Stickman Readers' Submissions March 8th, 2004

Under A Full Moon And The Golem Tree Part 10 – The End

Under a Full Moon and the Golem Tree Part 10

Now, Matty was a crazy bastard, full of stories and antics bound to amuse and titillate one and all. Like most of the rest of us he was a mutt, an American mixed breed. Unlike the rest of us half Irish, and half whatever, English, Italian, Polish, German, et cetera, Matty was a step apart. As my friend Big Wayne would say, we were, "a box of mixed donuts". Matty's mix was a bit stranger than most in our circle and neighborhoods. He was half Irish, and half Jewish! A rarer mixed breed than the rest of us he was, and the possessor of an esoteric education most of us had never had the benefit of. He went to Catholic religious schools, AND, Jewish school too for his Hebrew education a couple afternoons a week! He was a smart fucker, and an entertainer to boot. You had to love the guy. His one major fault was his inability to hold his liquor.

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Matty was a silly, sloppy, drunk. Four beers and he would be rolling around on the floor, or ground, or the middle of the fucking street in a snowstorm, or where ever he happened to be when the alcohol finally took hold of his brain, doing his imitation of a baby seal. Comical this can be the first few times, but sadly this was his one and only act once the liquor overcame his senses. He needed watching from the rest of us. We counted his beers. The joints were definitely better for him. This day Matty told us a story about the Golem.

For those who don't know, and weren't there, basically a Golem is a Jewish legend about an image or form that is given life through a magical formula. (I guess any image or form, even a tree.) Usually a Golem takes the form of a robot or automaton. In the Hebrew bible and Talmud the term refers to an "unformed substance". It's present meaning developed in the middle ages, when legends arose of wise men who could instill life in effigies by the use of a charm. The creatures were sometimes believed to offer special protection to Jews. The best known of the Golem stories concerned a Rabbi Low of 16th century Prague, who was said to have created a Golem that he used as his servant.

Matty's Golem story was funny, and scary, and well told, from what I remember of it, I was pretty stoned at the time myself. He made us laugh, and also gave us the chills. He explained that he found this tree in the middle of this small forest when he was trippin' on some brown mescaline, and it, the tree, seemed to have a life of its own, and scared him a bit. So he decided that maybe it was a Golem, and he named it the Golem Tree, and the surrounding wooded area he dubbed Golem Forest. It was ours, and we took to it right away. Golem Forest would become our hang out for the next couple of years, until we all had cars. Our secret hiding place. "Meet us at the Golem Tree" was an oft heard cry.

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When we all saw the tree itself we were amazed. I knew this thickly wooded lot fairly well, having walked past it a million times probably, but only Matty had explored the thickets of trees and bushes and brushy thorn brambles thoroughly, and discovered this bizarre freakish tree right in the center of the two or three acre lot. The bole of the tree was as thick a twenty men, and it's branches were easily reached, the lowest being only maybe four feet off the ground, and themselves as thick through as a fat grown man who loves his beers.

Standing under the tree its circumference must have been a good twenty feet around from its trunk, and the leaves so thick on its limbs that once you climbed up a few feet you were damn near invisible from the ground. We built wooden benches between the thick branches with planks about 15 feet up in the tree, made a storage box for beers and such in the crutch of the trunk where some branches diverged. It was an ugly tree. It was a gruesome and frightening tree. It was great! It was the Golem Tree, and it was ours.

Many an evening was spent in its branches by myself and my friends. We discussed life, love, and the world as we saw it in our young drug and beer addled minds. We were all tight friends, and saw each other almost every day most times. Surfing buddies, musicians, band members, the original skateboarders, athletic hippies, like minds, kindred souls. Drugged out Stonie Burkes enjoying the 60's and early 70's free love, rock and roll, and experimentational and changing society.

Never once did the cops find us in the Golem Tree. It worked a charm. That tree was sacred and haunted. It's spirit friendly to us though. A Golem protector for us all, Jew and non-Jew alike.

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I loved those guys back then. They were good people, stand up guys. Now they are all gone, as is the original Golem Tree. We were scattered to the four corners of the globe, well me a corner of the globe, they a corner of the states. A couple are dead, one in war, one in traffic, most are married, or now divorced, with children, fat, bald, and happy …….hopefully. I wish them all the best in life. I only see two of them now-a-days, and that rarely.

The original Golem Tree was cut down a few years back and mulched to make room for some more houses for the yuppies. Fuck. I hate so-called progress.

I was startled from my reverie by some questions from my wife about the cooking chicken and such on the grill. "You think finish darling?" she asked me. "Huh? Oh, yeah. Maybe another minute. Turn 'em over again for a minute and take 'em off." I instructed her. I swigged on my beer and hovered over the flames to see to the finished product, then we gathered all the foods and wandered over to Sis 2's shop, to sit under the new Golem Tree. Thais would defintely believe in Golems I think. The Golem fits fine here in Isaan, along with all the other ghosts and goblins.

There we sat, happily stuffing our faces and chattering away. Next to me is a woman I love dearly. A Thai woman. Who woulda thought it. Surely not us young mutts as we sat in our Yankee Golem Tree all those years ago. My second wife. Haha! Family and friends surround us now here in Isaan. Our young daughter runs through the twilight, playing with friends of her own. Their shrieking laughter and teasing arguing and whining fills the air.

The full moon glows whitely as it slowly rises through the tropical foliage around the houses nearby. The shifting shadows play games with the Golem Tree and contort it into fiercesome and ghoulish configurations, all quite frightening and Halloween-ish. A feeling of contentment fills me fully, as it used to on occasion as I sat with my friends in that ugly haunting tree when we were so young. We were happy then, as I am happy now.

As I sit here, under a full moon, and the Golem Tree.

The end.


(The Central Scrutinizer)


"Our todays and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Builders


Stickman says:

More Magic From Cent.

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