Friday, August 25, 2006

Bestial Communists and Free Spirit Prison

I went on vacation recently to the Rockies, to the Pike National Forest, not that this little gem of information is particularly relevant. There are about a dozen National Forests in Colorado and one is pretty much like the next, I figure. The professionals responsible for such things tell us that around a million years ago or so, this particular piece of real estate teemed with tiny three-toed horses, sloths of varying sizes, a few camels and probably a rhinoceros or two.

My woman and I had driven in to the trailhead from Dotsero, where we’d spent a little time with her relatives, some Mormons who’d slipped out of Salt Lake City in the middle of the night about ten years ago. The previous evening we sat around their fireplace drinking vodka and talking about Marxism. Soon, conversation turned to a legendary place not too far from their current location, a very special trail known only to a few fortunate locals who had been sworn to secrecy and promised to give their lives rather than divulge its location. Evidently, if you find and follow this trail, you can find Free Spirit Prison, the place where all Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Moslems, Jews, soccer players, Sodomites and the occasional Methodist goes when they die. Of course, Mormons don’t go there. Shirley, my woman’s aunt, read to us from The Bestial Communist, a sordid little tale written by the ex-mayor of Provo, Utah. Can’t say as I took much of it to heart, though, being a pagan vegan. My woman asked Shirley if she believed the book to be written under some Divine Power, or if she considered it to be some form of Mormon Catechism, but she said, “No”.

Earlier, I’d bought a new package of socks from a store in Glenwood Springs. I might have considered stealing them, but I wanted the receipt for income tax purposes. The socks came with a written guarantee. I stuck it in my pocket, but when I looked for it later, I couldn’t find it, which is a shame because, apparently, if I didn’t like them for any reason, I could launder them and send them back to the manufacturer, who’d be obliged to send me a new pair. I could wear them for a while, wash them and send them back, only to be rewarded with an identical facsimile within a reasonable span of time. Now I’m forced to face the fact that these socks will never become a family heirloom. All my future generations are on their own.

We walked up the trail a ways, intent upon finding Free Spirit Prison, until we came upon a couple, a girl with grass all over her jeans and a man wearing a silly-looking Australian cowboy hat, one of those suede contraptions with one side of the brim pinned to the crown. He had a bottle of Ripple sticking out of one of his back pockets. They been sitting on a tattered blanket by a pine tree, but judging from the grin on her face, the sitting part of the equation had been preceded by a more supine activity. Hand in hand, they picked up the blanket and bounced further into the trees, looking back occasionally to see if we were following. We weren’t.

The path, easy to follow and well developed, eventually led to a sign that said Free Spirit Prison 1 ½ Miles. We walked across a mountaintop and down into a valley where the path just stopped. Nothing but trees stood before us. I looked all around, but I saw neither hide nor hair of that trail, so we followed the stream, and soon we saw a spot where the stream widened. I figured it was a beaver pond, so we approached it with great stealth. If the trout see you, they’re nearly impossible to round up again. Drawing closer, we noticed that it wasn’t a beaver pond at all, someone had dammed up the water with a few boards. The stream flowed right over them, but the water pooled behind it, making it look like a big bathtub, so the woman and I decided to take a bath.

We took off all our clothes and the mosquitoes had at us until we got into the water, and then they stopped. I saw several dead fish belly up in the shallowest part of the tub, their bodies turned white as the frost on iron doors in mid-winter. Immediately I knew why the fish had died. The water had come from a hot spring and the trout had made the mistake of venturing too far downstream.

We splashed around awhile, playing and relaxing, until I started to get ideas. I placed myself in such a position that she couldn’t see my hard on, I intended to surprise her with it. I went deeper into the water, risking being covered by a dead fish. I don’t think I surprised her very much, because she was soon riding me like a bucking bronco, her arms around my neck and her hot breath nipping my ear. I felt her come and I was close, too, so I pulled out… she liked to watch. A few seconds later, a white, stringy mass filled the clear water, swirling like a falling star destined for Free Spirit Prison. Once and for all time, I knew I could never be a Mormon.

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