Monday, December 1, 2014

heart attack in the Tabernacle

a Lohbado graphic
Lohbado’s first vivid memory goes back to when Lohbado was four. Lohbado’s birth name was Peter Stumps, son of the Reverend Stonehenge and Rosemary Stumps. At four, Peter Stumps saw his grandfather, Reverend Woodlot Stumps, pacing up and down the hall of the tabernacle next door to where two generations of the Stumps family lived. Grandfather staggered about, his shirt open, bathed in sweat, a funny look on his face, a wry grin, as if he was laughing at something that wasn't funny. 

At the age of four, Peter Stumps knew something was not right about his grandfather’s smile that afternoon as he stomped about the Church of the Living Monument in agony. Years later, he figured out what was going on. Grandfather Woodlot had a heart attack. It lasted several hours. He got up, then collapsed on the sofa in his office, then got up again, groaned, stuck his head under the tap and gulped water, gazed around like a drunken man gasping for breath. 

He went to the hospital when his legs swelled up, edema. He stayed in a rest home for two weeks. He was told to take pills to make him pee out the fluid in his legs.  It was painful to get up and go to the toilet with swollen legs. The boredom and discomfort became unbearable, total misery. When his legs returned to normal, he went home. His body weakened. 

Woodlot had little patience. One night, in a rage of depression, he cut himself open with a hunting knife. He gutted himself with the knife he used to gut moose, deer, bear, plus various small animals and birds. His intestines spilled out on the floor, under his oak desk. Woodlot's head rested on the desk. 

Grandmother felt relieved after her husband died. A huge weight removed, she could relax without being criticized or blamed. She couldn’t stand his insolent look, the unconcealed mockery. He felt everything she did was baloney. He felt she was nuts. Nothing she did made any sense to Woodlot. The radiation of hate went away when they buried the corpse of Woodlot. No more verbal abuse and temper tantrums. His cynical deadbeat attitude, no joy in anything got on her nerves. She would never have to listened again to his nihilistic proclamations that he was selfish and all people were selfish. He loved exclaiming that he didn’t give a shit about anyone. He didn’t care about Aida or the children or grandchildren. As far as he was concerned, people were things, driven by lust, greed and hunger for power. You died and that’s it. Woodlot took pleasure in groaning that life was pointless.

The reason he remained a preacher for so long was because it was a job. Jobs were hard to get. As a young man, he sort of believed in god. He felt spiritual yearning. He knew how to preach. But then he became bitter and disillusioned. People stopped going to church. Religion became unpopular. He felt trapped in a dead end job, plus he stopped believing in god. At the age of forty, he reached the end of the road and sank into a depressive inertia which lasted until he got a heart attack and disemboweled himself.

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