It is a Motley Crew, this company I keep. A rag-tale expose of story and dirt. Blood and experience. Romance and bullshit. All swimming in their own distinct universe. A crew of the utmost integrity and filth. The outer edges stained in tobacco smoke and smelling of Busch Light. Yes, this company I keep. I never dreamt this to be my life, always wrapped in my own esthetic pre-reg’s and identity façades. The circle is complete now.
The land of my up bringing is no longer my physical home, but a sinister shadow of spirit has followed me here. Not the Spirit of gloom I made it out to be.. no, a new Spirit. I find myself among the family I grew up with and around. A family camouflaged in hunter safety orange and tales of Hercules, heroes of a quiet journey and Brothers in arms.
Oh damn, the Stories that are told by the company I keep.
“I grew up in a storytelling culture, a tribal culture, but also in an American storytelling culture.”
It is this Americana that follows me like a bad habit, this company I keep reek of it, like a musty cologne. I found a new bond here in the woods of the Willapa Hills as if glued by an old memory. The single flashing light. The general store and the gas station that makes no apologies for it’s price gouge as hunters stop to re-fuel big Americana Diesel. I forgot how the rivers of stories flowed in those check out lines, sometimes with evidence of the kill, other times.. just story. But a good story none the less. I listen and nod and smile. Sometimes I find myself in the check out line with nothing but a desire to hear a good story.
As a child I remember all the wonderful stories my uncles would tell. All the tall tales that made them seem larger than life itself. The stories of bravery and stupidity and depravity and being scared. The way the men searched for Ceremony in the code of the myth. It was always and has always been on our lips, these stories. I am no longer lost in the deeper veils of it’s meanings. This is my family. This is the company I keep.