Monday, January 10, 2011

Chapter 7: A Short History, Part One

Cabinville was founded almost by accident, really, by a man named Silas Hiccup. He was a trapper and fur trader who was unsuccessful at his trade, and after nearly starving to death by the fealty of his trade, decided to give it up and settle down. He had seen many cut-throats and nearly had his cut many times for those pelts that dangle and decided to live with the knowledge that he was alive. Because he was a resourceful person, it wasn't hard for him to live on his own, removed from all other human beings. So, as he was passing through a mountain range, that was passed through by the rare, and somewhat lost, misfit, he settled on a glen in the knuckle on the hand of some of the most forbidding terrain. The land, however, was quite fertile.

Silas heard percussion in his head at all times. When he was awake it would beat sporadically and sometimes keep rhythm to a tune, and when he was sleeping it pounded in a random syncopation with his heartbeat often peppering his dream with a melodious rhythm.

He loved growing things and had carried seeds he bought in Denver with him and when he planted them they grew in abundance and he was able to save the seeds from those plants and keep growing from year to year. He ate the random foul he caught in snares he set along the grange brush.

Silas stood 5'4" inches without his shoes. His hair was 5'2" long so that he had to tuck some of it in his trousers. His beard too was long and sometimes got hung up between his legs when he walked. Both were colored liked coils of copper mixed with strands of cotton. He wore trousers tanned from deer hide. His eyes were of the lightest brown that could be mistaken for yellow. In the winter he would often go without a coat. His body often ran a fever and hardly did he ever perspire. Often he would cry uncontrolled by nothing but a baby bird learning to fly or the pregnant gypsy moth cocoon. He loved animals and hated to have to kill them for food. He devised many ways to kill them where he needn't be around to see it. He knew this wasn't normal but either was his living completely apart from humanity.

His first cabin was made of spruce logs that were very beautiful and majestic. He had to inch them together and pitch them in place without oxen or the appropriate tools. The cabin was squat but wonderfully habitable. It had a chimney with bricks he fired into form himself in a large pit it took him three months to dig.

After the first five years he grew accustom to being perfectly alone. He was never alone. The vastness of everything touched him in every aspect until being alone meant being with everything until nothingness disappeared and happiness was nothing but everything. So when the first strangers came into his camp some twenty years into his existing alone he could not see them different from a tree, a bee, a butterfly or a seed.

This first group of human beings to wander into his camp were of Dutch decent. They had come directly from Holland to the New World and as they took themselves to be explorers set off into the the world of the unknown until they found themselves completely lost.

They found Silas writing in a book he made of some soft wood shavings. At that moment he was writing this: "I haven't written in you for some time and I'm not sure I'll get around to it again.." These were the first words written in this book. When the Dutch buried him in a coarse rocky grave some six months later they chiseled this on one of the stones not at all knowing what they were writing.