Monday, June 8, 2015


Lem Simmons was twenty seven years old in chronologic time, in whole time he is four hundred and seventeen years young.

His time shifting if that’s what we can call it to help understand his world started at his chronological time age of seven while swinging on a hemp rope hung from a strong limb jutting from an old oak tree outside of his families tar paper shack. The Simmons’s were dirt poor matching the dirt floor of their one room windowless home. Summer had come early and Lem, short for Lemuel was up at first light swinging so high the wood seat fell nearly straight down for several feet before coming tight on the rope and snapping back into a high arch in the air before falling and snapping again. He kicked hard forcing the seat even higher making the rope crack like far off thunder, he could nearly see over the roof of the house. Frayed from daily morning before chores and evening after long sweaty days in the small field his parents owned from swinging the rope finally snapped. It held together past the initial snap on the down swing forward but gave out as the full weight of Lem plus his added G weight from falling and arching forward making the back of his head take the full brunt of the fall.

He woke a full five days later with his mother standing over him toweling off his forehead covered in sweat. His head was remarkably clear, no head ache, no blurred vision. He was about to ask his mother what had happened but stopped in mid sentence as a strange sensation started in the back of his head slowly growing stronger, moving forward in his skull feeling like running water. He raised his hand to his forehead his mother asking if something was wrong.


The sun blinding in one eye the other covered by his hand was scorching hot, his left eye slammed closed blocking out the blistering brightness. Lem now with both hands over his eyes slowly adjusted to the glaring brightness. The heat was unbearable, his butt instantly on fire; jumping to his feet he stood ankle deep in smoldering orange sand his feet bare turning a bright red from the burning sand. Hopping on one foot then the other he crossed several feet of hot blistering sand sliding under the shade of a large cactus its arms making long slim shadows. The air simmered under the cactus shade; a strange bee shaped bug circled his head making a low bussing sound then darting off under heavy wings. Lem squatted and stared at his new surroundings, cactus, some low lying brown grasses and sand.


“…wrong? Does your head hurt?”

Lem was staring into the face of his mother. “No no I’m fine.” “What happened?”

“You fell from the swing; we’ve been so worried; thanks god your back!” Lem’s mother cried.

“No I meant….. I mean the desert, it was so hot?” Lem said confused.

“What honey, no no desert, your home it’s just hot outside.” She crooned holding him tight in the stifling stagnate air of the house.

Running water, rushing forward.


“What are you doing kid; you can’t lie there on the floor!” The store clerk said shaking his head. “Get up and get out hell out of here!”

Lem stood on wobbly legs, head spinning. He reached out and grabbed the counter to keep from falling. Something buzzed under his hand and a voice said “Please enter your code!” Lem jerked his hand away from the credit card reader never seeing anything like it in his world.

“Get out of here kid, what are you drunk? Now get out of….”


“Let me get you a glass of water.” Lem’s mother scurried off to the water bucket sitting on the main table.

Watching her back as she hurried across the one room house Lem realized she didn’t know he had left, left twice to some other place. It was as though he’d never left; he was gone then came back at the same moment. He clearly remembered his mother starting to ask if he was alright, then gone, then back as she finished the sentence.

Twenty years later; in chronologic time.

Working the family farm pulling the last of the root crops in late fall Lem now sole owner since his mother had joined his father in the family cemetery just last month felt the familiar rushing wash.


The market place was busy and buzzing with countless conversations about the holy man’s execution later in the morning. “I hope they burn the lying false prophet, a pox on his soul.” A ragged old man shouted in the face of a heavily robed man. “You’re an old fool you wouldn’t know a false prophet if he kicked you in your ass.” The robed man pushed him a side. Lem stepped out of the man’s way also, he’d been looking for a way out of the market place its narrow lanes and countless stalls wound in circles. He’d been in this place and time for months, having to learn and adjust to this way of life and try to find ways to feed himself.

There seemed to be a steady flow of people all heading in one way. Lem joined the flow hoping it would take him outside of the market and into the city to an area he hadn’t been in before. The crowd slowed and spread out in what appeared to be a huge town square one end opening out into rolling hills along a wide dirt road. Lem was shocked to see crosses lining the road fading into the far distance. Many of the crosses already occupied by hanging bloody corpses; a huge crowd of people surrounded a cross in the near distance. Lem pushed his way through the crowd getting within fifty yards of the cross. Leagues of Roman soldiers in full battle uniform guarded the road as far as the eye could see; a contingent walked slowly alongside a slender filthy man keeping the crowd back making sure no one gave comfort as he carried his cross upon his back.

“That’s Jesus of Nazareth their going to hang him up!” A feeble old woman croaked pointing a twisted finger towards the man. She smiled a mouth empty of teeth and pushed through the crowd. “I hope he screams like the rest” She muttered as she disappeared fighting her way closer to the cross.

The Roman soldiers kicked the frail looking man to his knees and untied him from the heavy cross. They man handled him and forced him up the scaffolding standing twelve feet in the air. He was held tight as a soldier pounded a metal nail through his right hand pinning him to the cross arm. The man Jesus hung his head down on his chest making not a sound as his other hand and feet crossed at the ankles were pinned with nail to board.


Lem shuddered and shook his head; He’d been all over the world, sometimes at a place for mere seconds and others for months. He smoothed the dirt from the hole he’d pulled a radish from and looked up at the glazing sun; he wondered where he’d be going next.

From the Ramblings


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