Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rosebud: In the Night

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The echoing silence of the prairie grass dancing along the plain melds my soul into a confused mix of euphoria and anxiousness as the height of danger is intermingled with the sheer exhilaration of trust, faith, and adventure. My breath is harsh as I struggle to maintain some sort of weekly exercise which, this night, takes the form a jog around the Pine Ridge housing facility. My mind sways as it fights the burning and incessant call of my body for sleep – it is only my determination, or perhaps stubbornness, that keeps me out in this tar black night. Inside rest the little heads of all those whose burden is mine to bear for the summer – those who, unbeknownst to them have become my tiyospate…my family. The night is clear and the stars beam down infinitely. In the distance, I can hear the unceasing cry of one howling rez dog. Soon, another echoes his cry, and within seconds there is a howling chorus filling the once still air; animal; demonic. Time after time, I remind myself of the words of Paul when he says we will be mastered by nothing, and I entreat upon the Lord to keep me safe from the prowling pack moving through the untamed grass merely a few feet beyond. Besides, to flee would be death.

As I round a corner fighting the fear that would forsake my sanity, I am met with the stark outline of a strange figure. In the dark stands a person. For a moment, I envision the burning fury of a demon crazed mad man plagued with alcoholism, meth, and rage – my personal homicide. This, however, is not the case. I realize that it is actually a small child here playing in the dead of night. He shines a laser pointer on my chest, and, wondering his intent, I pause to see his movement. No doubt imitating something he had seen on television or that which had been modeled for him in his home, he points two fingers at me and makes a strange noise. “Bang, Bang” he shouts, “Head Shot!!!” My slaughter is a joyful game for him. His laughter fills my soul with dread, and as he passes into the light I can see no hope for him, no light of his own which might give peace and justice to his lost innocence.

My time in the night is over, and my safe harbor beckons. As I head inside, extreme sadness overtakes my heart because I know that the only refuge from the horrors of home for this child is the dim styngant arms of night.

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