Chapter 74:     Departures

ELAINE writing--

All right, kiddies, it's Mamma Elaine's turn to report her singularly 
astute version of things.  I'm going to write about the three days after 
the glorious concert and catastrophic night when Adam was attacked by his 
Adversary, poor Melly was raped, the Sinsleys had their home destroyed and 
ours was invaded by the police.  Because after all that, things REALLY 
started happening!

The Police decided they had no more business with us and left about 10:00 
in the morning.  Four police cars, an ambulance and one TV van drove from 
our driveway, but it was still packed full of cars because now the media 
people were arriving to interview Adam, offer contracts, make deals and 
generate much more business.  By 3:00 in the afternoon it hadn't let up, 
so we closed and locked the gate to the driveway out on Old Pipeline Road.  
Closed for today, go away, leave us alone.

But nobody was leaving us alone, not that day.  We were tired, none of us 
had slept at all that night, for our various reasons, but it was simply 
impossible to get back to bed.  The telephone kept ringing constantly, 
friends offering congratulations, strangers offering deals.  Squatch & 
Friends was the next big thing, no doubt about it.  And then the news 
about the attack on the Sinsleys hit the local stations, it was on CNN by 
5:00 and all nationwide news broadcasts at 6:00.  This was Pop Culture 
sensationalism at its most flamboyant, featuring some pretty sexy music, 
a smidgen of raw violence, all those flashing blue lights, an overnight 
success, Nokhontli revelations.  Oh yes; and large amounts of potential 

Some of the calls had been from friends informing us that we should see 
what was happening on the Internet, especially YouTube, because by early 
evening there had already been 20-30 postings of videos taken with cell-
phone cameras during the concert.  

We watched/heard a video of "Take Me Seeking" and were amazed how well the 
magic we had experienced the night before came through a computer screen 
and mini-loudspeakers.  Adam and Pokey almost couldn't believe that those 
sexy music-gods on screen were their very own selves.
"Hey," Pokey marveled, "I didn't know I looked THAT good!"  

"And I'm just an Initiate at magic, pretty much an amateur," Adam said, 
pointing at his own image onscreen, "but THAT guy is a fully qualified 
Sha-haka Orator!"  

"Did we really sound that good, or have they computer-enhanced the music?"  

They were also amused by video clips of audience reaction to "I Like To 
Run" which were censored on YouTube because of overtly erotic behavior and 
nudity, but could be found at other more liberal web-sites.  Pokey knew 
where to look.

"It's like that isn't even US!" Adam said, "I mean, I hardly remember what 
we were doing, we were all so charged with haka.  It's amazing we weren't 
just making stupid noises."

I noticed him staring wistfully at video-Melly passionately playing her 
piano, beautiful as a young blond music-goddess could be.  He had tried to 
call her earlier, but she wasn't answering the phone.  I didn't know all 
the details at that time but it was clear that things had gone really 
wrong between them.

"I'm going to have to go back out to Squatchland for a while," Adam told us. "I've got to have it out with Daklakht, the sooner the better." "From what you've told us about him, that might not be so easy," Art said, "do you have a plan?" "Uhh, well, no. I'm hoping Dagrolyt comes up with something. He said there was some stuff he was going to teach me about Syssk-control. We'll probably head out together as soon as he gets back." "Where did he go?" I asked. "I don't know, there wasn't time to discuss it." "Good thing you have that magic mantra, Addy, it's saved you time and again," I said, trying to be encouraging. "Well, about that... actually I don't think The Sound of Music is going to do it for me anymore, at least not for a long while. Dagrolyt told me that all that magic had been used up." "So what do you use for a mantra now?" "Well, I don't seem to have one anymore." "Oh. That's not good, is it?" Adam shrugged, like he usually does when he doesn't want to say something that would upset his mother.
Later that evening Lissandra came over. She and Adam and Pokey discussed their individual experiences of the previous night. They seemed quite melancholy. I felt it was so unfair: those kids deserved to be happy about their fantastic musical success after all that hard work. But the consequent events had been horrible enough to poison everything. It was most likely that they would become rich, but each of them felt that they had lost something more important than money or fame. Adam was distraught about what he had done to Melly. Not that he felt personally guilty for what Daklakht had forced him to do, to either her or the Sinsleys, but he was extremely distressed about her being so badly mishandled by a "slobbering monster". He was yearning to comfort her and it hurt that she simply would not see him, even though he understood that she was afraid of him rather than angry. He was worried about their future together, naturally. On top of that he dreaded what his Adversary might do next and was resolved to go out and "deal with him" without the foggiest idea of how to do so. Addy never said it, but he had to be afraid about that future too. Pokey had lost his magic promise and that frightened him. He envisioned becoming an alcoholic all over again, with all the shame and pain of that life he already knew so well. He was afraid and that made him want a drink to fix it. "Man, I can't tell you how bad I could use a shot of courage right now!" He and Adam tried to renew the "magic promise" but it did not seem to take, Pokey still felt the craving. That was another of Adam's worries, that he had lost his Orator abilities. Lissandra admitted to me that she felt she was losing the dearest thing in her life: the "threesome" relationship she had been happily sharing. I've figured out that she loves Adam rather passionately all by herself, but what she really wants is Them. And the Band: without Melly the band was disbanded. And the music: none of them seemed to have a song in their heart just then. And Melly? I spoke with her on the phone, but I'll get to that later. Pokey went out to his tent to get a night's sleep, after drinking so much apple juice that he'd be too bloated to drive into Monroe and visit one of his old bar hangouts. Lissandra and Adam went out to his bedroom balcony to talk seriously about something, probably Melly. They spent the night together, for the first time just the two of them. It also seemed strange for both Art and myself not to hear them practicing that evening, although we had heard them so much and so often that we had been tolerating the noise rather than enjoying the music. We missed it, obviously hooked on it. It had been a life-force in the house for so long and now it was all too silent. But we assumed that the kids were only temporarily burned out, music-wise. They had worked so hard at it and had succeeded so thoroughly that they couldn't get any higher up just then, a letdown had to come.
Art had finally managed to crash and the kids were in their beds so I finally had a private moment for myself, sitting in my sad and silent house late that Sunday night, dead tired and yet the last one still awake. I had been waiting all day for the chance to call Melly without a crowd around me. It was almost midnight, but I called anyway, I couldn't wait any more. She needed her Mommy, I knew that. Sally told me so. It was Doug who took the phone. He didn't sound sleepy, recognized my voice at once. "Hi, Elaine, I thought it might be you. Melly's asleep." "I suppose she's told you about last night." "More than I wanted to hear, she unloaded everything on me. She's really traumatized about Adam...being so brutal..." "It wasn't really Adam, there was another Sasquatch..." I said "Adam's Adversary, yes, she told me. She said it wasn't his fault--but his size and weight...oh god." "This must be vindication for you, Doug, being right after all." "Vindication?" There was a pause, "Elaine, I..." then he choked up and started weeping uncontrollably, unable to talk for a while. I waited and found that my own vision was blurry too. He came back on, coherent but agitated. "So NOW you think I was RIGHT to do that to those kids? My GOD I wish I had never forced poor Adam to make that terrible promise! They could have been happy together for YEARS! But instead THIS happens...and it's all my fault..." He broke down again, completely this time and the line went dead. He'd hung up. I cried for a while myself, sad and defeated. I felt very sympathetic for Doug's pain, but frustrated that I couldn't get through to Melly. But then the telephone rang and it was Melly. She had been awakened by her father's shouting and weeping. He told her he'd been talking to me so she sent him off to bed before calling me back. She too wanted to be alone for this conversation. We got right into it. I had a vague perception of what had happened that night; the broken promise (impossible!), the rape (unthinkable!), the slobbering monster (which I had seen myself, horrifying!), the race against death and the final encounter that had broken her completely. I told her that Adam was cured of his Adversary's spell, that she could even see some of the day's TV coverage already posted on YouTube along with all the concert clips, as he coherently convinced the Police to go on their way. "Oh, I'm constantly seeing him right now; I need to STOP seeing him!" "You mean as the berserker? That was frightening, I know, I saw him too, and was just as scared." "Except that he didn't rape you--or try AGAIN later." "No. But he looked at me in a way...never mind, I'm just so sorry for you baby! For both of you." "Yeah, Addy must be wrecked about all this. None of this is even his fault. Hell, I MADE him break that promise, so it's really all MY fault..." Then she had to cry. "I'm sure you were in agreement about breaking the promise, sweetie. Please don't punish yourself." "So I'm punishing Addy instead. But I can't help it, I'm just too AFRAID of him now. Maybe he's cured--or maybe not quite, how can I ever be sure?" "Why don't you just talk with him on the phone tomorrow? That should be safe enough." "No! He'll say he misses me and I'll come running, I'll just throw myself at him! I love him way too much to hold anything back. Even my life. But I'd also be forever waiting for him to change into that THING at any second...I don't think I could stand that!" Then she had to ask, "How is he doing? I can't help worrying for him." "He's asleep now, I think." I wasn't sure if I should say it, but knew I couldn't NOT tell her, "Lissandra is with him." Then added, "I didn't peek, so don't ask." "No, it's good," almost sounding relieved, "I hope she can comfort him, any way that works."
We had unplugged the landline telephone to get an evening's peace, but when we connected it again the next morning the phone rang constantly. It was Monday, Art and I had to go to work, so we gladly left that mess to the kids. Fortunately, Lissandra became suddenly reincarnated as a very business- savvy modern woman. We later discovered that she had worked two summers as an assistant receptionist for Weyembauer Lumber. So she took calls with professional aplomb, weeding through good and bad offers, dismissing shady deals, noting names and numbers for future contact, negotiating meetings. She reminded Adam and Pokey that this was the result of all the band's hard work together and now they had a success on their hands that could amount to a lot of money. Pokey decided to take an interest as well. But Adam, after all his intense focus upon the up-and-coming concert, now seemed to have lost all interest in what came next. Someone else would have to focus on that, for a while at least. He considered himself on his way out the door for a while and it couldn't happen soon enough. He was only waiting--impatiently--for Dagrolyt to return. Adam said he was anxious to leave as soon as possible because he had to "go deal with" his Adversary before someone else got hurt. As a mother, I was not at all comfortable with the idea of my son going off to fight a war, but when I learned what Daklakht had forced Adam to do to Melly, to whom I am also "as a mother", I wanted to go fight too. I wanted Adam to punish that wicked man. But having said that, I was also unsure about Adam actually having the will power or ability to punish the most dangerous Nokhon super-agent in the world. Adam has always been a nice boy, not a fighter. Nice could get him hurt, killed, maybe worse. But we all agreed that he had to do it. There were arrangements that had to be made before he could simply vanish the way he did last time. At least the Live Concert CD project was on autopilot, the music already recorded, so Adam did not wish to concern himself with it at all. We videoed his statement giving Melly full Power of Attorney for his part of any future business negotiations, even though she still hadn't spoken to him. She had always been taking care of his paperwork anyway, since Adam doesn't read or write. Adam had been hoping that Dagrolyt would return soon, he needed to discuss how to best challenge Daklakht. Once again he needed some inspiration and advice from his guru, who always seemed to come up with brilliant ideas. But after another day had passed without Dagrolyt showing up, Adam decided it was time to go, that very night. He planned to leave at night because one of the media's favorite rumors was that Adam had something going on in the Bigfoot world and might be going back to them soon. So we were being watched, surrounded by media folk on all sides, reporters and managers, photographers and cranks. They would simply follow Adam if he went into the woods during daylight. There might be helicopters, maybe even satellite surveillance, the commercial interest in Adam was simply too great to let him--and a spectacular news scoop--slip away unseen.
Later that day Lissandra pulled the phone plug out again, otherwise the incoming calls would never end. An impressively deep stack of papers marked with notes and numbers cluttered the desk she had been using, the product of a full day's work. She allowed herself to quit for the day. She then called Melly on her private cell phone and arranged to meet her at Doug's house for dinner and a heart-to heart. "I'd better go check up on her," she said to us and we all wished her well as she left. That evening after dinner Art, who really should become a scientist when he grows up, tried to test the condition of Adam's Orator status. Adam had always had that amazing memory of spoken words, so Art asked him to recite the multiplication tables. Adam was helpless at math, but had learned the tables as spoken words so could always rattle them off easily, which even as a little boy he liked to do because it always made him sound so smart. Adam did so without any hesitation. But with lots of errors, everything mixed around. He'd lost the routine. Art took out the old Complete Works of Shakespeare. We had taken turns reading that aloud to him over the ages of ten to twelve, it had always been a party trick to have someone read a line from any page and Adam could continue the dialogue line after line, act after act, play after play, until someone screamed "STOP!" Now he could remember bits and pieces, but not page after page. His memory was just like...well, like mine, poor kid. That Adam had been capable of telling even one lie seemed to be yet another sign that his condition had changed in some mysterious way. Pokey asked Adam if he had enjoyed finally being free to bend the truth a little, but Adam said he hated it, "I lied and got away with it, but was still ME who trashed the Sinsley's house, so I can't help feeling responsible. I should go do something to help them out." "It would not be smart to go over there right now," Art said, "if you can't maintain the lie you might end up in jail." "I mean," Adam argued, "it looks like there's going to be a lot of money coming in from that one measly concert, I could pay for the damage..." "Good idea for later, Adam," Art agreed, "although maybe anonymously might be best." Pokey commented, "Might also be best to wait until we actually SEE the money, Bro!" Pokey was hanging close to us. I think he was afraid to go anywhere alone, not even his tepee out in the woods, where he might be tempted to start drinking. He had been quite active all summer, practicing music with the band, studying Nokhontli, helping out with odd jobs around the ranch. This very day he had been a big help to Lissandra, taking his share of the barrages of telephone calls. But now the band was on pause and he was restless. Fretting. It occurred to me what might be worrying him. "Pokey, you do know that you're still welcome to stay here with us while Adam is gone away?" "Thanks, Elaine, that's nice to know and I'd like to for a while. But I..." he was interrupted by his cell phone. Pokey's got one of those new smart-phones that can do so many different things that he still didn't know how to make it work, so he lost the call. He checked his screen: "Unlisted number? Wonder who that could be, everyone I know is HERE." I told him, "You can call back, just hit the green button." A minute later he was very surprised to be talking with, "MAKI?!? Oh wow, YOU called ME?" He became so excited he was almost incoherent, then excused himself and went outside to talk under more private conditions. "Well, he sure kept his suave coolness there," Adam commented. "Maki, hmmm?" I guessed, "I'll bet she's that Japanese-American girl he was flirting with at the concert. Hope so, for Pokey's sake, she was really cute. AND shorter than him." Art agreed, "Good for Pokey." "Yeah," Adam also agreed, "and about time." Pokey the drunken Indian had never been lucky with girls. Our new sober Pokey Noble Red Man had become more appealing in every way and Pokey the Cool Musician had even attracted some pretty young girls, but he still had never found what he wanted: his very own girl friend. So we all wished him luck. From what I had seen of Maki at the party, she seemed quite enchanted with Pokey the Handsome Guy. But when he came back in to us Pokey was a wreck. He had talked with Maki Yoshido for an hour and they had arranged to meet in Bellingham that very evening, where she was taking some Summer Quarter sessions at Western Washington State University. You'd think he'd be excited and happy, but no, Pokey was fretting even more now. "Man, I know how this is going to go, I almost don't want to try. We're really hitting it off, but then we'll go out and have a few drinks... I'm going to end up getting drunk and screw it all up." "Unless you choose not to," Adam reminded him. Pokey gave Adam a sad look, "I dunno, bro, I ain't hearing the magic in your words just now," Pokey knew Adam would be leaving for an indeterminate time. They shared a hug and each wished the other good luck on a perilous journey and Pokey drove away on his motor scooter towards Bellingham. No Pokey, no Lissandra, no Melly, Adam spent the night alone for the first time in months. He decided to go out to the meadow and meditate under what was left of the moon. "I know you're aching to get going," I said to him, "but if Dagrolyt comes to you tonight, you will come here to say good-bye first, right?" "Hey, I won't just leave you, Mom...again." Got a little smile out of him. He went out into the night, but came back half an hour later. I thought, this is it, he's going now. But he only grabbed his guitar bag and turned to go outside again, saying "I'd better practice some magic." It was late so I went to bed. Art was already asleep, we'd had some late nights and early days. It was a nice summer night so the window was open and I listened for Adam's guitar out there. But the meadow is a little too far away, with lots of trees between, so I fell asleep hearing nothing but crickets. But later on, in the middle of all that sleep, I awoke to faintly hear a familiar guitar melody ringing so distant and delicate that I wasn't sure if I was dreaming it or not. I found myself mumble-chanting along with it: "..take me seeking, take me finding, take me home.." dramatic guitar riff following. It felt so good to have the music back, if only for that moment. Art didn't exactly wake up, but he did roll over to me and mumble in groggy harmony. At first I was worried that he was going to wake up and be horny, but a few minutes later I was more worried that he wasn't going to. But he was easy. My God, what has that kid done to us with his music?
Adam came back in the morning to join us for breakfast, looking fairly fresh for having played and sung all night. In fact, he seemed in good spirits despite the fact that Dagrolyt hadn't shown up. He had evidently won some of his magic back. He had also made a decision: "I'm taking this with me when I go back," he said, brandishing El-Excalibur, his oversized guitar. "But isn't that forbidden skesk?" I asked, "You can't play a guitar while you're with the Nokhontli." "But I'm going to. And yes, I have thought this over, all night long: Daklakht can be sneaky and hard to find, so I'll play my guitar and he'll come to me!" "But that hand-made guitar is irreplaceable! If some anti-skesk hard-nosed Nokhon gets outraged and wrecks it..." "That's a risk, yeah, but I've got a gut feeling that I'll be needing this guitar. Might just be my secret weapon." "Was it in that infamous Vision of yours?" Art asked him. "Yes it was, in fact, long before I'd ever seen the guitar itself." "But aren't possessions also forbidden?" I asked. "Not forbidden, just considered bad taste. And screw that, I'm in Protest Singer Mode now: The Times They Are A'Changin." After that Adam was restless and ready to go...but found himself stuck for the day. Adam couldn't go anywhere without passing all the media people still waiting for interviews and deals, their cars were stacked up out at the gate to our driveway. Most of them were still behaving politely, but they would not be denied forever. Fortunately once again, Lissandra came back from Melly's. She evidently considers it her job to take on the media game and seems to be good at it, but it took her a while to get in past the gate. Adam had been hoping Melly would be with her but that was not to be. Art and I jumped ship for a while, he to a meeting with the IPR in Seattle, I went shopping for food. Any excuse would do. Adam accepted the inevitable and when Lissandra commanded him to go do some interviews, he simply obeyed. He went out to the gate to present himself to the crowd of journalists and photographers awaiting there. The idea was to keep them from breaking down the gate and swarming in over everything like locusts. I think he even had a good time, talking to people about the band and his songs, but was not about to discuss "the Mysterious Nokhontli" or his relationship with "the two amazingly beautiful hot chicks in his band". At 5:00 he announced quitting time and sent everyone home. A few would simply not leave and became belligerent. Adam said he was tempted to roll their cars over top-down, but then we'd never get rid of them. Lissandra was with us for dinner, so of course we all asked about Melly. "She's all right. And she told me to tell you she still loves you, Freakfoot, but needs a little more time know. Actually she's really glad to be spending some time with her dad. And so am I, he's a totally interesting character." "Oh yes, Doug is totally that," Art reminisced, "has he mentioned Seeing The Big Picture to you yet?" "Oh wow, definitely! What mind games, he's a TRIP!" "Yeah, I used to like Doug too," Adam said, "maybe I still do, but he must be pretty eager to keep Melly away from me just now," "What? Are you crazy? He's trying to talk her into coming back to you! Melly told him how she's worried that you'll go monster on her again and you know what he said? That ANYONE can go psycho on us, that's something we've all gotta live with. Been there himself, he said. Guy's cool." Lissandra was aware that Adam was mentally already on his way to somewhere else so she went back to stay with Melly that night. She kissed him as if it would be a while before they met again, Which was perhaps intuitive. That same evening, while waiting for the August day to go dark, Adam was playing something by Mozart, not singing, when he stopped short and listened intensely to something we couldn't hear at all. "Dagrolyt's here!" he said and began packing his guitar into the tote-bag. "How do you know?" I asked, still not hearing a clue. "Hey, we squatches are magic, remember?" Sure enough, a moment later a big hairy but familiar Sasquatch came down the stairs from Adam's balcony, apparently having coming in that way. Adam gave Dagrolyt a hug and they jabbered away in Nokhontli, both happy to see each other again. Art and I were just as happy to see him, especially knowing that Adam would now have a trustworthy friend and companion to back him up out there in the wilderness. Dagrolyt had come in over the balcony because the front door was being watched by three men in a van parked out on Old Pipe Line Road, observing our house with high-tech snooping equipment. He also told us how there were at least ten men with cameras and radios hiding about in the woods around us. We had been kidding ourselves about something like that, but then foolishly decided not to be so paranoid. Dagrolyt could move through the woods silent and unseen, Sha-haka wizard, you know. But finally there had been too many sentries in the way for even him to slip past. So he spooked them away by sneaking up behind them and growling in their ears, like some really big and MEAN wild animal. When the men turned to look there was never anything to see. It usually took only a few repetitions of that technique to send them running headlong from their hiding places in the bushes to the safety of their cars and driving away fast as they could. It sounded like Dagrolyt had been having some fun. There was a teensy moment of disharmony between the two big guys, you might even call it an argument, when Dagrolyt learned that Adam intended to take his guitar with him. It was all in Nokhontli but pretty obvious what was being said: Adam put on his shoulder strap guitar bag, Dagrolyt was shocked, protested, waving his arms and slapping his head. I learned a new word: "Shtessaka" seems to mean "crazy". But evidently Adam must have argued his case convincingly because Dagrolyt finally calmed down and said, "Ra, ra, okay man." I packed a bag lunch of mixed fruit for the guys to take with them. Dagrolyt thanked me with his big goofy smile, I got a quick hug and a kiss from both of them and they disappeared into the night. Off to a fun and exciting summer holiday in Squatchland. Am I worried for Adam? Well, I'm a mother, what do you think?

Chapter 75

Adam out of Eden