Chapter II

I was lying in my bed dreaming about my strange childhood. My dad was showing me how to juggle and to ride a unicycle at the same time.

"It is important to make them laugh. I'll send you to a clown school," spoke my father.

The juggling pins were awkward for me, but in time, I learned to use them and to ride that damn unicycle. My father gave me a series of isometric exercises, along with push-ups, and sit-ups that I had to perform everyday.

"You are doing good, boy. I am proud of you. I see you have been doing your exercises. I wish I could see you more often, but you must stay with your aunt and uncle."

My father's words were running through my head. Damn, I hated being a clown, but I loved my old man and the only way I could get him to pay attention to me was for me to put on a clown act. My dreams suck. I hate them. They are really just random flashbacks of my past. Why the hell could I not dream of meadows, forests, or naked women like other guys? I was riding my unicycle, until I started to smell bacon and eggs. Those things were not in my dream; I knew that it was coming from Mark. He was the cook in our group. His old man had been a chef at a local restaurant, so he had picked up a thing or two from him. I got out of my bed, fell to the floor, and did a hundred push-ups. It was a habit I could not break. I placed a shirt on my back and went to the small dinning room where Mark was setting the table.

"Good morning, Ralph, I have your eggs and bacon ready. Have a seat and I'll fix some coffee too."

I sat down at the table to enjoy the morning. Strangely, I had always been a morning person. I loved the smell of the air, the look in the sky. It was a great time to be alive.

"How did you enjoy the debate last night?" I asked.

"I love watching those two argue."

"Do you think Mike takes the insults personally from John?"

"Hell, no. Mike loves to debate and argue, the guy eats the stuff like candy. Besides, they have been friends too long to take it personally."

"True. What bothers me is how John described his relationship with Julie."

"It does sound like John could be abusive towards her. Aren't you two going on a hike in the afternoon?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Maybe, you could talk to him then. Ask him about it."

"Ok. I'll try to work it in a conversation."

"It should be easy for you...being a writer."

"You are the car salesman, why don't you ask him?"

"He is your brother."

Mark placed the eggs and bacon on a plate and placed them before me. Boy, could he cook. These were the best eggs and bacon I had ever eaten. I was finishing my second cup of coffee, when John and Mike entered the dinning room.

"Good morning, Ralph," smiled John.

"Are you ready for our hike, older brother?"

"Hell yeah! Do you think you can keep up with me?"

"Yeah, I think so. My arms may not be twenty-two inches around, but I can hold my own."

John sat down and turned his attention to his breakfast. He lowered his body to the food and shoved the eggs and bacon down his throat in two mighty bites.

"Damn, Johnny, you eat like an animal. Missing link, everybody. I have found the missing link," laughed Mike.

"Shut the fuck up with that shit. You know that evolution is bullshit," smiled John.

"Evolution is a fact of life. Had you went to college, you would have known that."

"Hell, Mike, you are the only guy I know who can fuck a Fruit Loop without breaking it," laughed John as he wriggled his pinky.

"It is not the size of the boat, but it is the motion of the ocean," smiled Mike.

"Oh, hell let's just eat our food without going into this bullshit," spoke John in a good-humored manner.

"Sounds good to me. The eggs do taste good; I can see why you ate them so fast," observed Mike.

Mark and I gave the two an odd look. It was weird that they stopped arguing like that. This was the start of a weird day that was going to get weirder as the night arrived. Had anyone told me that this was going to be our last night on Earth I would have laughed in their face.

My brother and I were walking in the woods. It was a cool pleasant December afternoon. This is the perfect time of the year to go hiking. The undergrowth is down, causing one to be able to see things that one could not have seen in the summertime.

"Beautiful time of the year, John."

"Yeah, that's why we picked this time of the year to go into the woods. What's on your mind, Ralphie, you look like some just stole your wallet."

"It's how you are treating Julie. I mean last night it sounded like you had the makings of an abusive husband."

"You mean how I tell her every move to make and she does it? And you have watched or read something in the media that says that is a warning sign for abuse, right?"

"Yeah, something like that."

"Well, the media does not know everything and you don't know Julie like I do. She's the type of a woman who likes to be told what do. We tried being equals and she grew bored with sex and married life. Then, one day we had an argument and I told her to shut-up and get me a beer, because I had worked hard all day and was in no mood for her feminine bullshit. Well, she grew quiet, went to the kitchen, and got me a beer. When she got back, her face was red and her blouse was covered in sweat. I thought she was sick or something and I asked her what was wrong. She told me that when I yelled at her like that, it turned her on and made her horny as hell. Shitfire, we had the best sex in our entire married life and after that, I have told her every move to make. You see, Ralphie, every woman is different. They don't all want to be treated as equals. Some women are submissive and they want a man to act like a man."

I stood still for a moment taking all this in and I was also trying to get the mental picture of my brother having sex out of my mind. Women are not all the same, but each have different needs. I had really never thought about it that much.

"I guess it was wrong for me to jump to conclusions."

"Don't worry about it. Let's just enjoy the day."

We walked around the forest enjoying the day. I spotted a whitetail deer and watched it run. That was a beautiful sight to see, an animal free. He had no bosses telling him what to do. That lucky asshole could run and be free. He had no government telling him how to behave. He has no peers to pressure him. His friends didn't care what he wore or what he said. He had no schedule, no orders to fill, no car to maintain, no taxes to pay; he had none of those things. He just runs, eats, and has sex with any doe he can find. At that moment that deer represented freedom to me. He was free to do as he pleased. Was man wrong to form clans, then tribes, and then nations? What will the end result be? It must, in the end, become a one-world system. Will it be a system of brotherhood and peace or will it be a system of oppression and fear? I wondered if there was a place somewhere in the universe where humans were free to play and run wild all day. Oh, God, let it be so.

"Hey, Ralphie, let's go back. I'm getting hungry."

"Me too. I have enjoyed spending the day with you, John."

"You ain't a bad little brother. Let's go, Mark is supposed to fix some steaks and a cold beer sounds good right now."

"Nothing in the world is better." I replied.

"Well, I know of one thing. Come on, move those legs."