General Fiction posted January 14, 2020 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Recently born infant travels coast to coast.

A chapter in the book I, Don Pattern

On The Move Again

by Carl DeVere

Don Pattern has more levels of awareness than most people realize. He questions the meaning of life and his role in it. Indeed he even questions whether he is a so-called individuated body.
After I was born, the war only had a few months left. The US had won the final big and horrific battle for Okinawa and US planes were fire-bombing the Japanese homeland and even the capital in Tokyo. But still the obstinate Japanese would not give up; it was all about honor and saving face. So, at just a little bit older than one month for the scar-faced little cherub, the President of The United States, Harry S. "Give 'em Hell Harry" Truman, ordered the newly approved for operational use-- BIG ONE, to be dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6. Still, the Japanese were not convinced and so three days later the second BIG ONE was dropped on Nagasaki. I tried in vain to gain entrance into the throne room of my old friend Hirohito. But all access was denied to foreigners...especially Americans. I was promptly thrown out and nearly hanged.

I reflected back on Hirohito's wise observation: We are all just pre-ordained patterns...but a pattern of what?

I was then in the first stage of life. This stage is no picnic regardless of how many people might think that the little cherub is still in the bliss of freshly-arrived-from-heaven. The main feature of this first stage, which lasts for around 6 or 7 years, is the adaptation to the physical body--dealing with the awful effects of gravity-- what a pain! Where I have just come from, of course, everyone knows people just float around. And I'm a fat little butterball at this stage. I'm so fat my parents have to prop me up with a pillow so I don't roll over to have my cute little naked infant photo taken.

At first, it is somewhat of a blessing to not be socialized and just let the defecation and urine flow right into the diaper-- AHHHHH-- without any embarrassment at all and someone else, usually Mom, has to clean it all up. But if they don't get it right away there's no way of letting them know verbally and the only method of communication is to wail and cry like a little baby, with no praise or blame if you have a great parent. Not everyone is that lucky though. I'll have to admit that it seemed rather a daunting task to deal with this new idea of individuation and separated from unity with my mother. This resulted in being dependent on my mother now as a separate individual or "other" This involved the drama of breastfeeding. I don't think that I ever really got over that.

So here we were waiting for "Give Em Hell Harry" to get the war over as quickly as possible and wondering if daddy would still have to go back. We were living in a trailer in sunny California under some very crude wartime rationed conditions. But I was very happy still struggling with gravity and lacking communication skills notwithstanding. I had some very young parents who were strong and who had already endured the hardships of the great depression (don't ever forget it sonny boy)-- so it was not such a big deal--struggling.

Harry S. Truman must have struggled with the idea to drop the Atomic Bomb. The conflict is this: Today some folks continue to criticize this action complaining that so many women and children died or suffered horribly. But that's the deal with war; if you start one like the Germans and the Japanese did, it might well get out of hand and involve your whole population--not just your brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

The Germans and the Japanese had to get the point: if you tolerate the politicians, presidents, emperors or kaisers that get you into wars, especially initiating wars...well, then it just might backfire on you. OK off my soapbox.

By the way, if I have any younger readers, the "soapbox" reference is about public speaking in an especially self-righteous manner and extemporaneously in public. Since the speaker had to elevate himself in order to be heard by many, he would use a soapbox to stand upon. Here ends the history of ancient expressions used by older people.

At just a little older than two months of age, the war finally ended. My dad and thousands of others had to find new jobs fast. The motel business was out. The two sides of the bickering family sold one of the two motels and my mother's family moved out from the Mexican border town all the way to Florida and the three of us had to GET GOING, GET GOING, GET GOING--to sunny Florida from sunny California--thousands of miles away. So instead of the karma of a stable and affluent business, I get the karma of being constantly on the road searching for the next "green pasture".

In this time around, it seems that my mother's mother had taken a Greyhound bus to escape the New York City winter and she only had enough money to get to a place called Hollywood, Florida. When she saw the ocean and the palm trees and felt the warm Florida sun, she may have mistaken it for the film capital of the same name--and just fell in love with the place. That's how my other grandparents decided to move from Texas to Florida. Florida--then still an idyllic little paradise filled with beaches and horse and dog racing tracks.

My dad had a wartime buddy who owned a relatively late model car. Remember, no civilian cars were produced during the war years 42-45. Try that these days huh? So my dad's buddy, we'll just call Wally, to protect his identity, had a 1936 Hudson that seemed practically new since it had not been driven during the war. The Hudsons were much larger inside than other cars. The 1936 engines had 124 horses under the hood and a column-mounted gearshift lever to free front-seat space--a classic road car. So my dad made a deal to pay Wally to drive us to Florida.

Wally was restless, like so many other recently discharged veterans, and eager to travel and make a buck however he could. So off we went, myself being constantly diaper-changed in the back seat. I wonder if Wally had counted on that.

The USA was still a very sleepy place only very crudely connected by two-lane roads. We drove straight through, my dad and Wally taking turns at the wheel. We passed through many little villages in this way as there were no such things as "by-passes". What struck me, as I gazed out at the countryside, was how simple it all was. Everything was pretty much the same, as far as cornfields go, but, at the same time, taking on a slightly different character in each little town or village that we passed through. It was peaceful and the rolling pavement under the 124 horse hood seemed to console me during the occasional discomfort of an unchanged diaper. This "rolling pavement" consolation remained the rest of my life.

One night we were running low on gas and Wally decided to stop before it got too late and all the gas stations closed. In those days you could fill the tank yourself in some places. So Wally, still wearing his wartime flying outfit, filled the tank first, checked the oil and cleaned the summer bugs off the windshield as my dad got out for a stretch and got ready to take over the driving.

I was WIDE AWAKE having slept most of the day and watched Wally as he entered this little, what they used to call, "filling station". Inside was a small little general store offering some food and automobile parts; like spark plugs, fan belts--that kind of place. On the cash register counter, I noticed some pickled pig's feet in a glass jar-- a delicacy, no doubt, in those parts of the great hinterland of the USA. Some other parts of the pig were also available and labeled Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Since I was only a few months old, I could still drift out of my body for a closer look. I drifted in. Wally had noticed that, since it was late and might have been past closing time, the lone clerk-attendant was asleep in a chair behind the counter. So Wally proceeded to fill all of those big pockets in his flying suit with items needed for the road; like spark plugs, potato chips, little wieners in a can or two, a couple of beers and a scoop from the big jar labeled Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Wally then crept deftly out of the store, leaving the sleeping clerk still snoring away, ran over to the car and told my dad at the wheel now, "Let's get outa here fast". I was probably less than ten weeks old and had already participated in a highway robbery! The excitement of a whacky semi-dangerous adventure has always stayed with me. These are more formative years than most people realize.

I drifted back into the safety of my mother's bosom--drifting quickly to another realm where a panel of long white-robed and bespeckled "Judges" said to me, "Judge not lest YE be judged".

Since we did not get caught I let this memory and a few others about that road trip slip into my subconscious. They're all parked there: the diaper changing, the small little towns and Wally chomping on the Rocky Mountain Oysters and saying, "hmmm...very chewy and kinda salty...they might be oysters."

As we finally arrived in Florida, the more subtle world, thus far described, was beginning to fade in memory but not completely-- as I still had ideas that I had absolutely no idea where they came from. And more mysteriously, since I could travel in and out of the body...I wondered if I even was the body or simply just a pattern of changing events. What was I and why? The arrival in Florida marked the beginning of a more solid and limited world that I was now dealing with as an infant. Small wonder babies cry so much at times.


From his very conception, in a speeding train sleeping car, Don Pattern keeps constantly moving; from his birthplace on the Mexican border, to sunny California and finally all the way to Florida--well-traveled at only a few months old.
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