Guest Post, written by Johnny Abraham
The Blue Man
I don’t want to sound crazy, that’s why I never talk about the time I saw the blue man, but I feel his story should be told. I will do my best, at any rate, to tell you what I perceived, thought and felt when I saw him there in the woods, clothed in an old tailored suit and surrounded by an orb of blue.
My parents used to live in rural West Virginia, in a house surrounded by woods. There I had seen rattlesnakes basking on sunlit rocks jetting out of the dark soil into the hilly, rugged woods. I had walked up on black bears bigger than me, had heard coyotes yelping. There was a spring-fed creek about a hundred yards back behind the house, down into the woods, where I would go to soothe my soul. There were boulders and caves, and I would go up to them to ponder.
It was on one of those walks which I saw a man, approaching from the ridge to my left, tracing a path through the woods down towards the creek on my right, which I assumed he would cross. The man was extremely tall, broad and thin, and all around his head circled an electric flowing cloud of blue.
And even though it was an aura of grace I saw on the man, his pale tired face showed nothing but pain. And when he saw me there stopped dead in my tracks, staring at him, he darted off like a deer, in great leaps and bounds, deeper into the shadows of the trees.
Years later I still think about him, and I wonder if he still wanders those woods. I wonder about his nature, his suffering, his peculiarity, and myself.
I could tell by looking at him that he didn’t want to be there, but that that was the only place he could be to be far away enough from people so that he could survive. His survival was his icy blue sorrow, his loneliness in the woods. He had hidden in them for centuries, ablaze with an aura of blue from which he could not escape.
And he was not happy to see me, standing there watching him, my sober curious face taking him in, for his was a solitary path that I had walked upon there in the woods. In fact, he gave me a nasty sneer which was almost a snarl, then shot off away. But I got a good look at him, in those seconds before he saw me and ran, and I was able to see the man objectively; I saw that what was essential to him, I had him pegged, I saw defeat. And then I recall the sound of leaves crunching and twigs breaking, and I remember how the woods cracked and rumbled as he turned and fled, how I could feel his footsteps on the earth, and how the startling sound of his flight quickly faded.
One time in the woods, before I had seen the blue man, I got caught in the middle of what I feel was probably migratory bird flight. I had been out walking and all of a sudden the woods filled with birds on one end, speeding in a great big hurtling flock right past me, tree to tree, all in the same direction towards the other end of the woods. They didn’t even respect my presence, their behavior made me uneasy. But when I saw the blue man I was not scared. People have asked me if I would ever go back there, to the high mountains, to the place where I saw him, and I can honestly affirm. He was the one who was afraid of me. My presence had interrupted the only peace he had found in his life, which was his trail and his gait, his hope to shed his blue malady and move on to the next realm.
And I imagine him sitting there in the woods today, watching the owl for signs that it is safe to close his blue eyes, to retreat into his oceans’ depths. And I think about his old man’s idea of freedom, there in the wilderness, all to his own. And when I beheld his blue eyes, when they locked on mine, I saw a rebellious soul, burning with defiance, a pioneer, not the trapped man that he was. Yet sometimes when I look back I only remember that tall, gangly, unruly man, in a poorly matched, tattered suit, the one that gave me that God awful look, whose contempt for me I didn’t understand.
And I think about his home in those woods, my refuge at the time. My parents have since left West Virginia (the winters were way too cold), and have been down south in a house in the woods on the sunny side of a mountain in high North Carolina. And when I visit them there for my tranquility, when I walk through the woods, I contemplate my own blue world, and I wonder if I’m truly free.
After about a minute of standing there, long after he had fled, I decided to investigate. I walked over to the area in which he’d been, and I remember having had a hard time seeing. When I came to, I looked up in the trees and the edges of the leaves were a golden dancing yellow. And you could hear life in the woods, and I walked gratefully on.
About the Author
Johnny Abraham is a guy who likes to write and has many stories to share.
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