Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Adventures of Ed the Head: Chapter One

Chapter One of my serial novel in progress can be found here. If you enjoy it please share. A brief teaser follows. See the link for the rest.

I had recently turned twenty-one and just got out of the Army January 20, 1974. General discharge under honorable conditions. February 28, 1974, my twenty-first birthday.

So here I was, just turned a man and just turned out on my own. Where to go and what to do? I was discharged from Fort Eustis, Virginia, and since my old home town where I was born and raised was Hazleton, Pennsylvania, I decided to head there. I hung around about a week after discharge in Virginia just getting stoned with friends wondering what to do now. I was staying at a friend's house in Virginia Beach. Right on it, too, not a couple of blocks away like most people who tell you they stayed “on the beach.” It was kind of soothing hearing the surf pounding away my worries about the future. Just relaxing, listening to music and getting stoned.

Then one day while some friends and I were doing acid and riding around the countryside I decided to head home. I'll never forget that day. We stopped at a park—and a national park too—and threw the Frisbee around in a large field. On the way back to the car we passed a cage with a bald eagle in it. A real, live, bald eagle. That sucker was big, too. Must've been 80 pounds. And this eagle was crying very loudly. Being high on acid we knew he was copping a plea to let him out and give him his freedom. You could see the sadness in his eyes. I wanted to and even suggested it. No, we can't do that, it's illegal, for Chrissake! It almost brought me to tears. We all felt bummed out because of it and left, no one saying anything for a long, long time.

Imagine that, the goddamned American Eagle in a fucking cage! The symbol of the American way. Freedom and all that shit. Kind of sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? The very symbol of freedom in a fucking cage. But if you think about it, that just about sums things up, now doesn't it?

Anyway, after that incident we drove in silence back to the base where I dropped off my still military friends to go to work. They said “see you later tonight,” but when I drove off base to head back to where I was staying I just got on the freeway and drove straight to Hazleton. I don't know why. It wasn't planned. I didn't tell anyone. I just drove in the dazed aftermath on an acid trip and a pleading eagle. I guess the combination really affected me, you might say. Then again, you might not say anything. I never saw nor heard from any of them old Army buddies ever again.

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