night 150
the ballad of nechai

"You really think I would have invited you over
for coffee if you had demons following you?"
- Nechai.
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Hyde Memorial Park:
Elevation: Over 7000 ft
Temperature: Way cold
Other campers: 3
Angels: 2 Battalions

Claim to Fame: Our coldest night yet, including Yellowstone. And, one of the strangest dudes we've ever met, Nechai. How strange? Read on...

The Ballad of Nechai
By the end of the day we had reached Santa Fe,
  We had come to the end of our drive.
"There's a park right nearby," spaketh Aimee the guide,
  "Up the mountain, a mile or five."
We ascended the hill with adventurer's will
  To a night we might never survive...

For tonight we meet Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   For tonight we meet Nechai,
      and be happy to get out alive.

The fuel tank read nil, near the top of the hill,
  While the snow became higher and higher,
The ground that was white cast a soft eerie light
  And the road ne'er would dance with the tire.
'Ere we drove, always hoping our campground t'were open,
  Warm bedrolls our only desire...

For tonight we meet Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   For tonight we meet Nechai,
      and be welcomed to sit at his fire.

We got out at the top. Campground open? T'was not.
  But was occupied some just the same:
Several cars were there parked, revving heat in the dark,
  Thus the ranger could never us blame.
With our gasoline spent, we rolled out our small tent,
  On a night where the cold would not tame...

From the forest came Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   From the forest came Nechai,
      and the chance to be warmed by a flame.

"That was quick," said the man with a wave of his hand,
  "You set up in three minutes, I'd say,"
He came into the light, shook our hands very tight,
  "From Ontario? That's quite a long way.
"At my site I can offe'ye a fresh pot of coffee
  Which may keep tonight's chill at its bay...

Pleased to meet you, I'm Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Pleased to meet you, I'm Nechai,
      follow me, I will show you the way."

We relinquished our tent to follow this gent
  To the coffee he said he'd provide,
Followed close at his heel, he would quickly reveal
  That his site was a-ways back inside.
We hiked into the white, thinking, "This isn't bright,
  Aft a stranger, following strides...

Perhaps this man Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Perhaps this man Nechai,
      may be crazy, a psychopath, fried."

But, whatever the case, we arrived at his place,
  And not wanting to seem impolite
We made idle chat, about this, about that,
  He's an intriguing person, all right.
We inquired the tale of this int'resting male
  And how he arrived at this site...

And that is when Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   And that is when Nechai,
      began to cause tingles of fright.

"I've grown up all around, camped in fields, lived in towns,
  My parents were gypsies, of course.
"I suppose my homeland may be Turkmenistan,
  I've spent time in a Soviet Armed Force
"You are from Thunder Bay? Yes, I've been up that way
  On my way to the town of Whitehorse..."

As the fire died, Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   As the fire died, Nechai
      began speaking religion and lores.

"I'm a First Temple Jew," he said as if we knew
  What a First Temple Jew was, as such.
"Do you know the Torah? or the Talmudic Law?"
  I had guesses, but not very much.
"The Torah is the word as originally heard,
  Where the Law's just a rabbi's poor crutch...

Until coffee came, Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Until coffee came, Nechai
      had pressed us deep into his clutch.

'Til the water would heat, we could not leave our seat
  Or we'd blatantly seem impolite.
We made a decision: Discuss no more religion
  With people we meet late at night.
Neither of us knowed how we entered that mode
  of discussion; we'd change it on sight

But soon it seemed that Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   But soon it seemed that Nechai
      would keep us there long 'to the night.

We asked him his job: "I, Nechai Gustabov,
  Am a writer, a noble profession."
A writer? How drole! Something normal to hold
  As a topic for quick time progression.
"On what do you write? Books on travel or flight?
  Seems your worldiness could teach a lesson...

No, too simple for Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Too simple for Nechai
      with a darker response to our question.

"They are prophetic books," he replied with a look
  That would darken the heart of a squirrel;
"As a First Temple Jew, those rabbis should have knew
  How the Torah was God's wisdom pearl."
And the light from the fire showed a face ripe with ire
  As he glanced up at me and the girl...

"And God has told Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   And God has told Nechai
      what He shall do to the rest of His world."

"Oops! Hang on a sec," said Nechai, as he checked
  That the water was just about done.
"It's time for some brew," quoth our First Temple Jew,
  As the fire glowed red like the sun.
"I'll just take this off it," spake this man, this prophet,
  While he lifted his pot built for one...

To the table went Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   To the table went Nechai
      as though nothing peculiar'd been done.

We were left there alone by the fire he'd sown
  With a blank look on both of our faces.
Aimee said: "I shall ask about God's coming task;
  How he plans to rid Earth of disgraces."
"No, you're not," Kevin objects, "I'm changing the subject.
  I don't want to find out how God wastes us...

Besides, we're here with Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   No one knows we're with Nechai
      in this most ungodly of places."

'Ungodly,' it seemed, was an odd word I'd dreamed,
  As I'd sooner find out than I thought.
All we wanted to do was to finish his brew
  And return the the campsite we'd bought.
Walking light on his feet, to the fireside's heat
  With two cups and spoons that he brought...

Our coffee from Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Our coffee from Nechai,
      dare we drink... or dare we not?

"So," started me, "since you left your fam'ly,
  You've been trav'ling a lot for one man.
"What's the favourite place for a man of your tastes
  Since you left home in Turkmenistan?
"Was it New York, Nebraska, North Ireland, Alaska,
  The small towns, or something more grand?"

Thrice surprising us Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Thrice spellbinding us Nechai
      told what only he could understand.

"I like being alone," said he, dark'ning his tone,
  "Sometimes being around men is quite frightening.
"After all, what I see can be scary to me,
  Sure as dogs cower during loud lightning.
"When I look at a person, I can see his perversion,
  Possession by demons or nightlings...

Then our talk with Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Then our talk with Nechai
      became even more enlightening....

I see spirits and ghosts, and their blind human hosts.
  I see angels and demons that seek.
I see angel battalions on ghostly white stallions,
  In fact, two, on the top of yon peak.
I see demonic acts behind figures of wax,
  I see devils possessing the weak.

Even my name, Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
   Even my name, Nechai
      calls the spirits, should three times you speak.

We bid him good night, and trekked back to the light
  Since his fire had burned down to ember.
Arrived back at the jeep, we shivered through sleep
  with a lesson we'll always remember...

The name of Nechai, if thrice do you say
The spirits be called from the clouds...

So should you read of Nechai, Nechai, Nechai,
Should you read this ballad of Nechai:
I pray you ne'er read it aloud!

Current Location
(should we still be alive)

Near Santa Fe

Next Stop: Santa Fe

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Tonight's Weather:

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Eat your telltale heart out, Poe.