The Leaving Cellar: #growingupsouthern #oldbeliefs #newthought
May 10, 2014
I was never much of a spiritual kind of guy. I always left that up to my wife, Vada. She came from Catholic folk and had more statues in the house than I cared to admit. After forty-five years of marriage, I finally made her take the statue of the Blessed Virgin on the half-shell out of the front yard, because the neighbor boys liked using it for slingshot practice after dark. Little did I know that gluing that dang Virgin’s head on to my neighbor’s front porch finial would be the start of a Shocking-Old-Man-of-Dixon-Tennessee legacy my entire family wished had never begun.
Despite my lack of religion, when a little voice woke me up in the middle of the night, “Jimmy. Jimmy, get up.” And it wasn’t Vada, and it wasn’t my dog. Let me tell you, I listened—and I listened but good.
It took me a few minutes to stir,, though. See, we call the dog, Jimmy, and almost everybody else calls me Jimmy Joe, except for those two darn statue-bustin’ neighbor boys, who call me Mista WillyMays, instead of Willimay. I tossed and turned, thinking I was dreaming. Fifteen minutes passed before I actually got up and went to the back porch, where I usually have my midnight smoke. Well, that night, I didn’t have any appetite for cigarettes. I kept hearing that darn voice in my head calling my name.
I sat down on my rocking chair, still kind of in a daze. I closed my eyes and listened to the crickets. They’re awfully quiet in these parts come spring; then they get louder as the summer comes along. Just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard the voice again. “You think you’re some kind of hero for saving Buddy from his daddy? Well, you’re not.”
I didn’t answer back.
The voice continued, “I haven’t put you on this earth to save Buddy’s soul. Only he can do that. I put you here to save yourself—from yourself.”
Heaviness came over me. My body felt glued to the chair. I had the same kind of feeling when Buddy told me he liked kissing his high school buddy Thatcher more than girls.
See, my best friend, Carter Edgefield, tried to kill his only son, Buddy, on Good Friday. Somebody down at Melrose Lanes called Carter just short of midnight and told him Buddy was doing something he shouldn’t be doing in a parked car behind the lanes. Old Carter put on his overalls, grabbed a baseball bat, and the rest was Tennessee history. But, the only ones who actually knew what happened that night were Buddy and me.
In that second of life, fate pried open my heart and made me take a good hard look at the path of indifference I’d been walking—well, more like standing on. See, Dixon was the kind of town that didn’t much like detours from the middle of the road, even with a name like Dixon, which any born Dixonite can tell you is heartburn to the polite and a Tums to the wicked.
You see, I was the one in the parked car with Buddy when Carter single-handedly cracked open the lie I’d been living with one deliberate blow to the windshield of my mint-condition ’89 Impala. But, it ain’t what you’re thinking. It ain’t what anyone who knew me should have been thinking.
That’s my point. Carter never stopped to ask why I was consoling his only child. If he had, though, I could never have told him. What Buddy told me was a secret, and I’ve never been one to blab, not even to my best friend.
I think folks with secrets stick together. I know that for sure, because I’ve heard things I can’t repeat from twenty or so Dixonites in the long stretch of my sixty-three years. Only thing is, when Buddy confessed his sin—I saw for the first time—that I had been living somebody else’s idea of a life, not mine.
I’d thought to myself, don’t say it, Buddy! Don’t even speak it, Buddy! But, there it was—right out in the open for God to know and hear.
He spoke in gushes. “I think I’m gay. Gay and scared. Scared I’m going to die from AIDS, and even more scared God’s going to kill me, first.”
From that moment, I was changed. My sudden quiet defiance of the unspoken law of intolerance practically got me killed that night, and later, nearly landed me in to the arms of another woman. Both times, a power greater than I plucked me out of harm’s way and kept me alive to tell about it.
What I did in front of Buddy that night, I don’t remember ever doing before in front of anyone. I cried. Sixty-some years of held-back tears made a fussing mess all down my face. Then, I reached out to hold him. The young man looked so helpless there nesting his scared, little head right on my chest.
“God doesn’t hate you, son. He couldn’t.” I patted him on the back. “You’re kind and caring. Why, you’ve got to be the most polite young man I know. If I could see that, surely God Almighty can. If He can’t, I don’t want no part of Him—or religion.”
Just as the words came out of my mouth, Old Carter’s two-by-four came crashing down, like maybe God had heard me, and he wasn’t happy about what I’d said.
I grabbed my hunting rifle out of the back seat and pointed it at that crazy son of a bitch. We haven’t spoken since. Haven’t spoken to Buddy neither.
You see, men with secrets can hardly face themselves, let alone face each other. That’s why I’m telling you this. ‘Cause every one of us has got to wake up and see the truth.
I know that now…
This is the beginning of my southern, literary novel, “The Leaving Cellar.” If it sparks some interest, you can find the entire novel on Amazon at this link. The Kindle version is only $1.99.
To this information, I freely add that in July, I am moving to Southern Florida to begin a new small imprint publishing company called: Finding Authentic You Publishing: findingauthenticyoupublishing.com. I am accepting submissions now for my January 2015 bookshelf. If you or any friends are interested, please go to the website and read the submission guidelines. Thanks.
Finding Authentic You is my brand and is also a self-help guide, which I wrote, with 365 Discoveries, meant to aid you in facilitating some of life’s most difficult challenges, like sleep. But, the discoveries also lead you to what you believe spiritually, understanding your goals, learning to believe in your self, discovering the most distinct you, unlocking all of your negative thinking, and helping you replace it with positive, creative thought using many different modalities, including hypnosis, prayer, and psychology. Once you know yourself, then relationship with Spirit and people is a fairly easy task.
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* Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or http://bosebastian.com/Home_Page.php Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed. Please spread the word by liking the page or sharing this with your friends.