thurs free writing

I’ve been wanting to type out some free writing I’ve had down in my notebook for a while. I started with some dialogue relating to this ‘House of Two Bears” story I wrote years back. I’ve been wanting so badly to get back to this story and break it open into a wider story. And recently an idea came late at night—some notes I wrote down while half asleep into an email on my Blackberry.

This is what I wrote: It’s a way out of whatever awful life you’ve come to find yourself in.

Odd sentence but I imagine Two Bears is leading Santiago into another world—a world of dreams and of the unconscious. The Hopi religious view of four sustained worlds their people have emigrated out of into this world. Something like that. And I forgot about it until I was going over some student emails on my phone. I’ve wanted to get back into the fictive space of Santiago and Two Bears but I’ve had some problems. I’ve been reading Bradbury and Frank Waters and have wanted to bring these two sources together for a while but just the other day the characters started talking to me again. No idea what this little exercise means but it felt good to get down some dialogue:

Santiago. Cowboy. Think of it as a doorway out of the painful life you find yourself in. A world where nothing is hidden from you. The dead walk amongst us and where we must face our most fearsome outcomes. A spirit world that supports this world—holds this world. You don’t really believe you have nothing to hide from this world do you? You are not a foolish man. This I trust.

What else will I find your people’s world? Santiago asks.

What is lost to you in this world, Charro.

Dead people?

Living people. Ones lost to you. Family Friends. Those that are just dead meat and buried to you. Here they are not buried. They live and breathe. They tell secrets and know nothing of your world lost to them. They are at peace and travelling—always travelling on our thoughts and whispers. The see lies and truths. Truths forgotten and dead.


At times. My people say they are rebuilding what was lost to them. Searching for you. To them you are the lost one. That is why they came to you in the dream. Your sister and wife. They need you to find something lost from them. Some pain they are carrying brings them to you. It is hard for me to explain. They have all the answers.

This is crazy—

I believe. The way you believe in La Virgen. I believe in this world. And so will you. You will see. They;’ve chosen you. That much is certain. This world wouldn’t be the way it is without them.

My world. You mean my horse and my work. This world is harsh and cold—diseased and filled with struggle. Winters that out last wood piles. My sister’s lives were cut short from disease—

It would be worse without them supporting, Cowboy. Trust me. They hold this world support her. They hold the mountain up. The seasons blow in on their voices and breathe and work. The horses muscle comes from their muscle—the muscle of all dead mustangs and geldings your people have worked into the ground. Thoughtlessly worked or hurt during your Charro ceremonies. The children of this world laugh and sing their games and songs because of lost children. It all builds off one another. They are the hidden hands of this world.

I don’t know what you say—

Think of it this way. Winter kills for others to be reborn in the spring. You see that don’t you? The balance of season’s changing. It is like that to us. They pull it all into being The Otherworlds make it all so.

How many worlds are there Two Bears?

There are four that belong to my people. But there is one for each of us. This is your Otherworld. I am just a visitor.

What about your wife? You’re leaving her behind to follow me.

She lives for me. And I live for her. But she believes as I believe and she will wait. As I have waited for her. She knows it is important to convince those who do not believe. You could not do this alone.

Why me?

You have the build. The holy men said so. Don’t you remember? They see and now so must you.

I am not your kind.

That doesn’t matter. You’ve seen so much as it is. You cannot deny. And we are all each other’s kind, Charro. Those constructions of differences are ours to give from this world. We can take them back if we decide. Do not look at where the world stops off. But where the next begins and you will see.

(Note: I still need to have some anxiety element from Santiago so that Two Bears will follow him/chase after him closer to four corners area while Santiago struggles with this idea. Perhaps Two Bears follows him and then Santiago drinks himself into a horse riding accident and Two Bears saves him. What would Two Bears and Santiago find in another world of the Hopi? Utes still living in Colorado in peace instead of kicked out. Santiago’s wife and sister alive to answer questions. Grandfathers and Fathers and all types of family to answer questions. Perhaps something dark concerning the death of his sister. Something like that.)

Published by

john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

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