“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
My Uncle Little- maybe he went over far enough to not return. Far enough to escape himself and the ever watching eyes whose gaze never flickered except for that brief moment in which he managed to escape it all. Even his earthly sins. How perfect can we be?
My family is insane. Not the normal kind but certified insane. I am not ashamed to clearly state that my grandmother has earned her degree (which is due to my uncles timely death because when is death every untimely?) or that my aunt who lives in Guyana once threw her kids out of the window.
They landed in a bush and it was a first story flat so really no harm done… kind of.
I have never personally met these peculiar family members of mine but there is mysticism in my family, a certain lure to these people who have committed heinous acts out of what I call insanity. A charm even.
These stories have been passed down with a flare of dramatics and a sense of ludicrous impossibility. Who would believe it? Why would anyone want to believe that my uncle Little once marched out of the prime misters house with the man’s gutters pass the armed guards with every intent on selling it and NOT returning to solder it like he promised them? But I tell you that’s what happened!
My uncle Popeye tells the story all the time. He tells with a gleam of insanity and mischief and a deep yearning for the “good old days”. He says my uncle looked at both of the gun toting guards and simply told them he would come back. That’s a laugh.
You see my uncle was insanity at its purest sweetest form.
He was a five foot tall dark muscular man. Like an athlete. Maybe if life had given him the opportunity he might have been an Olympic swimmer or something of a dare devil who thrived on the exhilaration of free living. My uncle was wild and as cliche as it sounds he reminded me so much of the wind.
He was blithe, a destructive force to everyone around him and even himself. Roots were never his thing. The idea of being grounded would have never worked.
He was a drifter.
An angel without purpose.
He was astonishingly strong and often compared himself to the great Samson. His hair was his strength he told me. And maybe it was. It flowed down in long locks and trashed wildly about without care. His face was small and thin like my mothers and his eyes were kind when he looked at me.
I didn’t see the drunken madman with the golden front tooth. No I saw a swash buckling pirate who once got bitten by a snake because he dared to swim in the snake and alligator infested water. He dared to walk out of the man’s house with his god damn gutters. I am sure there was a mischievous flicker in his eyes. I am sure his cheeks bared a trusting smile as he walked out of there…….
I miss him when I hear these stories.
But then I have such unbelievable tales of his life. Some of them are beyond believable but I believe them with all of my heart because the smile of my families face when they tell the story says it all. It’s true. This is why I cherish them. I cherish my crazy aunt. Who the hell knows what was happening in her mind at that moment that she threw the kids out the window? All I know is that every time the story comes up it brings a knowing smile to their face even mine.
I am a part of an insane family. Call it what you will but its mine.
Life has thrown rocks at us, not lemons, so why not have a rock fight and laugh to the last broken bone? Besides life isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect. Call us morbid for laughing at our pain and insanity but if you can’t look back and laugh then why bother looking back at all?