Swimming In Eternity, Catfish McDaris

Amazingly the pottery appeared out of nowhere. Pots, wedding vases, storytellers, all perfect, ready to be fired. I would stay up late writing, but every morning there was more sculpted clay. The storytellers were exquisite, each different. A Pueblo woman mouth open, entertaining her children, clinging to her, listening in awe.

Laughing Turtle just smiled when I asked about her art.

“It comes from the same place yours does.”

“But your work is magnificent,” I exclaimed.

“And when you gladden someone’s heart with your words or buildings or fireplaces, is that not magnificent too?”

The pages of words stacked up. Our love flourished like the mountain wildflowers. We both sensed our time together was growing short. She needed to sell her work and I had a reading in San Francisco. Also I had to meet Puma , my partner to build a motel of cinder blocks in Flagstaff.

The mystery of my past was part of our magnetism. She never asked and I never offered. Out of the blue, after a meal of venison stew and tortillas, she asked me to start at the beginning and tell my story.

I agreed.

“My life began in tragedy. My mother was nine months pregnant with me. We were coming home from a summer camp in San Jon. I was to be her first child. There were twenty seven people on the bus. A mariachi musician fell asleep at the wheel of his old Ford. He was on his way back to Juarez and he crossed the center line. Our bus plunged over a cliff. Everyone died except me, I was thrown clear of the inferno. Two rescuers saved me. They called me the miracle baby. No one came forward to claim me. A teacher and his wife adopted me and called me Jesus Milagro. It took four years for my real father to find me. He was injured in Vietnam and thought I had perished in the accident. My father took me on the road, teaching me to do magic with a brick trowel. He taught me caution and fearlessness. He gave me a joy of words and books, teaching me that school is not enough. I learned to put words together, like building a wall of stone. I went away to the army and learned to kill. My father got sick and died, part of me got that way also, until I met you. Now I must go, will you wait for me?”

“Why do you ask? When you know the answer.”

We stared into each others eyes, swimming in eternity.

The Pacific awaited, like dancing horses drinking from a stream.

Bio: Catfish McDaris has stuff on Outsider Writers (an interview with Charles Plymell & a 4 minute video with Belinda Subraman called Gaze), THE, Blacklisted. The novella “Impressions Of An Orgasm” is on Lobstercult.com . A writer for 20 years, he has had 19 books or chaps out, and been nominated for the Pushcart in prose & poetry 15 times.

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