I am squatting cross-legged in the shadows of the woods.
The treetops curl over me against the starry pre-dawn nighttime hours.
Our mighty Sun has been down for hours now but his heat remains within the supple Earth, rising upward in a soft curtain of humid dew.
Streetlights are smoothed into a hazy blur, coating the surrounding branches and streets in an amber syrup.
I am sitting low in the clearing, resting upon the sunken trunk of a thick Cedar that fell no sooner than a year ago hence. Behind me, a faint rustle in the underbrush… possibly a ‘coon or a ‘possum, judging by the halting steps and light footfalls.
“Watch it out there, Matthew!” a co-worker calls out to me from the glass enclosure of the inner-office, as I saunter through the doorway… exiting the cool dry sterility into the hot breath of Night. Time to make my rounds.
“Don’t worry yourself,” I murmur back, “I’m scarier than anything you’ll encounter ’round here.”
Her cackling laughter fades behind the low hiss of the heavy glass entrance door. I chuckle to myself at the unintended humor of my bluster.
I am squatting cross-legged in the shadows of the woods. I have a perfect vantage of the main entrance to the grounds; I can see anyone that approaches, without being visible myself.
Of course, anyone who would bother to trespass by strolling through the front entrance and up to the main door would hardly be a worthy adversary.
A strange part of me remains in a near-constant state of alert. I do not really understand it, or what it means. Not as though I am “worried” about being the victim of a violent act, but almost hungering for the opportunity to exert my will in the attempt.
Most curious, especially considering my abhorrence of violence.
Like George S. Patton, I used to believe that I must have been some sort of warrior in a “past life” or had an ancestor that had transmitted something of himself to me by blood lineage. While Patton centered upon Alexander the Great, I always felt a certain kinship with Gaius Julius Caesar. More than any of this nonsense, however, I knew my Iroquois heritage assured me of being the direct descendant of a vast hunter-gatherer culture.
Such things have very little real presence in themselves, save for what we imbue them with… my younger brother Mark, who shares the exact amount of “Mohican” genetic material as I, feels nowhere near the same inclination of his elder sibling.
I suspect that it must be some manifestation of my various strange and contradictory impulses. While I do prefer a certain domestic tranquility, I also feel such dulcet pleasures should be fought for and earned by blood or sweat… for I delight in my beloved’s unceasing fidelity and great-heart, yet I also harbor a sensibility that she must be seduced and won almost nightly. Mind you, not because of anything indication she has ever given, but for my own conscience.
Sometimes… I wonder if some far-flung personification of an ancient evil stalks me, for transgressions past and those yet to come, tracking every footstep with methodical discipline and glacial patience. A sort of metaphysical “double walker” that I shall have to face, and there will be a fierce reckoning made between he and I.
Meanwhile… I am squatting cross-legged in the shadows of the woods, listening to Great Silence and waiting for an unseen adversary that shall never come.