Chapter 58:     Return to Babylon

ART writes--

We spent the next two days of waiting by preparing for Adam's return. 
For example, buying a lot of food, expecting a very hungry Bigfoot to 
come home to Mom's cooking.  Elaine started sewing some new clothes, 
although she wasn't quite sure what size Adam was now.  I also began to 
transcribe Adam's recordings into computer text, to be edited together 
with him when he had returned.  He had taken his Camaro, otherwise I 
would have tuned it up.  We wanted him home! 

Melly was busy finishing her exams for first year Anthropology at the 
UW--the same class she and Adam had started together--she would have 
preferred to be free of all that when Adam arrived, but found it 
impossible to study at all for those two days.

We were also stymied: the Full Moon was on the 14th of May, We were 
aware that within a few days after we would become involved in yet 
another media blitz, which we would prefer to control to some degree.  
But we could make no advance arrangements without consulting Adam 
first, to agree upon which version of his story we were going to 
release to the world.

However, the world was already watching us.  One problem was that we had 
told a few people about Adam's phone call in February, informed friends 
and family that he was still alive.  Of course, we had to.  And at that 
time his message had been that he would be back in three months.  Word 
got around, and so a lot of people had already begun asking questions 
in early May.

Doug Wielson had also been very interested in Adam's arrival.  We hadn't 
seen much of Doug since his confession five months before, but he still 
felt so guilty for his part in Adam and Melly's tragedy that we couldn't 
deny letting him at least know that Adam was alive.  He'd done the 
arithmetic and was often calling us to hear if Adam had arrived yet.  We 
were civil to him but Melly wasn't telling her father anything, in fact 
she was not talking to him at all.

Melly was with us the night after the Full Moon. It was a lovely evening, almost balmy, Spring had come early this year, as it can in the Pacific Northwest. No, it doesn't always rain all the time. So we sat outside on the porch with cups of warm coffee and watched the night sky rotate around Polaris. This night was cloudless, starry and when the just- after Full Moon came up, it was cosmic. "It's the Ma-mlÝt-klys," Melly said as Elaine and I echoed her, which was almost the only thing anyone said for an hour. We couldn't help dwelling upon Adam's story, thinking about how the sasquatches would have gathered for their Kha-rat the evening before. As the moon rose higher we became impatient, Melly began half-joking about how maybe Addy had stayed at the orgy with all his slutty sasquatch girl friends instead. I didn't say it, but was much more concerned that he might not have survived the confrontation with his Adversary. I'm sure Melly was too. By midnight we were watching the moon sinking down into the treetops, beginning to worry that Adam wasn't going to come, when we heard the familiar rumble of a Chevy v-8 racing along Old Pipe Line Road at high speed. We ran to the driveway and met him halfway. A huge wild-haired creature stepped out of the car and into the blaze of headlights, a furry silhouette suddenly phosphorescent. We all froze, not even sure that it was Adam, so different did he look from the bigfoot boy we had lost. The long flowing hair and beard, the massive-but-trim build, this might be some other gigantic monster of the wilderness striding our way. Then he called out: "Hi Mom, Dad, Melly!" Elaine and Melly raced to meet him. He caught them both up in a great embrace. Me, I hesitated... ...I admit it: his spooky story about the Syssk had been on my mind, how it had smacked so very much of delusional fantasy. And his story so hard to believe, squatch magic, lost cities... what if Adam had simply gone insane? What if a Syssk was actually the sasquatch cultural symbol for clinical schizophrenia? It was only a brief hesitation, because it did not matter if he was crazy or not, our son was alive! I also ran to him and was also scooped up in that vast embrace. "I was so worried..." Elaine was sobbing. Melly was just saying, "Addy Addy Addy..." her face buried in his neck. "I know, sorry I'm so late, everybody. I had to make sure it was safe to come back without being seen." "IS it safe?" I had to ask, "what about the Syssk?" He nodded. "Guess I beat it, seems to be gone." He continued walking towards the house with all of us folded up in his arms like children. Then we were up the porch steps and passing into the realm of electric light. Once inside he simply sat on the floor with all of us hanging from him. Up close to his smiling face I could easily recognize him now and he did not look crazy at all, although tears had been running down his face, tears of joy just like our own. His face looked serene, older, wiser, and very happy. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and say that Adam was simply the most impressive looking young man I've ever seen, be he squatch or human, absolutely scintillating with physical and mental power, even more than before. As he'd told us, the baby fat was gone and what was left was hard-packed bulging muscle everywhere, even his face. He was very healthy, very alive and very perfect. Except for a patch of gray hair over his heart, just to remind us of how close he had come to death.
We had a light midnight feast outside on the front porch, warm soup and toasted buns, a little wine. It was more a communion than a meal, a breaking of bread together, a rejoining. We talked all night, until the sun came up. Adam told us about the Full Moon gathering-- the Kha-rat-- his confrontation with Daklakht, how he'd spent the last two days in a world that now seemed normal to him but sounded so foreign to us. But you can read about that in Adam's own words, since we continued the practice of recording his documentation about the Nokhontli, transcriptions of which will be among the following chapters. We busily brought Adam up to date on everything since he'd disappeared half a year before. For example, that Doug Wielson had admitted to us what he had done when Adam was thirteen years old, so that was not a secret any more. That Melly was no longer living with her father, but rooming with Lissandra Cunnings. That Peter Sinsley was still physically and mentally crippled, being held in a mental hospital rather than prison. That Pokey had dropped out of sight, but last seen was evidently becoming the drunken Indian looser he had always predicted he would. And that the media world was frothing to write stories about Adam Leroy Forest, one way or another. The mention of Adam-oriented media brought up the subject of this very document: how we had each written our memories of him, while hoping he was alive and afraid he might be dead, collected as Book One of ADAM OUT OF EDEN. It was as yet unfinished and unpublished, we were keeping it to ourselves until we decided what to do with it. But we had posted some excerpts from it on our AooE Home Page in response to the many e-mails, letters and inquiries from all over the world. People wanted to know about Adam, if he was all right, or to wish him well. The AooE site had become an Internet Success, lots of hits, lots of traffic, although we had rejected several offers to cash in on it with advertising banners and merchandising. Eventually the subject of "What next?" had to come up. Not that we'd expected Adam to have any plan ready upon arrival. But he had, there was no hesitation at all. "Looks like I need to be an anthropologist, a Sha-haka and a musician. As an anthropologist I'd have credentials to legitimize controlled squatch research, as Sha-haka I'd have influence in the Nokhon world and as a musician--well, that's where my shaman magic is." "Pretty ambitious, Addy," Melly commented, "considering that you missed most of your third year at the UW." "As far as genuine anthropology goes," Adam countered, "I'm sure you realize that living among the Nokhontli was hardly wasted time." "Uh...WOW! No, I guess not," she admitted. "But are you actually going to tell the Indigenous Primate Research Center where you've been?" I asked. "Not yet. But eventually people will figure out what's going on, so it'd be smartest to let the IPR in on it first. I had a pretty good rapport with Professor Evanzein, maybe he can help me arrange some make-up classes." "Evanzein is all right, but we've learned that the IPR can become a two- edged sword if financial interests become involved," I warned. "Actually," Elaine reminded us, "the IPR is no worse than any other funded academic agency and a two-edged sword can be a pretty good weapon if you know how to use it. They have legal connections Adam might need later, since the Peter Sinsley incident hasn't yet been fully resolved." "Plus, they also control my grant money," Adam noted, "without them I have to go out and find a job, which is not on my list of priorities just now." "Priorities, well. You can't both get an anthropology degree AND become a squatch Sha-haka at the same time, can you? You'd have to do one of them first, then the other. Otherwise you'll be running back and forth, compromising everything." "I know. Haven't decided how I do it all yet, but it'll work out," Adam shrugged, "what I DO know is that right now the most important thing is becoming the musician." We all looked at him funny. "I had a Vision," he said with a little shrug.
Finally we all had to sleep. We'd been up all night, but Adam had not slept in four dasys, running to and from the Kha-rat, striving to get back to us on time, so he was quite weary as well. The sun was up and the birds tweeting merrily, but we all went to our beds content and happy. Except for Melly, who said she had to go home, which surprised Elaine and me. We assumed she'd want to stay with Adam, as she so often had. She had been overjoyed to greet him, then seemed to become shy as the evening had worn on, saying less and gradually retiring farther away from him, like a stranger. Adam walked Melly out to her car to say goodnight in the bright morning light. As for what they said to each other or what they felt, I'll let them tell whatever details they feel like sharing in their own pages.
We were all awake again by late afternoon and resumed welcoming Adam back into our lives. Adam tried to call Pokey's cell-phone but we only got an answering service. I left a message for him to call me, since we wanted to keep Adam's arrival a private matter until we were ready to deal with the media. Adam called Melly and asked her to come over for dinner. At first she seemed reluctant, but he convinced her that her presence was needed and she finally happily agreed to come. He is an Orator, after all. Elaine, Adam and I made dinner together, sharing a bottle of wine, chopping onions, assembling ingredients--lasagna and salad, garlic bread. Adam was going crazy with the smells and we were all laughing and having a wonderful time just doing this simple family ceremony of cooking food. Melly arrived with a watermelon for desert and we set the table outside on the back terrace since the weather was so nice, the light so golden, the moment so good. We ate dinner together as if our little family had always been gathered like this, as if Adam had never been away. As if Elaine and I had never suffered those months of anguish worrying about our boy. As if Melly and Adam were a set again--whether as brother & sister or boy & girlfriend was totally irrelevant. And our home was...well, it was HOME again, for all of us. That evening we showed him the "ADAM OUT OF EDEN" web-site we had posted on Internet. There were photos from his childhood, a video clip of him running with Melly on his back and newspaper scans of various incidents, including at last his "disappearance". Then e-mails from people who were concerned for him. He was touched. Adam was also interested in this very "AOOE" document we had been working on, which existed only as word processor files in our own office computer. We put it on screen for him to see, but of course Adam could not read text so Melly offered to read it aloud for him. They were up all night. He was touched again, by the love we had each expressed for him, but slightly embarrassed to think of how his life could literally become an open book if this document ended up published some day, or posted on the Internet. He was especially abashed about the ferociously erotic intimacies Melly had written for anyone to read--although clearly more for her own sake than his. But then he too experienced how this document had taken on a life of its own, how it was almost too late to leave anything out now. Book One existed. Book Two was already under progress as transcriptions of Adam's own recordings. And Book Three... well, this is the first chapter.

Chapter 59

Adam out of Eden