"This is my son."
My dad talked to two men in my front yard. My dad wore a brown sport jacket. The fabric was so frothy. The two men he was talking to were equally dressed in coats that were dressy and old fashioned at the same time. Their faces were dark and indiscriminate in the low light of the night. They mostly faced away from me. They had travelled across the mountain range. They talked in low calm voices that were set for night's rest.
I stood holding onto white painted door post in a polite distance. I was standing on one foot, because waiting for them to conclude their discussion made me shift the weight on my knees around. The memory of the excitement of anticipation about getting my dad's attention was burning in me. My dad is this rock of love. He doesn't talk much, yet being next to him, I feel warm embracing love.
The men he was with held bad memories for me. They took away my dad's attention. They were bad. They were part of a sect. My dad dilly dallied his whole life with the sect. He always befriended and never committed. They always loved him for the outside things he brought to the sect, like my place to stay for them for the night.
I remembered as a kid visiting their Sunday service. The church had been divided into booths so that nobody could see the preacher or other church goers. The women had pushed candy may way with big smiles flaunting any attention to the preacher. I sat there as a little kid in a big leathery booth with plain hard candy in multiple colors in front of me. Though, none of the candy was the good candy, just hard sugar suckers.
When I was older, I had researched news archives on the sect. They were on a government watch list. Among the questionable practices was to deny medical services, because to do so was an insult to faith in god to mend things. A child had died. Social services had gotten involved. All members over 25 had yellow, bad, or even lost teeth. My dad would not waver from the side of that sect, because god is real. Yeah right!
The men entered my house without a word or even eye contact. My dad laid his hand on my shoulder. He looked at me proud. His eyes were large and black like a little boy feeling deep love. On my inside, I felt all the pretense against the visitors melting. I just wanted to cuddle in his arms and listen to him say 'everything will be all right.' I know it won't. Yet, he believes it so steadfast like a rock that it makes me feel sheltered, a feeling that I missed ever since I started my own life.
I tried to tell him that I did not like those men in my house. He pushed me inside without a word. I felt like a little kid. Anger exploded in me for being treated that way. He said, 'everything will be allright.' I felt rude for starting a fight with my dad and putting the guest into the predicament of finding a bed after all the hotels in the area had already closed the reception.
Nobody turned on the light in the house. They went straight to my bedroom. They only took off the jackets and sweaters. They lay down on my king sized bed side by side. We lay four people side by side in my large king sized bed. The room was dark with barely any light shimmering in from the moon. The comforter was tossed on the floor. Everyone wore dark clothes including dress socks. Heavy breathing filled the room.
I took a deep inhale. I surrendered to the night having to pass like this. Listening to their relaxed breathing, everyone was already at sleep. Deep inside of me, I held the feelings of discomfort and anger. I tried to fast forward to the morning to being with my dad alone. The fast forward was interrupted by pressure on my bladder. A few hours had passed and my bladder had filled up. I silently slung out of the bed with my breath held in check to avoid huffing loudly.
"Stop! You can't go in there."
A tall, slim, twenty-year old man held his palm in my face. I instantly recognized him as a member of the sect. His clothes were out of fashion. He had a certain pale look in his face. I saw jackets, shoes, and sweaters dotting the side of the wall. I saw a sleeping body in the dark of my living room. It slowly sunk in that the rest of the sect had followed over the mountain pass and were slowly filing into my house. Apparently, the two leaders had left my door unlocked.
Harry, the young man's name, explained that there was a sequence for people to use the bathroom. There were about 35 of them and one bathroom. He showed me a clipboard, where he wrote me in as the ninth person in line. I had been stripped of my right to use my own bathroom. I had to ask for permission. I didn't like these house guests at all.
I stepped into the living room and looked through the large sliding glass doors into the yard. The yard was lined by a tall, thick hedge. A tree loomed over it. The tips of the grass had already morning mist collecting on them. Tired, young people had found their spots on the grass to sleep. They were huddled into rain jackets and anything that would keep them warm in the damp, cold morning. They were curled on their sides like dogs. The luckier once with higher social status had found space everywhere in the living room, on the bench, under the table. A couple awake ones were busy with my faucet, stove, and tea collection.
At this point, it was very hard to get them to leave right now. They simply outnumbered me by too many. I solemnly sat down on my toilet and peed. The bathroom was painted in shades of gray by the night. I deliberated my options. I still felt comfortable in my bathroom. The sect members were very clean folks. They already had organized a cleaning schedule and scrubbed the bathroom at least once. The comforting smell of cleaning solution hung heavy in the air.
I stepped out of the bathroom and looked down from the balcony. There was a simple outdoor shower beneath me. It wasn't properly shielded with a shower curtain, because it was more for cleaning big outdoor things like a surf board or a bike. There was a beautiful nineteen year old girl with a gold long mane. She was in her casual sleepwear. She wore an oversized t-shirt with the pastel drawing of a Native American portrait. She wore shorts that were mostly covered by the t-shirt. Her fleshly legs were naked.
The blood in my veins rejuvenated. I made half a step back on the balcony to stay in the shadow. Two men were holding her. Her arms were raised up and two the sides. One man each held her forcibly in place. A scream wanted to come out of me. Yet, my body was frozen. I was unable to move from panic. "I have to save the girl," raced through my head. I still couldn't move.
I notice the other girls and sect members gathered around her and looking on. They were all very calm with a day-to-day demeanor. And, I further noticed, even though the girl's muscles were flexed, her face was free of terror. My impulse to act turned into an impulse to blend in. I had a guilty desire to watch the beautiful young girl getting wet. I hoped to see her nipples shining through the wet t-shirt.
The water started blasting her chest. It dawned on me that perhaps this was a cleansing ritual. They tore the t-shirt over her shoulders. Her wet boobs sprung free. They were gorgeous, full, and well-shaped. An erection grew in my pants. Steamy air escaped my mouth. Her struggle made it even more of a turn on. There was a sense of deliverance about it that was very sexy. I secretly watched.
A middle aged woman tucking on my sleeve interrupted me, "they have given the children white pills." I was alarmed again. I stormed into the room. The room had a gaggle of kids sitting on the floor with coloring books, crayons, and wood toys. A supervising woman was standing in the corner. I asked the next girl, what kind of white pills they had been taken. The little girl told me not to worry, because they had read many stories about the effects and knew what it meant.
I fished around the little children hands, until I found a little cardboard box with two pills. They were white and coated. They could be candy. They could be head ache pills. They could be something more sinister. The whole atmosphere and demeanor of the supervising woman suggested something sinister. Perhaps, the drugs were modifying the children or getting them addicted. This deserved action. I ran out of the house.
I ran out of the front door. I ran through my front lawn. I crashed through the white picket fence door. I ran down the sidewalk, searching for anybody to have a cellphone and call 911. A block down, I found an elder woman, who let me call 911. I called in the sect and my worst worries about what they might do to those innocent children.
A member of the sect acting as a guard had caught up to me. He was wearing uni-colored clothes. He had a turtle neck with long sleeves. He tried to wrestle me. I wrestled his arms back with all my mind. An impulse in my head told me fight for my life and bash in his head. The impulse told me to bash and bash my fists and feet into his head without pause and hesitation. Yet, I was stuck in a struggle, where neither of us moved an inch.
A police woman showed up. She was black, overweight, and waddled. She had big puffy hair under her police hat. She looked a lot like Bailey from Grey's Anatomy. I rushed to explain to the officer that I was the good guy. I tried to make her act to save the children. She listened intently to me and then stepped back and pointed at the guard.
The guard had stepped aside. His bald head had begun to shrink in grow rhythmically like a hard beat. It was like his head had turned into a puffer fish. Then, he reached one hand in a large circle deep inside his jacket pocket. "Gun," I screamed to the cop. I was terrified with fear about to be shot. The cop froze not being able to belief what she saw. Water bubbles formed near his hand. The water bubbles were standing in the air. More and more water bubbles coalesced in the air. They formed a spiral upwards path.
"His religion is real," mumbled the cop and walked away in reverence. I was left with the guard, who was clearly stronger than I was. I wanted to call his magic trick. However, there was no point. I walked back to my house defeated.
My dad and the two sect elders apprehended me in the foyer of my house. With privacy away from the rest of the sect, my dad asked me, "What kind of nonsense are you doing? Why would you call the police?" The sect elders faced away from me. My dad looked at me with big eyes of love. And, I knew there was no point in arguing. He would not even engage in argument. "Dad, they are giving kids pills." My dad only repeated, "What kind of nonsense are you doing?" It would go on like this forever. He'd simply repeat and not engage in anything I'd say. So, I was silent.
After a minute of tense silence, my dad smiled to signal that the topic was resolved. Then, he asked friendly, 'how is work going?' 'We lost another contract. Our boss gave us the wrong specifications. And, the client canceled the contract. It was very disappointing after working the whole weekend.'
'Son, I don't understand why you are always in such pit of depression.'
'Dad, I'm not depressed. I'm sharing the frustration at my job.'
'You know what your problem is? You always look at yourself! You always look at yourself. I want this. I want that. How do I look the best? You should look at Jesus and everything would be fine.'
I felt deeply frustrated with the conversation. Of course, I had been thinking the last weeks a lot about switching jobs and my career options. I had pondered my contribution to losing the client. That's part of reflecting on a problem.
"Dad, part of making my life better is reflecting on how I did and what I should do next."
"No, you need to look at Jesus, and everything will be all right. You never listen to me. Yet, I can see so clearly what you are doing. You get into this pit of depression that you can't get out of on your own. As long as you keep thinking about yourself, you will be stuck."
"Dad, I'm not depressed. Everyone would have a negative emotional reaction to losing a client for a bad reason."
"I still love you. You are my son. Go to the girl's in the kitchen. We have business to discuss."
I was fuming and glad to get out of that situation. I entered my kitchen. The kitchen had been turned into a group kitchen. The dining table was turned into a prep table with cutting boards and piles of vegetables. The biggest pots were working on the stove. Three young women worked together. They were dressed with long colorful dresses of soft cotton. The draping of the clothes felt snuck and cozy.
The nineteen year old from the morning was working a pile of celery with a large chef's knife. Her long blond hair curled slightly as it fell over her shoulder. She had dark brown eye brows and lagoon-pure blue eyes. Her lips were fully shaped. Her cheeks were rosy from working. Her face had a disposition of being happy and in charge. Her slender hands folded over the vegetables and knife. "Here is a towel go dry some dishes."
I took the towel from her docile like a pet dog. I smiled huge on the inside and gently on the outside upon seeing her. The cotton fabric of the towel felt familiar in my hand. I felt kind of happy being part of a group. There was definitely a happy atmosphere in the kitchen on the verge of breaking out singing.
"Are those pretty water paintings in the hallway yours? They are lovely!"
I smiled big for being recognized. "Yes, I've been taking evening classes and dilly-dallied a bit into arts."
"I admire artists. What does it feel like to paint for you?"
Her smiling lips, twinkling eyes, and rapt attention made my chest swell with happiness. I was gushing to spew out the words that had been stored in my mind during long lonely monologues, "It's not about moving the brush. It is about seeing. It's the illusion that people think it is about moving the brush. It's really about being able to see the world. See most people think left brain. They recognize a car as a car. However, they fail to use their right brain to see the white highlights and all the splotches of colors as splotches of colors instead of as pieces of the car. I don't know if you can understand. However, when you switch your mind from seeing a car to seeing the colors without their meaning, it's amazing."
"You are so smart! Will you paint me?"
I was overexcited. I must have had two angels singing in my ear, because they were flaming red. I put the drying towel aside and pulled out my sketch board.
"Do I have to stand still?"
"No, you can keep moving and cooking."
She had this coy smile of excitement running over her lips with a little shoulder raise. I gazed at her face, those cheeks, those ears, and all the dreamy locks of hair that I wanted to get my fingers in. I wanted to brush the lost strand of hair out of her face with a gentle hand. I used the pretense of the artist to look at her boobs. Even though, she was wearing a conservative dress, I could easily tell their full shape. They would fill my hands fully. And, then she had this wonderful cluster of freckles right next to her nose.
Dinner arrived way too fast. 35 hungry mouths were waiting to be fed. I put the sketch book away to pretend to look useful for the last five minutes. Sect members sat everywhere on the floor, in the hallway, in the bathroom. They used all my plates, bowls, cups, and pots as container for their food. It was a quiet dedicated meal. As it wound down, people started reclining against the wall or another back, whatever they could find.
The two sect elders pulled a few people including me into the room, where the children had been in the morning. They waved their hand for me to leave my plate, where I was. A low ranking sect member quickly swooped by to pick it up and carry it to the sink. The room was lined with chairs around the wall. The single light bulb painted the room orange. Everyone was quiet and attentive to the sect elders.
The two sect elders raised their hands into the air and silently prayed. Everyone either stared on the floor or at the ceiling in reverence. The air felt heavy. I felt bored. I could not move, because everyone was still. I did not have thoughts to think. I wondered a bit that all my stuff was gone out of the room. And, all my chairs were brought in. I stole a glance at the nineteen year old, who was also part of the select group.
The elders opened their eyes. With raspy voices, they slowly with many pauses announced: "Katie will pass a rite today. You all know this story of the New Testament: The prostitute, the whore, and the lowliest arrived at one of Jesus' gatherings. She displayed her humility and servitude by washing everyone's feet at the door. Now, you must know that back then, people were wearing sandals. All the dust of the streets collected on their feet. And, the streets were not clean. There were no street sweepers. A lot of garbage was thrown in the street. And, that saintly woman used her own tears and hair to wash the feet of everyone."
The elder looked around the room. There was a quiet nervousness. Katie was apparently the nineteen year old from the shower this morning. Her cheeks were flushed red. The elder continued, "humility and servitude are the sweetest offering that a woman can have. Katie is going to follow that saintly woman's footsteps. She will go around the room and kiss all your feet. Please, don't start chatting and support her with your energy through this challenge."
Katie slid her butt of the chair and kneeled down with her dress. She shuffled two steps toward the elder's feet. Her body was hunched over on the ground with her knees tucked under. She bowed to the feet on the ground. Her hair fell forward. She brushed it to one side. I could clearly see her full lips kissing the brown, sinewy feet of the elder with the age spots. Her soft moist lips placed big sloppy kisses on the back of the foot, as she worked her way up the arch. Everyone had very supportive faces.
She moved on to the next person, a young fair skinned eighteen year old girl with thin, straight hair. The younger girl giggled at the touch of Katie's lips. Katie ever patiently and slowly handled the feet in her hand, moving them sideways to cover every angle. Katie moved on to the guard. He was wearing sneakers and white socks. She delicately loosened the knot. She slipped his feet out. She rolled down the socks. She brushed away the white lint from the sock. The skin on his foot had imprints from the sock. She kissed his slightly smelly foot all the like.
Finally, she reached my feet. It was unbelievably to see her kneeling in front of me, beneath me. She was kneeling in a small space under all of her clothes. She threw me a warm smile that told me that she loved the chance to connect with me after our chat in the kitchen. With her leaning forward, I could see deeply down her décolleté. Because she didn't wear a snug bra, her boobs were hanging forward. That line between her boobs was so delicate. My head start feeling hot.
Her lips came down on my foot. It was so soft and so moist, an astonishing feeling. One of the sect elders stopped her. My face must have gotten even r redder.
"Katie, you are doing very well. Everyone here is supporting you. It is time that you live up to the full extent of the scriptures. The holy book not only says that the saintly woman cleaned the feet, but that she used her own tears to clean her feet."
"Jim (that's me), you are going to spank her with your belt." My eyes widened. I panicked at the thought. I had dreamed many secret dreams about spanking a girl. Yet, I knew that there was trouble in carrying out certain fantasies. "Jim, lift her dress off her behind to expose her skin."
My heart was pounding. I was about to make a giant gaffe. If I didn't do anything, I'd be a weird unresponsive guy. If I lifted a girl's dress bottom, I would be in a terrible trouble for the rest of my life. The guard next to me motioned with his hands for me to flick her dress over her butt. Everyone looked at me in a way to confirm that what I had thought I had heard was true.