Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Touched By The Hand Of God

So, last night, 3 members of this group went to a little bar that used to be known as the Crazy Lady. Needless to say, there were plenty of crazy ladies in the room, most of whom were at our table.

Write a short bio about a crazy lady you know.

She walked around in bare feet. All year long, regardless of the weather. Palms up. Head tilted slightly upward. Eyes closed except when she needed them to navigate her way. She went around in constant communication with her Lord above. She murmured in earnest communion with an unseen presence that comforted her and charmed her and beguiled her. But mostly, it made her do things.

I was told she had been beautiful once. That must have been long before even my parents' day. No one could confuse her for beautiful anymore. Her hair was a tangle of knots. There were traces of burn scars on her lower face. She cared little for her actual appearance and often took to walking around town in a house dress, even in the rain. I can remember on several occasions, driving past as the cops had pulled up and were trying desperately to convince her to put on the coat they had brought for her. She just stood there with her serene smile in mute incomprehension. Mostly, it always ended with someone being called to claim responsibility for her.

The voice came to her when she was younger. I don't know when, but onset for this type of thing occurs in early adulthood. She was probably in her early twenties and the latest. Like the Maid Of Orleans, she would believe, for the remainder of her life, that she had been touched by the Divine hand. And like the French peasant girl, she was given purpose and meaning. She was given instructions. She was given orders. But, this was not the voice of Saint Michael inspiring a girl to reclaim a kingdom for Charles VII. This disembodiment had much more modest objectives.

She resisted at first. Anyone would have, even someone in such a compromised mental state. The voice was calm and reasoning. He explained his motives. He was sincere. At first, her sense of self preservation was too strong. But he was persistent and persuasive. She became more resolute. He became louder. In the end, she gave in.

She imagined herself as Abraham on Moriah. She imagined herself as Isaac, walking alongside his father, carrying his wooden pallet up the very same hill. They were one and the same, in her, playing out the storied drama of sacrifice and supplication. The father, prepared to sacrifice the thing he valued above all else. The son, willingly acquiescing to his father's decision. All in the name of faith. Til the very last, she truly believed that if her actions were sincere, if her fealty was true and she went forward with his command, an angel would appear. The Angel of God would stay her hand at the very last moment and she would be rewarded for her actions. This was the thought that gave her strength as she took the pot of water from the stove and put the rim to her lips. The roiling water and thick steam was almost too much to bear. Her hands was firm and resolute as the voice whispered in her ear about holiness and purification. The voice told her it was time to drink. She opened her mouth and tilted back the pot. The Angel of God never arrived.

When the end came, the real end, she had made the transformation from tragic figure to Bruja Morena. She was our Lechusa. Our Baba Yaga. She was La Llorona. She was the thing that children dreaded in the night as they lay in the comfort and safety of their beds. The figure that would drive them screaming back to their homes. With false courage they would mock her as they rode by in the security of a passing car, only to regret it should they ever encounter her walking down the street alone. She was the personification of our nightmares. She was a sadly ill woman. To my knowledge, she never harmed anyone other than herself.

Conjecture can only fill in so much blank space so her ultimate motives will forever be in question. Perhaps she grew tired of the voice. Or perhaps the voice simply had one last request for one more show of faith. Maybe she was simply called home.

On a Friday in mid Autumn, she left the house where she lived with an extended family member and went for her walk. The air was still cool and humid from a rainstorm in the early morning and the day was quite pleasant. She made her way through town, taking her usual route past the County Courthouse and the Library and walked up the overpass located near the center of town. This was the path she walked everyday, but this time she stopped at the top. Passing traffic ignored her. Witnesses say she took her shoes off and laid them on the ground where she stood. She extended her arms, skyward, and stood up along the railing. By now, traffic had come to a stop and people left their cars to try to stop her. A few left their cars for a better look. Before anyone could pull her back, she simply let herself fall forward and dropped to the railroad tracks below. She landed on her head and died on impact.

I don't use her real name because this is a true story.

George Harrison - Beware Of Darkness

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