Copyright 2006 by Welby Thomas Cox, Jr.
All rights reserved. This electronic and soft cover book published by tablo.io in Australia and distributed throughout the world Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author which will not be unduly withheld.
The cover designed and painted by Welby Thomas Cox, Jr.
Welby Thomas Cox, Jr. aka Thomas Welby Cox
Library of Congress Copyright # TXu1-309-323, May 17, 2006
Cox, Jr. Welby Thomas, aka William Grayson Stall
Formatted in cooperation with http://www. tablo.io
Published by: Tablo Publishing, Ltd., Australia
This is a work of historical fiction, based upon actual events, except for all known historical figures which the readers may well identify; names, places, dates and incidents pivotal to the writing of this book have been developed solely in the mind of the author Welby Thomas Cox, Jr. and he takes full legal responsibility for the content of the book. It would be purely a matter of coincidence if someone might be recognized as a character in this book: “Yet Untitled” …unless, that is, you happened to be important. LOL!
To My Beloved Mother
Mary Catherine Simpson Cox
April 15, 1922-November 7, 1988
Though you passed on November 7, 1988 and it is now thirty (30) years, I still hold you close to my heart as Mother and dearest friend and, it is your love which precludes me from suffering the world’s greatest tragedy for a human…not to have been loved at all or to have been a willing participant in the creation of six beautiful children!
He remembered the panic in her eyes as the cars collided; she had run a stop sign… crossing a major highway. She looked like one of his children and he wanted to reach out to say, it’s going to be okay. He saw metal crushing in slow motion as he was thrown into the steering wheel and his knees ripping through the dashboard. Hamilton remembered the impact with the windshield and the thought that he could not die this way… he had too much to do!
There was a flurry of motion around him but Hamilton was drifting… he was at peace, not unlike going to sleep but more blissful and aware. There was no pain now in the minutes after the accident, just an animated sense of withdrawal into the nether world… or that place which threatens to compromise life as it was known. On the platform waiting for the next train and regretting or wandering of the one you missed, one of the quintessential life lessons…some follow it; some fear it; others treat it as a responsibility or a burden to bare and march steadfastly forward onto each platform without question as to direction, priority or the more suttle questions of community!
But this platform was marked with several signs pointing in various directions: African/American; Major/Minor, Chinese/American; Major/Minor, English/American; Major/Minor, French/American; Major/Minor, German/American;Major/Minor,Indian/American; Major/Minor, Irish/American; Major/Minor, Japanese/American; Major/Minor, Russian/American; Major/Minor. Hamilton was confused; bewildered; frightened and yes… to answer the pivotal question which haunts every living person: was he most afraid of dying…or of knowing that he was dead!
He was about to follow his heritage when a garishly dressed elderly lady with a monkey on her shoulder strode leisurely by and whispered to him, “Take the road less traveled!” she said to him while handing him a sheet of paper.
“Who wrote that line you just used? Don’t you know, madam, you must always give credit where credit is due?” he said.
“My name is Sarah in the Sky… there is no credit here, just deeds!” she said, “but if you insist on giving credit, it’s a bit of Frost!”
“Now there you go again, Sarah in The Sky is a song, and you are taking advantage of me because I am …”
“Gone!” she said.
Before he could finish Sarah and her monkey grabbed his hand and began to dance around and around as they sang…, “are you blue, too much to do, I don’t know the reasons why, I’m just Sarah in The Sky!”
“Please, please he said, I must find my way.” He said while looking at the note.
“But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity”
“There you go again… taking these great liberties with the work of others, but I remember this one, its Marvell, Andrew Marvell. Sarah, you must give credit where credit is due!”
“Marvell, Marvell all around, like grease and oil on the town. Monkey see/ Monkey do/ I have something new for you… Sarah in the Sky! Now is that credit Mr. Hamilton and what do I get for it… when what I need is deeds!” she spoke in a very quick fashion, sort of like William F. Buckley, except she didn’t have all his facial expressions, nor the use of the tongue for pause sake…or multisyllable words.
Hamilton thought she probably could not use more than a two syllable word, and she and this monkey where beginning to get annoying; but she was all he had… here at this intersection, and then he remembered she had spoken his name…and clearly stated that he was dead, or was it gone?”
“Wait a minute, Sarah, how do you know my name? And, I guess you also know my mother’s name is Sarah as well… and, that we are from Indianapolis, Indiana?” he said.
“I know your mother Sarah. I know her very well. I’ve waited a lifetime now, to keep her out of ….well! Oh! Oh, that’s so ugly and I promised not to say… that I wouldn’t use that word again, and I've already used it… yet today!” Sarah spoke in the cadence of an aspiring street poet but her voice had the ring/rang chatter of fun and frivolity, mixed with a sense of wanting, and also of needing to be someplace else in a hurry.
“Now look, Hamilton, it’s been nice talking to you, but it’s time to play the game. Say the magic word and you win the monkey… and you can go away.” she said.
“There it is again. I know that one. Can’t you be original? It’s “Here’s Groucho”… Groucho Marx!” he shouted.
Then Sarah seemed to begin to wilt; she became subdued and she said quietly to Hamilton, “Sarah in the Sky is waiting here… for your mother, Sarah to die. I am her mentor; I get a deed for that duty, a deed that I need and I can move from the Minors. You have no mentor…you have no reason for being in this world…you are an aberration!” she said.
“Sarah, I am here because I am dead…you said…” Hamilton felt himself beginning to feel the emotion. An emotion he had stifled since he was a small child. Big boys don’t cry…you know!
“Please tell me why you are playing this wicked game. Please stop… this game is painful! I won’t say a word about credit. But, my mother is worth more than deeds or credits…this woman is a saint Sarah…a home run for you if you are her mentor! But…if I am dead…doesn’t that mean that you have been waiting for me?”
“Well, you are dead…but you are not gone Hamilton… and the game that you must play is finding a deed, not a credit… to get you to the Majors and/ as soon as your mother, Sarah joins me, I’ll be on my way to the Majors!”
“You mean to the community called Irish/American Major?” he said.
“Oh no, when you get to the Majors, everybody wears a pin stripe; there is no need for personal identification. We all start with imperfections; living is one of those. We all must learn… to live life down! That is the reason that you are not gone Hamilton…your life has epitomized credit! Here, there are no I’s; there are no we’s; there are no me’s. There is no room for narcissism. Human potential and all its vain insidious effort at self-aggrandizement is as forgotten here as is…” she paused…
“Credit!” she said.
No sooner had she uttered the word ‘credit’…Sarah’s image became more and more ashen…and then she was gone!
Hamilton was so very relaxed, floating toward some place or space, perhaps Irish/American?
“Don’t forget, it’s your place, not mine; hurry back…hurry back… you’ve much to do before your time!”
He could no longer see Sarah; he felt only a soft, but efficient motion moving him somewhere, and then a voice, like an old time victrola being cranked and starting to play oh so slowly, “C-R-E-D-I-T S-A-V-I-N-G T-H-I-S L-I-F-E T-O T-H-E B-I-K-E-R M-R, H-A-M-I-L-T-O-N, WHERE ARE YOU GOING!”
Dear god, Hamilton thought. It’s him, I must be in the Majors!
Then the motion became more profound; and the blurring; the birds, the peace, the tranquility were replaced by intense pain; confusion and movement, everyone moving quickly, before him. So much pain… and the fire, the heat beneath him, and now, the heat and the fire was also coming through the windshield, and steam was billowing behind it from enjoined engines on a sultry September morning.
Hamilton thought he saw a helmeted alien glaring into the smashed windshield.
The alien, now more focused… was an angel in the uniform of a cyclist…she produced an orange flask. Hamilton tried to take it, but his arms were gone. His eyes communicated the pain and the need for the lifesaving liquid. (Surely you have the same need.) And the water was now on his face, running coolly down his forehead; he opened his mouth and swallowed… blood!
Now Hamilton was sick. And a fireman was pulling off the door. And someone was spraying the engine. And then once again the comfort of the netherworld!
He was back at the platform with all the signs pointing off in directions to Africa, China, England and Ireland, and there, near the pole, on the side of the platform sat a man from India with his legs crossed Indian style. He was wearing a grand turban on his head with a great jewel in the middle. Near him stood an American Indian in full Indian regalia. He had his arms crossed and his feather headdress sat atop his head like a crown vested in all the history of a civilization once proud, once powerful, once in touch with all…even nature… over which it had prevailed. Hamilton approached the chief.
“How!” Hamilton said lifting his arm in an animated gesture of friendship, the kind he had seen so many times in the movies….and had wanted to immolate.
“Heil!” The Indian swung into a Nazi gesture… resembling the Indian gesture for peace but was far more pronounced and disciplined.
“No sir!” Hamilton said, “it’s not heil…it’s how!”
“I know how, dip-shit! I just need a chance!” The Indian spoke with a most incredulous look, on his face. It questioned the moment and infinity…as well!
“Wait a minute; that is the oldest racial joke. I remember it from my childhood!” Hamilton said.
“Get on down the road, you honkey redneck. This is my territory and that’s no joke!” the Indian chief said to Hamilton.
“Go on over there and harass Gandhi. I got no more time for you. I’ve given you all I’ve got…and you gave me trinkets and a pup tent in return!”
The Indian never changed his stern look or his position.
Hamilton moved over to the end of the platform thinking to himself that the chief must have been only a representation of some deep seeded guilt or hostility, or even an aggressive distrust for anyone wearing feathers. After all, the Tribes did get the casinos, and hadn’t Monaco done well with Casinos? He addressed the man from India who did not bother to get up from his position on his little rug.
“You are not really Gandhi. He died sometime in the early part of the twentieth century?”
“No, no, the chief says that all Indians look the same to him…you know, if you have seen one Gandhi…you’ve seen them all! I am DT Patel!” the man said to Hamilton.
“Yes, and what is it that DT stands for?” Hamilton asked.
Patel jumped up, threw his arms skyward and began to sing,
“If you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go, DT! I know a place where the music is loud and the lights are low, DT!” Patel resumed his position.
“Petula Clarke!” Hamilton shouted.
“No, DT Patel!” the Indian said.
“I sure hope I didn’t offend Crazy Horse,” Hamilton said.
“He had, in short, an excellent eye for a shot, with bow or arrow, and loves exercising it!” DT Patel said.
“Surely it would not matter here among the deceased that is to say, if Crazy Horse did in fact, go on the war path!” Hamilton said. “Wouldn’t that be some form of double jeopardy…I mean…how can you kill someone twice, isn’t it true that once you are dead…you’re dead?”
“Oh that wasn’t a description of the Chief. That was how Catherine F. E. Spurgeon saw William Shakespeare as published in 1935. Just a bit of trivia to add to this sterling conversation.” DT Patel said.
“Goodness. The Minors is a frustrating place.” Hamilton said.
“For most the desire for goodness proves infinitely frustrating!” advised DT Patel.
“I have always tried to be good, to do the right thing by all. I wish that I had put more energy into it, as I did with business.” Hamilton said.
“We are all primarily aware of what we want to be, therefore the majority of us maintain a persona while living out lives of someone else, unable to live with the compromise of just being ourselves… for to do so, would be to accept that we are mainly… inadequate. This is what Hollywood has sold each of us since we were children!” DT Patel said.
“I never had a problem liking myself or even being glad that I was who I was. At times I did try to see myself in a normal two parent family with other siblings… but, I guess if there was a single thing I missed most was that I was never sent out into the world with a purpose, you know like a Jesus Christ, Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Theresa or,” Hamilton paused, “Gandhi!”
“The only purpose in life is to matter, to count, to stand for something individually and to have it make some difference that we have lived at all!” DT Patel said. “As the song goes Mr. Hamilton, Oz never did give nothing to the tin man that he didn’t already have. You have asked for a purpose. It isn’t too late. You have done much for many through your schools, and that is a blessing upon you. But, there is more that you can and will do…if you are to come again to a life of deeds… Goodbye, Mr. Hamilton,” DT Patel said.