Chapter 25:     My Bro

POKEY wishes to add a word--

This is Pokey Snowchild, my name's been mentioned a few times in this "document" 
as Adam's Indian "bro".  He and I've been best friends since we were both 8 
years old.  I read what Art and Elaine have written here and I want to squeeze 
in a chapter myself.  'Cause I knew Adam too--I mean, I KNOW Adam and he's 
ALIVE out there somewhere, I just know it.

Not that I'm such a great writer, I was famous for being a terrible student all 
the way through school, but Art said he'd clean this up for me so that what I do 
write will be com-pre-hen-sible.  Just like when he was teaching me English in 
High School--hey, if Mr. Forest likes it, maybe I can even get a B this time.  

                (ed: oh shucks Pokey, let's make it an A+ for once)

Anyway, I did make it through high school, even graduated--thanks to Adam.  
That's the kind of friend he was, the important kind who changes your life.

I guess from what Art and Elaine have already written about me that you've got 
the impression that I'm kind of a general fuck-up.  I may as well admit it, 
everything they wrote is true.  Bad student because I started smoking dope and 
getting drunk in the 7th grade, not good at holding jobs, got into fights which 
I always lost; I've been heading towards a promising future as an alcoholic.

But hey, I've got a great excuse for being like I am: I'm an Indian!  Full-
blooded Spokane, born on the reservation, but now a misfit in the White Man's 
World.  Problem is that EVERYWHERE is the White Man's World now, even the 
Indians have become White Men.  Or alcoholics--that's me.

They say it's genetic.  Something about Europeans having developed enzymes or 
hormones or whatever to handle alcohol over thousands of years of brewing beer 
and wine.  We Indians got caught by surprise when the White Men showed up with 
their Fire Water.  Had no resistance to smallpox or alcohol, so the red men got 
not only conquered, but also totally fucked over. 

That defeat is still going on for me.  I don't want to drink or get drunk--it's 
stupid, I know that--but I HAVE to.  I'm locked into the genetic defect of my 
race.  Some Indians do pull off breaking free, my folks did--by becoming Born-
Agains and swearing off alcohol forever.  Then they moved to Monroe to become 
White Men.  But I just couldn't make either conversion, so I'll always be a 
fuck-up here.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a racist.  I believe that Red Man and White Man--
and Sasquatches--are brothers.  We all got our own heritages of good and bad 
baggage.  I'm just letting you know what mine is, because it's the core of my 
relationship with my best friend in the whole world--Adam Leroy Forest.

Spokane Indians are categorized as a Salishan Tribe and "Sasquatch" is a 
Salish word. We tell stories about the "Wild Man of the Woods" from long 
before the White Men came to the Pacific Northwest. Bigfoot was not a popular 
myth to us, it was old news.  So when I met Adam he was automatically my 
historical Blood Brother and he felt the same about me.

I can understand that Art and Elaine have had their reservations about me, 
I was maybe not the best influence on their little 500-pound boy; got him 
stoned on acid, led him astray and all that.  But the magical truth is that 
he was my friend anyway--perfection was not a requirement.  And if anyone did 
the influencing, it was him not me, leading me on a path that was neither Red 
nor White nor Squatch, but the Right Way.

Adam never did get into drinking, so I didn't drink much when I was with him 
and being with him was a guarantee that no one was going to start a fight 
with me.  You might wonder what I had to offer him--I did for a long time 
myself--but we used to have fun playing music together and that seemed to be 
at least something.  

I played Indian tom-toms, natch, he played guitar and sang.  We didn't sound 
so great when we started, but he liked my rhythm and I liked the rhythm his 
playing brought up inside me.  He was a better singer than guitar player back 
then, but there was something that worked when we played together.  Medicine 

I thought it was just fun at the time.  It's only now that we can't play music 
together, maybe never again, that I start to understand the whole point of 
what "fun" is.  It's a word you use for so many things, from just chilling to 
airhead entertainment to totally orgasmic.  Mostly when you're not being 
serious about something, just getting off on it, cool and cruising.   And 
that's what it was like for us to play music together; easy, flying.  Adam 
took it much more seriously than me, always trying to do the more complex 
stuff--and that was fun too when it worked. 

Now he's gone--for a while at least--and not being able to play music with 
him is NOT fun.  I miss it.  And I'll bet he misses it too--we had a bond, 
we were brothers in music.  Medicine music shamans.  This was not the little 
fun thing I thought it was, this was important fun.  

All that Indian lore bullshit I grew up with puts it into perspective: our 
music was a trip--a Spirit Journey, we became One With the Wind when we 
played, our sounds Offerings to the Great Spirit.  Now Adam is on a dream 
journey to find his true name, as I should be.  When he returns he will be a 
Warrior, a Sasquatch Brave.  

I need to go on my own dream journey, to be worthy of him when he returns, 
I know this.  So that our music can be why we are brothers and I won't have 
to wonder what he needs me for.

But without Adam, the only spirit dreams I find are in fucking bottles.  

			*     *     *     *     * 

The thing is, White Men don't understand Adam.  They think they do, they 
think he's like them, just bigger and hairier.  Others think he's inferior, 
a talking animal--the same ones who think that about Indians too--but they 
always get confused by what they think and how Adam really IS.

They need him to be inferior in some way.  I mean, he's so big and strong 
that it would be too fucking humiliating if he was also more intelligent and 
more moral, so they try to put him in a lesser category--but it just doesn't 
work out the way they want.

Back when we were in High School couple years back, a bunch of local guys 
were hot-rodding along Old Pipe Line Road in Marty Rocken's souped-up Mustang 
and they skidded off the road and almost rolled their car.  Anyway, they 
ended up really stuck in the ditch, on a really steep incline with all four 
wheels buried in soft gravel.  This was pretty close to the Forest place, so 
they called Adam with a cell phone and asked if he could come and help get 
their car back on the road.

These guys totally were not friends of either Adam or me, but he always tried 
to be friendly anyway, so he offered to drop everything and go help them out.  
He and I were practicing music at the time, so I went along with him.  We 
tossed some ropes and tools into the Squatchmobile and drove over to where 
their car was stuck, couple miles away.

Well, the car was REALLY stuck in soft gravel on a steep slope.  And these 
guys figured that Adam should just push it up the hill, carry it on his 
shoulder or something, but of course he couldn't.  He just sank into that 
loose gravel, like we all did.  

So then those guys started to get an attitude, especially Marty Rocken, more 
or less expecting he could just point to his car and say "fetch boy".  They 
even started hinting that Adam wasn't shit, not as cool as they had thought.  
Man, I got hot--here he'd come to help them and they started giving him shit 
for not being able to toss their car up the hill.  But he didn't get mad even 
then, always trying to please people.

Instead, he goes into the woods and comes out dragging a bunch of fallen 
trees, plucked the branches off with his bare hands and laid logs and rocks 
and ropes in a way that could lever the car back up the hill to the road.  I 
mean, sure he was strong, but he actually engineered that car back up on the 
road with his brains.  Took about an hour to get the car on the road again 
and those guys drove off.

You'd think they'd be grateful, or at least pretty impressed.  But naw, back 
in school they talked like the logs and levers were their idea and that any 
one of them could have gotten that car out without Adam's help.  They'd only 
called him because it would be easier if he'd just carry the fucking thing, 
but found out that he couldn't, so he wasn't nearly as heavy as his rep said 
he was.  Some people just don't like Adam being better than them.  

When I heard that--well, I told people what really happened and how those 
four guys together couldn't have even lifted even ONE of the logs to lever 
their car with, much less strip them clean without tools.  Marty Rocken was 
not a nice guy, most people didn't dare call him a liar, mainly because he'd 
hurt them.  But I knew he wasn't going to come after me and get Adam on his 
case, because he'd seen just how strong Adam WAS--and how smart.  

Actually, one of those guys--Stan Garret--was all right, he backed up what I 
said.  We even became friends later on.  He was pretty pissed off by what 
turds his "pals" were and quit hanging out with them.  

			*     *     *     *     * 

Thinking about High School, man it sucked.  The only thing that got me through 
it was Adam.  And he couldn't even fucking read or write.  

Talk about Horniness Hell!  Man, I wanted to jump some of those girls, never 
mind which ones, the list would be too long to write.  But being an Indian 
is as O-U-T as you can get.  I mean, no chick would be seen dead just talking 
to me in the halls.  Anyway, I was horny and without hope.

But hey, I had it DICKED compared to Adam.  I mean, if in Indian is O-U-T, 
how much farther OUT do you figure being a Big Hairy Sasquatch can be? Girls 
were afraid of him--hell, guys too--he was just so humongously strong and 
weird and different.  'Course, Adam was really a nice guy and all that, but 
absolutely nobody wanted him to get physical in any way.  So he had even less 
chance with the ladies than me and I was at rock-bottom.

And the guy WAS horny, believe me.  He had this thing about smells--he could 
SMELL pussy juice, or something.  Turned him on, he couldn't help it.  I mean, 
I couldn't help it either, just looking at pretty girls got me hot too, but 
I think he was actually hit double and harder by what he smelled.  Some kind 
of sasquatch mating instinct, I guess.  

We'd be walking down the halls of Monroe High School with all those sweet 
young things passing us by and I could hear him holding his breath because 
the smell turned him on too much.  He'd get a boner, try to hide it behind 
his books as he walked, but after a while I caught on to why he was acting 
so embarrassed so often.  

This wasn't every girl, some more than others.  But Lissandra Cunnings, for 
example; he was a zombie whenever she came around, like she was Kryptonite to 
him, man.  Okay, to me too and a whole lot of other guys.  Adam once told 
that her smell was the hottest in the whole school, drove him batshit.

That thing about smelling girls was kind of a fun concept, so as a funny 
game I'd ask Adam about different girls in school, who smelled good, best, 
worst?  Susie Lipsinger smelled like a ripe female cheese, slightly sexy but 
bitter from cigarettes.  Lissandra Cunnings was a healthy blend of woman and 
beast, sweet and rank--Adam said Lissandra made him feel "squirty juiciness", 
to which I could easily relate.  I did think it was kind of a coincidence 
that the totally hottest looking chicks were also those with knockout smells, 
but Adam said that "healthiness IS beauty" and all healthy young girls smell 
"aphrodisiatic" in their own way.  

I'd at least gotten laid a couple of times with a squaw I knew on the Spokane 
Reservation.  Okay, it wasn't much, actually I'd been drunk and she was a 
hooker--but at least I'd been there.  Adam couldn't even go to a prostitute, 
they'd run screaming.

At least that's what I thought until Melly Wielson came back from Overseas.  
I knew that he really had a thing for her from way back when they were kids, 
they'd always had this brother-sister thing going on.  Still, that had to be 
way better than nothing, at least he got to be really good friends with one 
totally hot chick.  He was lucky there, Melly was so nice to him. 

But to tell the truth, Melly was SO fucking beautiful and SO goddam nice that 
it must have been really hard for Adam to be platonic.  I mean. I'd sure have 
a hard time pretending I didn't want to dork her--okay well, actually I DO 
pretend, gotta be polite.  But it must have been totally hard for Adam since 
she seemed to like him a HELL of a lot.  In school they were always cool, but 
somewhere else she'd be leaning on him, touching him, kissing his cheek.  I 
mean, it looked like she actually LOVED Adam.  That's what I saw anyway, what
went on when I wasn't around, who can say?  Hell, they'd even go up to Naked 
Lake together.  They sure seemed to be a couple to me.

But they weren't screwing, I know so because Adam was really bummed out about 
it.  Maybe she was too, I think, one way or another.  Neither of them told me 
exactly what was going on, but hey, it wasn't hard to figure out: she was a 
white girl, he was a buck Bigfoot, I know all about prejudice.  So Adam was 
still in a no-win situation with girls; even when they DID like him, he couldn't 
get laid.  

I once asked Adam how Melly smelled to him, but he didn't have a funny answer 
for me.  "Melly smells like the meaning of life."  Adam always got poetic when 
he talked about her.  And sometimes kind of sad.

Never really knew if I should be envious or glad that I wasn't having a 
passionate but fucked-up romance with a gorgeous girl like Melly.  Any kind 
of closeness has to be better than none--actually, looking back, it's no 
contest: Adam was one lucky Bigfoot. 

I know what it's like to want some kind of love life I can't have because of 
what I am: Drunk, Indian, Loser, you know.  Hell, I'd probably be better off 
as a sasquatch.  

                 Waiting for my bro to show so we can have mo' fun,
                 P. Snowchild, Injun Brave extraordinaire

ART writes--- Elaine and I met Pokey's parents, Robert and Betty Snowchild several years ago at PTA barbeque. They were both full-blooded Spokane Indians, but had left the reservation in Eastern Washington to become totally integrated into modern white man's society. Which surprised us, since Pokey always did his best to portray himself as a genuine trailer trash redskin. But they lived in a modern two-story house in Monroe while Pokey was in school, having since then moved to Renton. Pokey's father was a short slender man who worked as an aviation mechanic at Boeings Field. His mother Betty was a roly-poly housewife with three kids, the youngest being Pokey. I was never clear about what conflicts they had at home, but they must have had problems with Pokey and certainly did with his older brother. His parents had not only rejected the Native American way of life, they were also intensely devout born-again Christians. Pokey refused to be white or Christian. In fact, he even refused to consider himself a Spokane Indian from that peaceful tribe who had fished the waters of the Spokane River and allowed themselves to be put on a reservation, preferring to imagine himself an Apache Brave from the Baddest of the Badlands. I suppose I can understand Pokey, it took almost no time for us to discover how intensely religious his parents were. They were nice enough, but we found ourselves politely backing away from their impassioned message of salvation and redemption through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Robert did, however, allow himself the sin of pride about having won his battle with alcohol, since he had not had a drink for ten years at that time. It had apparently been pretty difficult, curse of the red man and all that, so we had to respect him for that. But Pokey didn't respect it, he thought redskin braves should be wild and free, which included getting drunk and being in conflict with white men's laws, like his older brother Tony. Pokey thought Tony was the coolest guy in the world, which was too bad because Tony was a terrible role model and blackest sheep of the family. Tony died in a car wreck at the age of 22, driving drunk in a full speed race for a trestle against an oncoming train. Pokey and Adam were both 14 at that time. Adam had barely known Tony, fortunately, but he sympathized with Pokey's grief and went to the funeral with him. Most of the Snowchild family still lived on the Spokane Reservation and the funeral was held there as traditional Indian ceremony in the Shalishan language, complete with tribal dances, smoke lodges, etc. Even Robert and Betty Snowchild surrendered to being Indians again, beseeching the Great Spirit at their son's funeral, although they prayed to Jesus as well just to make sure. For Adam it was an amazing anthropological experience, amplified by the fact that the Snowchild Family was so honored that a genuine SASQUATCH was among them. They spoke of a connection between the Salish and Sasquatch peoples going back long before the white men had ever arrived. So they considered Adam's participation in the ceremony to be good magic for Tony's spirit. They were also favorably impressed that Adam had learned so much of their language in the one weekend he visited them.

Chapter 26

Adam out of Eden