Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Shaman

Another one of those mystical windy numbers through dark passages. I am expected to join my Army unit. I do not know how to find it, though I should, hence I'm reluctant to ask. There are two guys setting something up; I don't know what, and I expect neither do they. Anyway, it's for certain nobody's in any hurry for it.

I say, maybe in the orderly room, I may find my assignment? One of them says, with an effort - though he speaks slow and low, it's almost too much for him - "Don't think so. They're just electricians."

I walk down the aisle, which is but a pathway between big tents with indistinguishable overhang and dubious surroundings, and halt by a raging stream. I stand because that makes as much sense as anything else. The current rises, walks up the backside like an animal. I must lay supine to prevent it's dragging me away.

Nobody seems to find my predicament of any note. At least, it doesn't seem to bother them. I suddenly realize why.

I have become their shaman. I take away all the evil spirits in the camp, like a lightning rod. All manner of clumsy lost sad happenstance is mine for as long as I stumble about in their region. I don't like this job.

I stand up straight. Stride up the bank. The river recedes like a tamed beast. I consult my iPhone; that's the ticket.

It sets a screen of me in the camp. There is me on my screen. I shake it good. The image forms a map, on it is drawn a thick red line, at the beginning of which is a throbbing blue dot, meaning me.

That's better. I step off, towards my assignment, and the blue dot moves with me. That's more like it.

Behind me is a crash. One of those who were doing something had the hood of the project fall on his head. He curses with more alacrity than he's shown during my visit.