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(5 A) Chapter Five A

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the next morning..

Jimmy returned from the island and a swim with the whales who had moved further down the coast, feeding and exploring their range. He’d explored different parts of the city through the morning (after his return), curious about the sprawling city that was parked on the Straits of Georgia with the great Fraser delta cutting through it.  The huge ships anchored out in English Bay fascinated him.. and he wondered what his ancestors must have thought when Captain Cook arrived at Nootka Island under a cloud of sail. He knew all the history.. of the Spanish and the French visiting the wild coastline as well and how they had all wondered at the unbelievable numbers of salmon and at the towering forests.  There were many many tales he knew of.. that stretched in between and all added up to where it all sat today.  He wondered what deer and bear had been here before him.. and how many of the salmon had passed out under where the great bridge now hung.  He wondered if the spirit bear still roamed here or was disinterested or sad at what had happened to his territory.

As he passed through the downtown core he saw distant cousins.. adrift in the streets. Lost in the world they inhabited. Victims of history.. of heritage.. of heroin.. of alcohol. He pulled over to watch two of them struggle over a brown bag while they teetered on a park bench.

“You’re better than this ! Brothers”

The words leapt from him without thought.. and as they stared at him with suspicion he wondered what it would take to right the many wrongs.. to back up somehow.. and find a better path. His father had spoken to him many times about this reality.. as had Grandfather and Grandmother.  He had much to learn.. but he had eyes and could see. He felt the pain of this vision of lost men who had fallen from or never found the warrior path and he turned inward to focus the idea and place it in his heart and in his thoughts.  He came back from his inner place as the two men approached his truck.  They had recognized him as one of the people but were looking to him for money only.

 “Where are you from brothers?”

They looked at him with blurred eyes.. and to the back of the truck where Quinn grinned at them and they lurched a little closer.

“I see Salish and Kwakiutal.. is this true?”

They approached even closer, but had no words.. just a dazed and somewhat ugly curiosity. The great dog left the truck bed suddenly and quickly circled behind them, sniffing at their pant cuffs and looking up into their faces.. curious at their strong scent. They stumbled backwards, trying to keep their eye on this possible threat as Jimmy stepped easily from the cab and gestured subtlely with his chin to the dog who immediately returned with an easy leap into the back of the truck.

 “I have no money for you.. but would be honoured to help you on your way.. where are you going brothers?”

The taller of the two gestured toward downtown.. and tipped the brown bag to his mouth then handed it to his unsteady companion and looked lazily at the black truck and kayak and then back to the tall young man who stood easily before him.

 “Who the fuck are you?”

“Jimmy Walker.. brother.. I am of the Nuu-chah-nulth .. across the island from here. Perhaps you have heard of my people.. as I have heard of yours.”

“There are no people.. there is nothing.. what are you doin here.. why don’t you just fuck off with your dog.. and yer fancy truck.. and yer fancy words?”

The other took a half-step toward the truck to look inside but the large dog was too threatening and found himself frozen and uncertain why he had bothered. He felt a calm hand upon his shoulder as he began to edge away from the truck.

“He means you no harm brother.. he’s simply curious who you are.”

The two unsteady aboriginals found themselves unclear about just what was going on..  yet they both felt the unyielding respect and friendliness that seemd to come from this total stranger and despite their addled state it caught their attention.  This was something new.. outside their limited pattern of experience.. but it could be taken advantage of no doubt.

“Perhaps you would let me share breakfast with you brothers?”

“Money.. we just want fuckin money dude.”

As Jimmy thought about this and looked the two over carefully, a big voice interrupted the moment.

“Is there some kind of a problem here?”

Larger than life it seemed, Creighton had materialized.. a large sports bag over his shoulder and a well worn paperback in his meaty hand.  He stepped right up into the scene and looked Jimmy in the eye questioningly and then turned toward the two aboriginals he had boxed in, taking up most of the available space and leaving them little room to manouvre.  The huge dog took advantage of the opportunity to closely sniff the back of their heads and startled them even further.  they suddenly found themselves with no-where to go.. the truck and dog hard at their backs, the sudden presence of a huge man towering from their front and Jimmy and the open truck door closing off the only other exit.

“These are brothers of mine Creighton..from up the coast. I’d introduce you but don’t know their names.  This is Creighton brothers.. a ballplayer from the United States.”

A light smile played on Creighton’s face as he sized up this revelation and watched the obvious discomfort the dog was providing from behind the two disheveled men.

“Well .. if you’re brothers of Jimmy Walker.. then I’m mighty pleased to meet you.”

A huge paw was offered to the closest of the two.  It took a long moment for the idea to travel and connect.. but then an uncertain offered hand was extended.  The same process repeated with the other.. and in the back of the truck Quinn bounced several times with little yips and Jimmy stepped closer to rub his ears.

“This is Quinn.”

A big laugh came from Creighton and he stepped forward in a humerous way to aknowledge the introduction and let the huge dog sniff him closely.

It took some encouraging.. but a few minutes later the two who had been so bleary eyed were climbing out of the back of the truck and accepting a different paper bag from Creighton who had emerged from a greasyspoon. It was filled with backbacon sandwiches and juice.. and they seemed to not find it too strange that Jimmy was dropping them off in front of the totem poles near the entrance to Stanley Park.

“A good place for breakfast brothers.  I will pass this place tomorrow morning and would be honoured to see you again.”

There were no words coming from the two unfortunates.. but a small glimmering of an idea had passed into them during the encounter. They shrugged and turned away.. looking at the totems that now confronted them and made their unsteady way to sit beneath them and opened the bag with wonderous smells that they now possessed.

A light glance from Jimmy and Creighton got back in the truck with a thoughtful look and a number of interesting questions running through his blond head. Running back through the city the two ball players found their way into an interesting conversation that seemed to have no beginning or end.. but covered many interesting topics.. and there were many thoughtful nods of the big blond head as he digested some of the unusual comments that seemed to spring from Jimmy Walker.  For a kid from Oklahoma these were pretty interesting ideas and huge food for thought.  On his daily walk to the diamond he’d passed by many of those who lived on the street but had never really thought of how they had gotten there.. or how they might escape its gravity.  There was much, much more to this Jimmy Walker than met the eye..

He let his thoughts gather.. and leaned his shaggy head back with a smile.. This was one to know he thought.. chock full of surprises.. The truck.. the dog.. a kayak.. and this immense talent at being himself..  one to watch.. one to know for sure.

The black truck rolled up to Nat Bailey Stadium and the three of them headed in through the outfield entrance.. the dog scooting up into the stands after a glance from Jimmy.

Off to the side of home plate, Darcy and Dusty watched their approach with interest.  The loose and friendly camaraderie was obvious.. and contagious.. and the large black dog finding its way along the bleachers seemed part of the excellent picture that was coming into focus. 

Written by diamondwalker

November 26, 2008 at 12:34 am

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