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keeper.of.all.secrets.peperonity.net

Because of that, the prosecuting attorney told the

judge I was a hostile witness, yet I had been hostile to no one.

In fact, hostility was a passion averse to, unembraced by. my chosen profession, for I was an ordained Episcopal minister.
In truth, being the child of immigrant parents, I still spoke of myself as an Anglican minister and even more, a Church of England minister, although Great Britain was neither my parents' original homeland nor mine, for, truth be told, I was not born here either and came here as an immigrant child - rather an immigrant teenager - with my parents.
Although the good book and our Lord said that a prophet is never honoured in his own land, if I was in the commonwealth island of my birth, I would be treated as an equal with - and by - the judge,
though, in his courtroom, he would be, like the Archbishop of Canturbury among the anglican fellowship, 'first among equals'.
In this courtroom I was not given such honour; the judge here was like some judicial pope, pronouncing unchallenged utterances on matters of law as his papal countepart speaks ex cathedra - from the chair - authoritatively and supposedly infallibly on matters of faith.
Here I was being treated as a hostile witness and also being treated with hostility by both judge and prosecuting attorney, or district attorney, or 'D.A.' as he called himself.
I was being threatened with all manner of absurd charges, from sublime to the ridiculous, including contempt, co-conspiracy - what seemed like a tautologous composition - and imprisonment.
If they could have deported me they would have - or worse - excommunicate me; even so, they did as much as they could and the end result would be the same - eventually - as they secretly desired - though only in regard to myself and not the accused.
The 'D.A.' and I got off to bad start, though he did not realise - as he would have - if indeed I had truly been as hostile or comteptible as they - himself and the judge respectively - portrayed me to the courtroom.
He kept reminding me of what I thought was obvious: that I was protestant minister and not Roman Catholic and not bound by any commitments to be the keeper of any confessional secrets, if that had happened, which could have been possible since the supposed crime took place in the vicinity of the church, although being episcopal - and not high church - had no romish confessional in it.
Worse than that he used what he thought was my full name to illustrate a point to the jury:
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," he had started, "the accused Brankson Q. Long a.k.a. "Bronco" a.k.a. "Bronx"
and the sole witness to his crime, Reverend Brooke Lynne Hyland are as far apart and different from each other as Brooklyn and Bronx... as their names suggest."
Bronx and Brooklyn, in fact, didn't seem that far apart to me or even that much different.
More than that, he used my christian names which I had stopped using many years ago, substituting the initials "B.L" for them. I was named - as were many siblings, before me and after, for some great grand uncles and aunts children of a great, great couple who was so fascinated with New York that they gave their children names symbolic of their fascination - even changing their surnames legally - to reflect it and starting a trend and tradition that has become a curse and - I suspect - a divine joke.
So I have cousins, aunts and uncles with names like Staten and Lang Hyland, even though the new family had been York, but we are cursed to unfortunately always meet, fall in love and marry people who bring us through their names or the coining of it with ours bring us right back to our New York connection.
It is a kind of family - or, as the religious like to describe it, generational - curse.
So in my family, there are the Quinns, the Burrowes, the Fyffe-Burrowes, and people think the greatest turmoil of my romantic life had to do with the marital status of a divorced woman I had once fallen in love with, when it in fact had to do more with her name, which she was insistent on keeping in addition to my own:
Her name was Mrs. Deborah Hoffmann-Hatton and she would have become Mrs. Deborah Hoffmann-Hatton-Hyland. We never got married and I eventually married my lovely, late wife Quinsie-Anne Statton[-Hyland]; may her soul rest in peace and God grant her eternal rest and let light perpetual shine upon her.
I was named after an uncle who was surnamed Lynne and christianed Brooke, but by the time I started attending high school at age 11 both names had taken on feminine associations, and result in much harassment, teasing, bullying, fights both injurious emotionally and physically;
for I fought admirablly I was always defeated until my cousin who was a year older, and attending the same high school put an end to that.
He had a reputation as a rebellious delinquent, a respecter of neither rules nor regulations, PRINCIPALites or powers, and equally adept with his fists as well as his feet, and not to run or to retreat, never accepting, nor ever knowing, defeat, and as skill with a stone, a piece of stray lumber, or a broken bottle neck as he was with a switchblade.
If you did not know, nor respect his reputation, he was quick, willing, and able, to impart that knowledge to you, and not sparingly too, for he was painstaking teacher, believing in that age-old Caribbean adage: "who can't learn must feel!"
I suspect he purposely performed badly scholastically in his third year that he would kept back an extra year and be able to continue his guardian-angelic protection for an extra year and my final three years of high school.
His protection continued beyond schoolyears, schooldays and schoolgates. He was a adopted child, teenager and man of the streets, preferring the wealth of knowledge gained in the streets to the regimentality of school or the luxuries his father - my mother's brother - showered him in their expansive, expensive, upscale, uptown home.
The knowledge he gleaned from the streets, he rarely shared, except on few occasions with me, as he aimed to teach me not only power of knowledge but, like some gnostic high priest, the power of secret knowledge and make me into what he already was: the Keeper of all Secrets.
As a child, in his sojourns and journeys, he encountered many a married uncle's car parked where it should not be, maybe a single lady's home, maybe a married lady's home, maybe too late at night, maybe too early at morning,
maybe when they should have been at home, or at work, overseeing some latenight, overtime construction site project, or rehearsals for some soon-to-be-opened play, or playing a cricket match, or having drinks with the boys, at a pub, a bar, the racehorse track or Sunday morning at church celebrating Mass.
Like a ghost, or angel or demon, he made himself visible sometimes to them, his silent apparation, earning their approval, favour or silence - when necessary - in future family squabbles, quarrels and discussions that involved him.
As he grew older he would extend this method into the arms the political, the legal, the judicial and even the religious. He was soon the Keeper of Secrets for lawyers and judges, politicians, policemen and priests, for all those who had their extra-marital, criminal, even homosexual skeletons hid in their closets. And his.
My late mother too had been an adept keeper of secrets. Maybe it was in our blood, in our genes, in our ancient french noblesse lineage, for I learned quickly and even as this prosecuting attorney badgered me I maintained my unavowed silence.
The dead man had been no saint, no innocent martyr; maybe if I had told them the truth about him, it would have helped; helped me, even if not the accused, for I was eventually jailed for contempt of court.
'He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth...' [Isaiah 53:7] That whole chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy about Jesus but that day it seemed to refer to me.
I could neither be deported by the Government or ex-communicated by the Church but in the midst of my New York notoriety, I afterward left that episcopal church for an anglican church in the Caribbean island where I was born and still a citizen even if I didn't - which I did anyway - renounce the other citizenship.
The accused killer, whose weapon - maybe a switchblade, maybe a broken bottle neck - was never found, went free, as I was the only - but silent - witness to the crime.
I eventually married my long-lost, ex-love Debbie Hoffman, who, with her ex-husband now dead, is now officially a widower in the eyes of the church, and read of my travails and troubles in the New York newspapers, and came to offer support and comfort, during my short stay behind bars.
Her name does not matter to me because I have changed mine to one of my scottish forbears,
instead of Brooke Lynne Long-Hyland, which the prosecuting attorney, if he had done his research thoroughly, would have been my actual, full name, which my mother, keeping and hyphenating her maiden name - Long - with my father's - Hyland - and encumbering me further with it.
Maybe then, he would have thought as you might be thinking, that the accused "Bronx" Long may be a relation of mine.
Maybe he is that protective cousin I mentioned before, protecting me even still from attacker, crackhead, robber, killer lying in wait in the shadows of episcopal churchyards to prey on unsuspecting clerics and passersby. Maybe...

But you will never know; although I do; but I will never say, because, because, like my mother before me, and my cousin, free, on his adopted streets, I am the Keeper of All Secrets.


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