WELCOME TO THE HAPPY FARM SERIES
The Burning Bush
John, the comedian
A grassy cushion close to the gazebo caught my eye, and after inspecting it for fire ant nests and seeing none, I plopped down, making myself comfortable. John was gearing up to tell me a story, one that I was hoping would not herringbone into something else and never get back to the meat of the matter.
Patting the floor next to him, he motioned me to sit there, “it’s better under here, the floor nice.”
I shook my head no, I was good. I like sitting on grass — it has a feel of connectedness to the earth.
“Yeah, man. I heard the voice. I could not tell whether it was male or female. I guess it was, what’s the word they use now-a-days? The accepted thing to say? Gender….gender neutrality or somethin’ so? Yes, the voice was gender neutral.”
John smiled all over himself. He was feeling smart.
“Yes, that is the term, or one of them that is acceptable to be used so as not to discriminate and/or offend.”
“Hmmm…I have no problem with dat. If a man wants to call himself a woman and a woman want to be known as a man, once I know beforehand, I good.”
I was impressed, John was sounding progressive. I know him to have some views on certain topics that should not even leave his head.
“So tell me about this voice. What more did it say? It really said that it was not one with you?”
I laughed. “What you mean, it laughed? It was laughing at you or with you?”
“At first I thought it was Judah. You know Judah. He has a patch over the ghaut. I felt like it was him messing with me. But then, he would not know what I was thinkin inside my head to answer me. He not psychic yet, though every now and again he would come over here, telling me about dis and dat, all the places he went without leaving his shanty. He is a kinda mystic man.”
I did not really know Judah. I have seen him a few times and he would just stare at me curiously whenever I wave at him. I knew he was a mystic man. I felt it.
“It must have been laughing at me, for I wasn’t laughing, I almost pissed my pants, excuse my language….damn near wet myself. Then there was a rustling and de scent of bay leaf filled the air. De tree started to shake and then I saw a single spot of light that flared up, covering de whole tree, burning brightly for……, I swear was about 10 minutes and then fading ‘way. In the morning I checked de tree and up to now I ain’t see one burn mark.”
“Well maybe your name should be Moses, since you seeing burning bushes now,” I teased John.
He returned an easy smile, “well I can put up a new sign to read Welcome to The Happy Farm, Home of the Burning Bush.”
I giggled at the comment, John was on a roll today.
I. Trudie Palmer
If you enjoy serial fiction, check out my friend’s Suma Narayan, https://medium.com/not-for-bedtime-stories/all-my-sisters-df44cee51cbe