Chapter 20:     Searching

ART writes---

We had regularly studied sasquatch sighting reports, for obvious 
reasons and were in contact with several Bigfoot clubs--they 
were constantly inviting Adam to come and give speeches, which 
he did sometimes.  Besides Adam's personal interest in resolving
the mystery of his own origin, it was fun to imagine what was 
really out there.

It was easy to find Bigfoot Sightings on the Internet, there were 
several web-sites which collected reports and it seemed that 
there were sightings all the time--if they were true stories.  All
of the sasquatch sites also had documentation about Adam: he was 
the only living proof that sasquatches do exist, pictures that had
been in newspapers and magazines, video clips.  Years earlier, I 
had suggested that we post our own Official Adam Leroy Forest Home
Page, but he was adamantly disinterested.  

Adam was also familiar with most of the media which had featured 
Bigfoot.  There were movies--he had loved Harry and the Hendersons
when he was younger, later he thought it discriminatory, but it 
was still better than some of the cheapo horror films with Bigfoot
Monsters who maimed and killed hunters and cops and carried off 
pretty college girls.

He had a favorite Bigfoot comic book, of the underground variety
from the 60's, Home Grown Funnies, in which was the R. Crumb
story "Whiteman Meets Bigfoot".  Wherein is told the tale of a 
straight middle-class man, kidnapped by a big-assed sasquatch girl
with amorous intentions, somewhat pornographically.  Adam liked it
better than semi-academic collections of sasquatch footprints.

We had even visited some of the places where there had been 
sightings or footprints.  Adam tried to follow the trail, his 
sense of smell was as sharp as any hound's, but there was never 
any actual spore.  Sometimes he could smell that something 
stinking of urine had been there, but that was about it.  

It seemed there were so many sightings, but none of them were of
any help to him.  He wanted to find the sasquatches, but simply 
couldn't find a starting point.

When he was almost fifteen he and Pokey went off on an overnight
hike in the hills, which seemed odd at the time, since Adam had 
become so sedentary.  We weren't worried for them, Adam could 
certainly take care of himself in the woods and they returned
safely the next day, looking tired and spaced out.

Later Adam told me that they had taken LSD on that trip and that
he had had an experience of enlightenment.  He had seen himself 
from beyond his body as being one with the universe and in 
potential balance with the world and how he had a destiny that 
involved finding his own people, the sasquatch and bringing them 
the wonders of civilization.  Typical Messiah dream.

I was shocked.  Okay, I had told him how I had tried LSD myself in
my mid-20's, but had never advocated it for someone so young. Still, 
I didn't differ with him about his experience, hoping it would curb 
the self-destructive tendencies he had developed and it did. 

He started his long walks again, worked on the farm more to get in
shape than to accomplish anything else.  He studied anything he 
thought the sasquatch might need to know. At first Potatochip went
on the walks with him, but soon Adam was going too far and too 
fast for the dog to be interested.  Adam was driven.

I’ve mentioned earlier that we once met a society of "weed freaks" while theorizing the diet of sasquatches in the wilds of the Great Pacific Northwest. One of the most outspoken advocates of foraging ecological food from nature was Greg Leeway, a genuine back-to- nature hippy, long hair done up in a guru knot, dressed in hand- woven hemp clothing topped with a poncho. He taught a class about what weeds and fruits to eat--and not eat-–from nature’s big free supermarket. Weekends he would take a new group of interested folk out into the woods for a hands-on demonstration. Greg was amazed and delighted to have Adam Leroy Forest join one of his tours. At first he thought that Adam should be teaching HIM how to forage, because who knew better what is edible in nature than a Bigfoot? Adam admitted that he had forgotten whatever he knew as a child and now he needed a refresher course in living off the land. As it turned out, they both learned quite a bit, because Adam became aware that he already knew the basics of what to eat and what to avoid, he had only become unsure of his instincts after so many years.
He began his quest in earnest, after several months of "tuning" himself for his mission by going into the woods on Fridays after school and running--literally--up into the Cascade Mountains and returning for school Monday. He would take a light pack of food and wear only a checkered shirt and loose-fitting white pants; no shoes, no sleeping bag, no flashlight. No cell phone, which could be tracked by satellite, in case he actually ever DID meet the Sasquatches. He considered taking absolutely nothing, but wore the bright clothes so that some startled hunter wouldn't shoot him. We bought books on hiking trails, 100 Hikes in the North Cascades, etc. He would memorize the books as we read them to him, and then go about exploring all the country that was NOT mentioned in those books: the area between trails. He said, "If squatches are out there, they're going to be avoiding men. They'll stay away from towns and roads and even nature trails where men go. It's like an ocean out there and men see it from the trails and clearings, just like they see the ocean-- only from the surface." He would return from these forages full of wonder at the country he had seen, vast wild stretches of forest and mountain with no trace of civilization. Valleys and rivers and lakes of pristine beauty, moss-covered fern-filled evergreen havens of wildlife, dark caves and deep crevasses and limestone caverns, snow-tipped mountains of wind-whittled rock, he would rave about these things he saw. But never a trace of sasquatch. He could not find his people anywhere. Then again, he sometimes returned almost bitter, complaining about how Mankind had raped the wilderness, chopping it up into tiny pieces, separating it, segmenting and devouring it until there would be no room for sasquatches...or trees, or rivers. He would wring his hands and groan when he told us about vast ugly lumber clear-cuts or strip-mining sites he had passed through. Then he felt that all the sasquatch had long gone...perhaps his mother had been the last one, lost, unable to escape the tightening circle of civilization. One Monday he did not return on time, or for days thereafter. We weren't worried yet, we knew he had to be ranging farther, he had already explored everything around our part of the Cascades. By the second week we began to wonder IF he was coming back. We knew it was entirely possible that he had found what he was looking for. But after two weeks he finally came dragging back. "I've been as far north as Okanogan Valley in Canada, following rivers and chains of lakes, but still no sasquatches. I'd put my cloths into my pack so that any squatch I met wouldn't run--and jeez, this hunter almost shot me, until I talked him out of it. I tried to hitchhike back, but you can guess how that went." After that he seemed to give up the quest, for a while at least. He caught up on missed schoolwork easily, as if it were the simplest of distractions, his mind now being sharp and clear and in tune like his body. I think it was because he'd had no sugar to poison his system in weeks. He did not sink into his torpor again because, as he said, "I'm beginning to understand what I am, what I can do, what abilities I have--and excuse me, but I'm very impressed with myself. It's really something to get out into the wilderness like that. You know, if this world ever gets sour for me, I'll always have that other world." "Are you disappointed that you couldn't find your people?" "Not really. I exist, so I know that they do too. I think they know I'm looking--I've had dreams about them, you know--but won't let me find them yet. I think I have to prove myself to them first."
In preparation for eventually finding his people, Adam had reviewed the sasquatch glossary Doug Wielson put together back when he was researching Adam's childhood language. Adam and I listened to old recordings of himself at age 2. "Sha-ha: fire. Se: water. Ra'khra: good. Wo: go...or maybe move. I remember those words--but not much more. It's like my life is a blank before I came here. The only vivid memory I have of squatch life is when my mother was shot. "I remember everything changing when I came here, but can't remember what it changed from...just green, mist, shadows, nature. The only face I see is...Mamama..." Adam froze, realizing he had just plucked another forgotten word from his memory. A sad expression came to him, but also a confused one. "You called your mother that," I said, remembering as well, "and she called you D'adam." He nodded, remembering something else, "Boy Adam, the DA means...male and the sun too, I think. The MA means female... and the moon..?" He shook his head as if to clear it, then said, "My mother's body is still frozen in the UW Biology Lab, but I've never seen it. I want to now."
We went to the UW campus the next day. Both Adam and I were considered staff in the Indigenous Primate Research Center, so we had no problem getting access to the refrigeration unit of the biology laboratory. "You can't touch the body, of course," a young lab assistant named Benny warned us, "it's so cold that it would instantly freeze your fingertips fast to it, you'd lose them, maybe your hand as well." Then he looked at Adam sympathetically and said, "It must be... weird to see your own mother like this. Like a statue. Most of us think she's beautiful." We went into a septic room with a wall of steel doors, like a morgue, it was bitingly cold. Benny operated a control panel and a steel door opened slowly, a spray of ice dust crystallized around it then vaporized. Soon a large steel capsule glided out on tracks and stopped. We approached. There was a Plexiglas cover over the capsule, through which we could see the female sasquatch, Adam's mother. As we got closer I could feel the hairs in my nose suddenly freezing solid and I had to blink to keep my watering eyes from crystallizing as well. She WAS beautiful, lying there like a Sleeping Beauty, so still and blue, frost in her hair, eyes closed but looking as if she could wake up at any instant. I remembered her eyes, her smile, my feeling of déjà vu. As Adam looked down upon his dead but eternally young mother he seemed more interested than emotional. Peering closely at her face, her hands, the wounds which had been cleaned up. He visually measured her size: big, but Adam was already 7 inches taller than her. "I've never seen one before," he finally said in a quiet voice, "I was beginning to wonder if they really do exist. If I was the only one. Jeez, she's real!" He walked around the capsule to see her from another angle. He was being very scientific, unemotional. "She looks so young!" "Well, she was frozen when you were a year and a half old," I said, "so she hasn't aged since." He shook his head. "This is weird, I should be sad about my own genetic mother being dead--but if she wasn't, then I wouldn't be who I am today at all." "Her eyes looked just like Elaine's," I had to say. And that did it. Tears started running down his young face, freezing on his cheeks. Mamama," he said, "I wish I could remember you better..." She had been lying frozen in liquid nitrogen for 13 years. There had been several legal attempts to have her thawed out and embalmed, to exhibit her in a museum. Since all the organic research of the body had been finished years before, it wasn't really needed any more. But I had engineered a veto of that in my position as legal guardian of the "living specimen", maintaining that Adam was a person with feelings and asking how any of us would feel about having someone stuff our own mother and stand her up naked in a glass box for public edification. They would have to get his permission first, but he hadn't decided because I'd never asked him for it yet. So I asked him now. He thought for a moment, then decided: "We keep her frozen. It's a valid mystery that no squatch bodies are ever found, so what do they do with their dead? One day I'll find them and then I'll learn the proper thing to do for her."
The quest to find his fellow sasquatches was not the only kind of search Adam became involved in during that period. One time we had the opportunity to accompany him, personally experiencing just how fantastic his sasquatch tracking abilities were, when our house was robbed. It had been a school day, so Adam and I were at school and Elaine had gone to Seattle for the day. When we came home we saw that someone had left the front door open. It was a real heist: television, stereo, computers, carpets, paintings, food, some clothes, tools from the workshop, building materials, all gone. There were tire-marks of a pickup truck that had backed across our small lawn to the front porch, where it had evidently been loaded up to capacity. I was shocked and outraged, as anyone would be when such an invasion and pillaging of their home happens, but Adam came downstairs with a grim and determined expression on his face. "Those bastards stole my guitar!" was the only thing he said on his way out the door. When I went out he was sniffing the ground, smelling the tire tracks. Then he went back into the house and began sniffing at various places; kitchen, floor, doorknobs, bathroom, walls. "Two of them," he reported, "men. Both white, not so young. One smokes a lot of tobacco, the other drinks lots of alcohol." "Can you recognize their smells if you meet them?" "Oh yes, I'm tuned in now. Let's go get them!"
We followed the tire tracks through the gravel where they vanished on the main road, but we could see that they had turned toward Monroe. We drove down to our nearest neighbors, the Wylies and asked if they had seen a truck passing from our house, but they hadn't noticed anything special. We went into town to report it to the police. As I went to the police office Adam said he was going to "smell around" and went off by himself. I found him later at Safeway, he had already tried all the taverns with no luck. When Elaine came home that evening it was to a depressing scene: Adam and I were heating up TV dinners because there was nothing to cook with, eating with plastic forks and spoons. Our kitchen had also been emptied. It took no time at all for her to become enraged as well. "Adam caught their smell," I told her, "so if he ever comes across them..." "Then let's go looking now!" Elaine demanded. "We did that already once today," Adam said, "and got nothing." "Do you have any idea where to look?" she asked. "I could smell alcohol in his sweat, one of them at least. So I tried the taverns, but he wasn't there." "Of course that was in the daytime," I suggested, "could be another crowd at night." "Will they let Adam into the taverns?" Elaine asked, "he's way under 21." "Are you kidding?" Adam challenged, "they stole my guitar. No one's going to stop me from getting it back!" "There's only one thing you can say to an angry sasquatch," I told Elaine. She nodded knowingly: "Yes Sir."
We went through the five Monroe taverns in record time. The bartender in the pit stop did ask if Adam had any ID, which we all thought was pretty funny, since Adam was so famous in town. Adam did a tough guy act, "No, but I'm looking for a fight," and the bartender became very busy wiping glasses. Adam would simply walk around, sniffing the air, coming close to people (and making them a little nervous, perhaps) and then go out to the next bar. We tried the cocktail lounge in Pelosa's and Jeno's Italian Restaurant. Nothing. Elaine and I followed him around, not really able to help in the sniffing, but talking to the bartender or anyone we knew about the weather or anything at all except the robbery. We didn't want word to get out about what Adam was trying to do. When we finished the Monroe bars we moved on to the next town, Sultan, nine miles up the road. We did the same thing in two taverns, but in the Dirty Shame Too Adam caught the scent. The tavern was almost empty, but he zeroed in on an empty chair. "Who was sitting here?" we asked the bartender. "Well I dunno. When?" Adam sniffed again, felt the seat, it was still warm. "A few minutes ago." The bartender shook his head, looked at us suspiciously. "Why do you want to know?" "It's a bet," Elaine said, "Adam says he's psychic." "Oh yeah?" "He says he knows who was sitting there." "And we want proof, of course," I said. Adam kept quiet. He never could lie, seemed completely incapable of it, but he simply let us lie away to our heart's content. "So who did he think was sitting there?" the bartender asked. We looked at each other. Elaine went on, "A friend of ours, named...Wylie." "Never heard of him," the bartender said. Another man sitting in the corner of the room spoke out, "I saw the guy sitting there, his name wasn't Wylie." "Damn! Are you sure?" asked Adam. He couldn't lie, but he could play the part. "Oh yeah, I'm sure." "What was his name?" Elaine asked, "maybe it was someone else we know." "Harry...I don't know his last name, but it ain't Wylie." "Harry? Hey, you DO know him, Adam!" I lied, then to the man, "Harry drives a pick-up, right?" "Usually, I guess. But he was on foot. Got a six-pack to go."
We went outside and Adam sniffed around, down on the ground. After a few false starts he found the spoor and we walked about three blocks to a wooden house that was lit up inside, a small dilapidated building with a ruined picket fence around it. There was an old beat-up 3/4 ton Ford pick-up parked in front. We looked at the tread by streetlight and it seemed familiar. Adam went over the fence with an easy step and pressed up against the wall near a window. He sniffed around, then came back to where we waited beside the truck. "It's him, the drinker. I'm sure." "Now what?" Elaine asked, "call the police?" "I want my guitar," Adam said, "and the police may want to keep it as evidence. I'm going to get it myself." "Hey now, Adam, you can't just take the law into your own hands," I warned. "I won't, you go call the police, but I'm going to make a citizen's arrest." "Don' him, or anything." "Relax. I don't need to--but I do think he deserves to be scared a little. Don't you?" "I'm all for that," Elaine agreed. "Well, I don't want to miss that either," I said, "we can call the police later."
Adam went to the door and knocked. A dog started barking furiously inside. A man's voice, slightly drunk, shouted for the dog to shut up. Then called, "Who's there?" Adam answered, "It's me, Harry." He imitated the voice of the bartender in the tavern. "Louie? Whadda you want?" "You left something behind at the tavern," Adam said, which was not a lie. The dog started barking again. But this time hysterically, as if it smelled a Bigfoot just outside the door. Harry screamed at the dog to shut up again and there was a "yipe" and the dog became quite. There was a latch being fumbled with and the door opened. Harry looked out the door at Adam's chest. Then up and up, to Adam's face. "What the fuuuuuuck...?" Harry was drunk, untidy, unshaven, short and fat and to top all of that off, suddenly terrified. He screamed as if he had seen Frankenstein's monster at the door, which he may as well have. "I want my guitar back, Harry," Adam said, stepping into the house. He had to duck under the door sill, nor was there much head room for him once inside. The floorboards creaked under his weight. Harry almost fell backwards as his house filled up with squatch. The dog, a big Pit Bull, started barking again, driven wild by the sight of a bigfoot monster invading his territory, but not quite wild enough to attack anything that big. "Shut up, dog!" Adam commanded, but it only became more hysterical. So Adam barked back at the dog so ferociously that it yelped in terror and scuttled behind the sofa to whimper. Elaine and I followed Adam inside. It was a dingy hole, empty bottles scattered everywhere, ashtrays overflowing with dead cigarettes and a bitter smell of overindulgence and greasy food. The only class in the place, there against one wall, was a stack of our possessions, including the television and stereo. The guitar was not to be seen. "Where's the guitar?" Adam asked, an edge to his voice. "I..I..I don't know whatcher talkin about. I didn't do nothin!" Adam caught Harry's shirt up in one hand and effortlessly lifted the little man up off the floor, where he dangled. Adam snarled like a lion. Suddenly the Pit Bull attacked. It wouldn't just watch his master being threatened. It came charging from behind the sofa and threw itself at Adam's leg, teeth readied. Adam, faster than the dog, plucked it up easily with one hand before it could bite him and tossed it casually out the door, without even harming it. I closed that door quickly as I could. That was the breaking point for Harry, seeing how easily Adam had dispatched his killer dog. "Morty's got it! I don't got it, Morty does! Leave me alone, lemme go, oh God, please!" "Take us to Morty."
Morty's house was out in the country, near our own, so we drove there in our van. One the way, once Harry began to hope that Adam was not going to immediately rip him apart, he began talking about "his rights"--how we were guilty of "illegal search" and how none of this would "stand up in court". Elaine shut him up with her most ruthless tone, "Who said anything about Court? This is a vigilante action--you have pissed off a bigfoot!" Adam gave his lion's growl again, to which Harry turned pale and shut up. Morty lived in a bigger and nicer house with his family. The door was opened for Harry and we all paraded in. There were two little kids who were fascinated to see Adam, they had heard of him and seen him on TV. The wife was less fascinated and Morty--a thin man who looked the way hoodlums are supposed to look--ran out of the house to get away. Adam took off after him and carried the squirming screaming thief back easily tucked under one arm. Adam got his guitar back and we used their phone to call the police. The wife was crying but the children were wide-eyed, Harry and Morty were shouting accusations at each other, quite a scene. Morty was calling Harry a stool pigeon. "..if you hadn't taken that stupid guitar-- ya can't even play it, fuckin neck's too wide!" Adam laughed at them both, tuned up the guitar and played songs for the children until the police came. There had been no violence. We were glad to see that Adam had carefully controlled his own anger and utilized intimidation instead of physical strength, knowing that if he had not practiced restraint and mature judgment there could so easily have been people hurt. Even a vicious Pit Bull had been neutralized without harming it. That impressed us even more than his ability to find the crooks.
Chapter 21

Adam out of Eden