Blinded By His Mind

by Scott Utley

Bravado and brilliance dressed in the soul of a child, I watch his hands move with
loving precision over the Cessna’s cockpit. It is hard to trust someone even when
you have no choice. I know that a quarter inch of aluminum and a diesel engine are
all that keeps my brother and I suspended over the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge,
on the most flawless of summer days, thousands of feet above the static of life. I
know he’s nuts, and I know I will never truly know him, or trust him, but I love
this moment.

He was born in NYC in the middle of a frigid winter evening directly in the center
of a traumatized, brilliant, baffling, boisterous, manic and maniacal century,
poised as it was, so it believed, at the mouth of apocalypse now. Every
generation’s self absorption is densely ego-centric, which makes it easy for every
generation to be sincerely convinced they are ultimate fruit of humanity’s labor.

Winter has a deeper heart than summer. Winter loves with passion beyond measure,
but winter also envies and detests the newborn, especially the first born. So, with
an oblique malaise, an undefined sense of melancholy, Richard grew into a man, but
he never thawed. He never knew spring. He was too busy careening through his days,
blinding strangers with his mind. A 20th century poster child for prosperity who
spent more time exhaling than inhaling so the poor guy never had enough oxygen in
his system. My own brother, stranger more to me now then he ever was had only his
fears and my hand left to him in this life, and we were both scared to death. I
tremble at the finality of transformation, but I remember the joy of rebirth.

Today is not a good day for me and God and Richard. For him it is worse than ever.
All the omens portend doom. When the raven remains sheltered from the storm against
her will, the wind will bite with a more brutal cunning. Today is not friendly to
life living on earth’s flesh. Today doesn’t have enough ozone in its skin to shield
my brother from the pain of being nailed. Chill is dressed up like a penguin at an
execution. The med-van van pulls up to Richard’s house. The wheelchair hoist
delivers his body, blotched by melanomas and microscopic RNA jack-hammers. He is
chiseled down to just a shell of his former self, and I am his life line. My heart
cannot break any more than it has. It is already dark matter, but Richard’s heart
is frenetic with music and voices that only the dying are privy to when they are as
close as they are to holy. His hair is thinning badly. He looks like what he is, a
man dying of AIDS. It’s so hard on him. It’s hard.

I am reminded of my grandmother who died at 95 but insisted she was only 93. Vanity
is a death’s worst friend. Richard would have laughed at this comment. But he’s not
here, he’s flying his bird on skies that only immortals have the privilege to do.


Posted on 10/09/2007
Copyright © 2019 Scott Utley

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