What Happened That Day Part 4 and Epilogue

by nielskunze on November 7, 2014

(Go to Part 3)

(Author Narration with musical accompaniment)

“I killed Jake.”

I said it aloud at least once to Mitch, and perhaps a few times more to select individuals. Fortunately, the police and the coroner didn’t see it that way. The cause of death was determined to be severe head trauma, and clearly I had played no part in any such physical violence. The river had done that.

But I had purchased the ayahuasca. I had measured and mixed the components. I had handed the gelcap to Jake. That, already, was enough to make me feel responsible. But additionally, I had been 35 years old, whereas Jake was only 19. I was supposed to know better. We had been in my territory, my backyard. I had led us into danger… I was culpable.

Guilt is an ingrained habit of our culture. For every mishap there is someone or something to blame. For a time, I assumed the mantel of condemnation– if not outwardly, then assuredly on the inside. After all, this was a big event; such an occasion couldn’t possibly manifest without blame, could it?

As much as I inwardly insisted that I was at fault, there was another part of me which persisted in communicating that I was not. That other part of me is reluctant to use words, for they can be so easily misconstrued… in their subtle ambiguities. That other part of me is that part which is responsible for crafting my dreams as I sleep at night. But my nightly dreams were not haunted. Instead, I was provided with a daytime vision.

As I’ve said before, I’m not usually one prone to visions, but this one was clamorously obstinate in its persistence. I can’t even begin to guess how many times that brief clip played continuously upon the inner screen of my mind.

What I saw over and over again was Jake standing on the Point with his back to the river’s main current. Suddenly his spirit simply flew out through the top of his head, and his vacated body just fell back into the torrent. What do I mean by “his spirit simply flew out through the top of his head”? Visually I saw a diaphanous and malleable Jake emerge from his crown, much like a genie escaping his lamp. His spirit flew up; more than that I cannot say, for I was focused on the body falling in the river… That was the reality I would have to deal with– his vacated body; his spirit was beyond my ken.

And that’s where I finally found solace. Jake’s spirit was always beyond my ken, outside of my responsibility, equally so when animating the body known as Jake as when not. It would be presumptuous and inappropriate for me to assume responsibility for the choices Jake made on that day… or on any other.

We are all, each of us, on a journey of consciousness… through the landscape of our choices. My current understanding is that the journey is never-ending.

We may never know exactly what happened that day, but now I have told all that I know.


Just as I laid this story to rest, an unexpected thing happened. For the past twelve years there has been a memorial site maintained out by Dutch Creek at the very spot where Jake’s life was claimed by the river.

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Myself, Mitch and another friend had discovered a very unique rock that was in the exact shape of a chair. It was a big rock which took all of our strength and skill with a lever and fulcrum to maneuver into position beside the river. Once in place, we dubbed it the Rockalounger 2000.

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We placed it there for Jake’s spirit. It wasn’t all that close to the river’s edge, and I don’t think any of us ever imagined that it could one day be swept away. Today, July 1, 2013, it is gone. The river has reclaimed it.

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The river itself has placed the final punctuation at the end of this tale. Apparently, this matter is now closed.

Addendum (The end; I swear!)

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