Unto Each a Name By Jeremy R Walker

On the Flight into exile I was not alone yet it seemed that everyone of us was Isolated in a shroud of our own mourning no one talked on the 2 hour flight the pilots announcements even sounded subdued and somber

Day one in exile I woke up this afternoon with a first class hangover after a few minutes I go through my checklist of symptoms light sensitivity I crack an eyelid open ,check Pounding headache , check nausea check hazy recollections of the previous night , check waking up in a strange place , check clutching a beer bottle check mouth that feels like an ashtray , check did I go for bonus points ? I look at my wrists no hand cuffs that's good no wedding ring that's good no one beside me that's bad it seems I am in a hotel room reserve a option on third bonus point after reviewing my points I realize for a middle aged man I can still score pretty well on the frat boy scale . I get together enough self respect and motivation to get to the shower and get cleaned up I go down to the lobby to get a restaurant recommendation . as I exit the elevator I am greeted by a cheer from the desk clerk who has a cheery yellow color pattern that is set off with a pale blue tracery. I take a bow I ask Miss what was the ovation for she says my name is Lisa I saw you come in last night You were singing something bluesy and you were drunk and cheerful .

I ask where I can still get a good breakfast she says your in luck the hotel restaurant serves the best breakfast in town and she points me to the dining room I find a good table in a dim back corner when my waiter comes to get my order he says my name is Leon . what would you like this morning ? then looks at me a second time smiles and says man you put on a great performance last night . I say the recollections are kind of dim but I do remember some . He says I knew that might be the case but you really have a good singing voice . I paled as I said Karaoke? He nodded and said you were good you even had a beat up fedora for the Billy Joel set . I think you still have drinks paid for at the bar just talk to the bartender at Splash of Color . he goes by Jackson and his pattern looks like a Jackson Pollack painting I thank my waiter . I wait uneasily for my breakfast of steak and eggs . when he comes back with my order I eat quickly . I pay my bill leaving a nice tip

Day 3 in exile

Today was a joyous day Rose called me and we met for lunch she wore a tank top which allowed me to see her colors the pattern was unmistakably hers swirls of yellow , Red , Purple , and green with a bold blue black pattern from her elbows to her wrists I do not think anyone but her could have worn the colors as well on her it to me it's beautiful . Her face was untouched by the play of color that she said covered the rest of her body I told her how beautiful I thought it looked then when she blushed I saw a swirl of red and yellow . after lunch I asked her to find any of our mutual friends that are here I want to reunite and catch up with any who are here . she says uncertainly even Matthew? I tell her especially Matthew . She says she will lookup everyone of our mutual friends we don't get to catch up much that day Although I did get the chance to tell her how much she has meant to me all the years we have known each other

Day 15 in exile

Rose calls me and says she is picking me up for a party a friend she tells me her friend Lori has announced that she has gotten her colors I ask is there anything I should bring she tells me no only people who have their colors need to bring anything , as a cultural anthropologist this pokes my professional curiosity because celebrations are important to all cultures . In my studies it has always been where I like to start my research or field work I was the first anthropologist to recognize the send off party for what it is a celebration similar to a wake or other mourning rituals based upon the persons cultural & religious background

Rose arrives at my door that night wearing a loose fitting pastel pink toga I ask her before we leave for the party " Should I go as Nero " she says " no you don't have your colors yet casual is best though " her comment pokes my professional curiosity again . when we arrive I received a surprise that made me pause the room was a riot of colors all on naked bodies then Rose casually hands me something and says can you hang this up for me while I go help Lori get ready . I look in my hand to discover her pastel pink toga in my hand then I feel her body against my back as she whispers in my ear don't stare its not polite then she kisses me on the cheek and walks through the crowd. I was impolite however I figured I would apologize to Rose later . what else could I do after that except what she asked so I went and hung up Rose's toga and went to find some refreshments and maybe a drink .

after five minutes as I am going for a refill on my drink I feel a delicate hand on my shoulder I turn expecting Rose only to be pleasantly surprised to see Donna immediately she hugs me when she releases me she says I thought it was you staring like an idiot after Rose I blush and stammer momentarily s-s-she didn't tell me anything about the party except that Lori was getting her colors. Donna's laugh sounds to me like bubbles of champagne delicate , soft , lively & intoxicating she then asks me what I think of her colors she pirouettes I say it looks like you stepped out of a Georges Seurat painting with all those many colored freckles she says your so sweet and she hugs me close and kisses me on the cheek. I tell her How I met her sister after so many years and how she came to my send of party . part way through my recitation of events she says that her sister e-mailed her and said to be on the look out for me I ask did she tell you that I have a letter from her I joke I would give it to you but I don't know where you would put it . She laughs and says how about we meet for lunch sometime she Gives me her Email address . Just then Rose rejoins me and tells us that Lori is about to reveal her colors

Four large muscular men dressed in plain white hooded robes carry a cobalt blue throne with a woman that has her back to the crowd the men proceed to the stage the woman's hair is a halo of vibrant red the men turn the throne around she is wearing a flowing crimson robe trimmed in gold the most startling thing was her eyes a dark blue with an iridescent star in place of a pupil it looked as if some one replaced her eyes with deep dark blue star sapphires the effect was startling & magnificent . almost everyone in the room gasped she rose form the throne without a word strode forward out of her crimson robe and for the briefest of moments the robe refused to fall . her colors went from red to a purple in a Celtic type of knot work design highlighted in a bronze & gold body paint .

she spoke in a smooth and confident voice "I have been reborn I leave all sorrows of my former life behind treasuring the lessons learned I ask only for a life to make my own. " she takes a regal stride down the steps of the stage then says lets start this life with a party . later during the party Rose introduced me to Lori by then she had taken out the contacts that had made her eyes so startling now her eyes are a pleasant sea foam green . I told her How impressed I was with her entrance . she said it has been a kind of tradition here to let out your inner drama Geek when she used the word Tradition I asked if many of these events are visually recorded . she said why do you ask I tell her I was a anthropologist before I was diagnosed I wrote the first anthropology article on the send off parties she said I read those articles they were a brilliant insight . the next thing I read about you was that your tenure was not renewed and you disappeared . she said you know all the articles you have written are read widely here I asked really? The only one that got any notice by the press was Mourning Ritual the Three days to Exile. I had to rewrite that twice before I could get it published I am so glad the others are being read so I don't come off as an condescending rats ass the way most of academia does . she laughed at the venom that I injected into the word academia and said weren't you a professor . I laughed and said much to my dismay & annoyance I preferred field research she said you will have plenty to research here she handed me a card with her contact information and said I would like to pick your brain sometime call me next week sometime then she left to mingle with her other guests a couple hours later Rose and I left as the party was winding down . and all I could think was this an interesting start to a new life.