow, I don’t think I’d ever seen a black person. I don’t remember any in Auburn and I don’t remember any in the Valley. The black people in Nedrow all lived at the end of Roswell, Orchard, Meredith and Dutton on the other side of Salina down by the creek. They didn’t have to live down at the end, they just did. Maybe they fished suckers out of the creek, I don’t know. 

Soon I was roaming all over the streets of Nedrow. Once in a while I would hang out at the end of West Roswell by the creek. For being nine or ten, the end of Roswell and the creek was a ways from home. I never did see anyone fishing down there come to think of it, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t. I even fished there. You could wade into Onondaga Creek and catch big ol’ suckers with your bare hands. They would be hiding in the rocks on the edges of the creek in the weeds. It was easy. 

Three-quarters of the way down Roswell there was a black boy by the name of Charlie Moore. Charlie’s brother’s name was Gimmie. We used to call him Gimmie-some-moore. Gimmie was cool. Every time I’d see him he would say, “What’s up, Bud?” I would say, “Nuffin.”

Me and Charlie used to wrestle every time we saw each other. Our bodies were the exact same size only his head was long and skinny like his mamma had trouble gettin’ his head out while he was being born, and my head was big and round like a basketball (my mom might have had trouble too!). His head was probably normal size before he was born, but his mamma got totally exhausted just as his head entered her birth canal. She passed out from a combination of summer heat and the physical beating birthing induces. All of a sudden her eyes rolled back in her head like she was under some sort of voodoo spell and that was it - she was out cold. 

The Nedrow African Tribal Women with their animal skins covering all but their naked breasts were the birthing mothers for the poor black and the poor white community down by the creek. They were natural doctors trained by generations of black birthing mothers who originally were trained by Mother Nature herself a few thousand years ago along the Nile River. They were prepared for anything. In Charlie’s mom’s instance, having her son’s head stuck in her birth canal and being in a coma, the birthing mothers’ intuition directed them to pummel only yellow flowers like the buttercup, daffodil, yellow rose, dandelion, sunflower, and tulips that they gathered from around the lower-forty creek area into a medium size rock bowl with a small hourglass shaped rock that looked like it was the only rock that ever pummeled anything in that bowl; they fit perfectly together. It looked like a bowl Native Americans might use as well. Indian mothers and black mothers have a special relationship with Mother Nature that other cultures don’t share. 

In a larger wooden bowl they threw in at random, non-measured increments of dried sucker head, bullfrog head, salamander head, crayfish head, garden snake head, milk snake head, beaver head, and field mice head. These specific God’s creatures all lived a hidden or submerged life (like Charlie’s head was at the moment). The sucker hid in the tall weeds of the creek’s embankment, the bullfrog hid in the muck of the old creek, the salamander hid under rocks in streams and damp, earthy areas, the crayfish hid under rocks on the rushing creek floor, the garden snake hid in holes in the ground, the milk snake hid in the barn with the cows, the beaver hid in underwater shelters, and the field mice hid in tunnels they bored under fallen grasses from the previous fall season. The yellow herbs were mixed with fresh breast milk provided by the youngest birthing mother and placed on the nipples of the catatonic mother to be. The yellow paste was also placed on her lips, her closed eyelids, the very tips of her eyelashes, on the tops of her ears and the edges of her fingernails and her toenails. The glossy mixture glistened and sparkled rays of light that broke through the shaded window. It was almost as if the light rays were actually coming from Charlie’s mom’s nipples themselves. She was spawning rays of fresh, golden light from her own source of natural goodness. Golden streams of light were illuminating and deflecting off the odd-shaped birthing room. Beautifully, as if the room were designed in this manner, all of the light made its way back to the birthmother’s body and she herself began to glow a golden yellow. 

The women formed a distant circle around the mother so as not to block the dancing light, and held hands with their left hand facing upward and their right hand facing downward. This is the universal symbol for the give and take of nature’s way. They then slowly moved to a silent rhythm they all felt together. Every eighth measure they would raise their clasped hands upward over their heads, lean inward toward Charlie’s mom and then outward and upward toward the breaking sky to symbolize a vaginal contraction. Charlie was all out but his head. The birthing mother whose milk was used, tightly wrapped little Charlie’s body from his shoulders down in a clean white cotton cloth that was handmade by the Holy Roller Deacon’s wife and blessed by the Holy Roller Deacon (we had Holy Rollers in Nedrow too). The ground up, dried heads that lived their life in hiding were also soaked in fresh breast milk and mixed into a brown mud. This was rubbed on the inner thighs of the entranced mother, on top of her thighs and around her vagina. Charlie’s head just sat there for a while all soft and mushy waiting patiently to be pushed out. He probably should have been dead by now, his mom too, but the radiating yellow herbs stimulated Charlie’s mom’s body like the sun stimulates the Earth. Everything takes notice when the sun comes up. She was still incoherent, but she was now warm and comfortable. You could just tell she was holding the hands of both Jesus and Mary. The sleeping, crushed-head mixture became warm to the touch from the golden light generated by the herbs. The heads began to warm and smoke like the dew rising from the early morning fields. Charlie, like all of these wondrous creatures who hide their head, had no choice but to slide his head out and greet the day. 

POP! 

Charlie Moore was born. 

As instantly, Charlie’s mom began breathing gently and more deeply as the yellow light beams danced upon her pretty face. Her eyelashes were accented with a glistening pollen. It was a beautiful, magical birth. Charlie was born and his mom was fine. The only thing was, Charlie had this long, pencil-necked head with little curly black hairs on it. He wasn’t ugly or deformed to any great degree, he just had a super elongated football shaped head like the early Egyptians did. He was pretty cool looking. So out in the street you had a big fatheaded white kid fighting an elongated, squish-headed black kid.

 

Charlie and my battles for dominance were simple. Either he would hold me in a headlock and scissors or I would hold him in a headlock and scissors. We would lie in the middle of the street for hours just choking and squeezing each other till it was time to go home. A headlock is when you place your arm completely around the opponent’s neck and squeeze. This cuts off air to the throat and blood flow to the brain. I mentioned the scissors earlier. This is when you placed your legs around the opponent’s stomach, locked your feet together, squeezed the breath out of your enemy and tried to damage their internal organs. I used this hold on the Busy Bee Club lady’s kids. 

I think me and Charlie both had good fun. No harm ever came out of our matches. I was sure to moderate my super strength because I could have just picked him up and thrown him across the creek, but I had tremendous self control. When it was time to go home we just stopped wrestling and went home. Our matches weren’t racially motivated even though the country was in racial turmoil at the time. Maybe that’s why the blacks lived where they lived in Nedrow. Maybe they thought they were better off just living the quiet life by the creek among themselves. The creek was beautiful. Lower Dutton and this area where the blacks lived was a bit poorer than the rest of poor Nedrow, the houses were a bit more run down, but as a kid it didn’t matter and as a parent I think they were just trying to survive and reach for that American dream. Blacks were living a different life than whites were. The black kids most definitely knew more about the racial war than white kids did because black parents were in the middle of the whole thing. Whites were free to do as they wished. Blacks had been fighting for rights Lincoln promised them 100 years earlier. Blacks were free in Nedrow. Nedrow was the Land of Salvation. God’s gift to the Free Man, the Holy Land, the Promised Land, Mecca. There were no railroad tracks running through Nedrow. The school bus picked up everyone. The white kids and the black kids and the Indian kids all got along. Indian boys were dating white girls. White boys were dating Indian girls. I don’t remember blacks and whites dating, but I am sure it must have happened behind somebody’s back. 

OCS (Onondaga Central School) was a very small school system. There were about 700 kids in kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Out of maybe 85 to 100 kids graduating each year, there were two, three or four black kids. So what I’m saying is this; we all got along. Nobody cared about the rest of the world. Headlocks and scissors were the common fight for all races. Charlie and me were fightin’ the struggles the rest of the world was fightin’. We were solving racial differences at the end of West Roswell Ave. During the fight we would be discussing our troubles, our pains, our hopes and our dreams for freedom from the clutch of the enemy. At dusk we would release each other, dust ourselves off, shake hands, laugh and go on our way. Socially, we were examining our strengths and weaknesses coming to the early evening conclusion that we were equals. After all that fighting and bickering we were equals. We were humans divided only by Route 11. We walked the same streets to the same elementary school and we rode the same bus to the same high school. Nedrow was the center of peace and harmony in the known universe. No one had to scientifically prove this. How could they? And besides, once the outside world starts examining what’s right or wrong about something, the losing faction will be sure to destroy that which is good. It was like Gerry Mulligan. He didn’t give a fuck that he was beating up a helpless kid, he just gave a fuck that he won. No matter what the physical or mental consequence he imposed upon my brother, he had to win. It was like Freddie Sowers. He didn’t care to talk, he just wanted to break my nose. Fuck you Freddie! It was already broken you stupid fuckhead! You lose!

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