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top of the mountain

so we were in the car together, Lorrie driving, Sandy in the back seat, the humidity from the Southwest Florida night seeping in through the cracks in the car windows. And it was quiet for a moment, and the lull in the conversation prompted Lorrie to ask, “so if you had an Indian name, what would it be?” and I was completely lost by the introduction of this question, I mean, where did it come from and what kind of Indian name was she talking about? Sequoia? And then Sandy says, “you mean like ‘Fucking Dogs?’, and Lorrie laughs and says yes, a name like Running Bear or Soaring Eagle. So sandy didn’t think Fucking Dogs should be her name, so she came up with “Teacher of Children,” and I thought for a moment, tried to encapsulate my life one catchy little phrase, and finally I came up with “One who Rests at Top of Mountain.” Lorrie then explained to us that the names were actually given to Indian boys as a rite to manhood by a mentor of theirs, often a grandfather-figure, and the name was a reminder to them of what they should become. So I changed mine to “Patient One,” but you know, looking back at that night, driving through the musty sticky night, I still think that it is better to say that I shall rest at the top of the mountain.

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