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Doppelganger

January 16, 2015

I have an ancestor who, due to violent physical trauma ( from one of the Wars), got unhinged- became homeless, wore rags, dug up tubers and ate fruits- lived off of what people in the town gave him, made bonfires and slept in the warm ash. My father used to go looking for him with me in tow- we would find him, and my father and he would just squat close to each other silently- the near-naked gaunt, long-haired old man with the stubborn square chin- my father with the same stubborn chin dressed in city clothes…I always felt that ancestor of mine did it for me, for us, so we wouldn’t have to do it ( be homeless, be hungry, be alone )

and sometimes  now, at night – when the daily mundane worries of my adult life lifts off me and my bed like stale breath, from the loam of my semi-sleep I find myself in that man’s body:  watching the town below from a hill, the grit of warm ash against my skin and the smell of burnt wood, the sounds coming from the town waking up, and this invisible lock clamped over my mouth

the townies used to mockingly call him “Tarzan”.

His real name was Bernan.

 

1/10- 1/16/15  ( some of these drawings were done with my left and right hand , simultaneously )

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 16, 2015 1:11 pm

    I often wonder what it’s like to have more connection to family history. I don’t have much information about my heritage… just a few scattered stories.

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