The following week went so slow for Gabe and his papa. Shane held little meetings with Gabe, every night, at half past seven. Topics centered around 3:33 pm and where they would both be on Wednesday. On a scale of 1 to holy shit, this had the needle in the red and vibrating frantically, as if it too were scared. All the meetings ended with an 11 second hug and the Fin men looking at each others eyes and saying simultaneously “Maybe we will go.” They really had no idea, and would not venture a yes or a no.

Shane woke up first on Wednesday. As he sat up in bed, he yawned out a “Holy shit” that was questioned by mama Fin. “Oh nothing” Shane giggled out. At the breakfast table Gabe was all smiles and this caused Shane to start laughing uncontrollably, which sent Gabe into the laughing frenzy circle also.  They both knew they were going to be in that tower at 3:33 pm.

At 2:43 pm Gabe and Shane were mending a fence that a steer had seen fit to itch its back on. For two guys that were about to embark on a crazy adventure, they were both pretty calm. Gabe looks at his father and asks him if he bought any peanut butter. Shane smiled and informed Gabe that he had purchased 23 big jars of Peanut Smashers peanut butter. Gabe laughed and blurted out the Peanut Smasher song:

“We are your friend in any land, our giant peanuts are in demand, we are so creamy you don’t need jelly, just get us in you belly!” They both laughed.

It was 3:30 pm and the Fin men sat there in the tower with their peanut butter gift. Gabe was worried because there was not a cloud in the sky. It was now 3:33 pm and nothing was happening. Gabe turned to his father to ask what they should do. His father, and the peanut butter, had disappeared! “What the heck?” Gabe said anxiously. “I am the essential one!” Then, Gabe felt his body vibrate and he heard the wind whistle like a thousand Loons.

Gabe found himself at the head of a long, marble table. The table was blue and vibrated, like the envelope. When he was done looking at the table, he glanced up and saw Shane, floating in a giant teardrop. Gabe heard his father communicating to him… without sound. Gabe was a little freaked out but his father assured him everything was cool. Shane explained that the teardrop was a precautionary measure for older humans. “Pay attention son, look across the table.” Shane messaged to Gabe.

When Gabe looked across the table he saw something he could never erase from his memory: an elephant with peanut butter covering its trunk. “This is so good, and I can only eat it when I take solid form, which is not often my little man.” Gabe was blown away, his mind was exploding.

“What is your name sir?” Gabe politely asked the elephant in the room.

“It certainly is not Cilantro Pig Fucker!” voiced the peanut packing Pachyderm. Gabe was trying to act at a sophistication level far above his youth, but he lost control at the remark. With every laugh, Gabe felt more empowered with positive thoughts and kindness.

“My name is Ganoogle Port Lava” the elephant uttered, through peanut butter wisps of air. Seriously, he has gone through 17 of the jars already. This caused the entire room to smell like the inside of a peanut. “I can’t take it with me, so it all goes down now. The funny part is that I still fart in my other form and it disgusts the gods and entities to no end. I love it.” Ganoogle Port Lava had Gabe holding his sides.

“This feeling you have now Gabe, it has always been within you. The world has formed a shell over most humans so that they cannot tap into this powerful feeling.” Ganoogle had a serious tone now. “This meeting has been set up to relay a most important message to you Gabe.”

“What is it? What do you need me here for? I like it and I am having so much fun, but what is the message Ganoogle?” Gabe was feeling anxious.

All of a sudden the blue marble table had red lines, green lines, yellow bubbles and pink squares. Gabe and Shane were mesmerized at this very organic scene. “I talked with your father already. The 9 foot line represents a thousand years. If you look at the first yellow bubble, that’s you, Gabe. The yellow bubbles that follow you are all direct descendants of you. The pink squares represent challenges, obstacles, and general feelings other than joy that you will experience. It looks like a lot, but it covers everything, even being upset at a cashier, so don’t let it overwhelm you.” Ganoogle just finished up his twentieth jar of Peanut Smashers peanut butter.

Gabe asked what the green and red lines represented. “The green line is what happens if you listen to me. As you can see, it is straight and smooth. That’s not just for you, it’s for everyone you will ever come in contact with also.” Ganoogle knew the red line was going to upset Gabe, but it had to be explained. “The red line is what happens if you do not take my advice, and it is just advice… the most important advice you will ever receive. You see Gabe, your life will dramatically affect the genetic code of your entire lineage.” Ganoogle was pointing at Gabe with his peanut butter covered trunk, not knowing that the validity of his statements were being slightly judged on his messiness.

Gabe had to know why him? Seriously, this is so much pressure. What is the task? Will it take his life to a dark place of not making his own decisions? “Why me?” Gabe blurted out with the seriousness of a mother waiting up for her dating daughter.

“Simple,” Ganoogle stated. “You’re the middle of greater than and less than, the center of yin and yang, the dot that marks the halfway point on every map of every journey from life to death, from start to finish, up and down… you Gabe, are the balance.” Ganoogle let out a huge fart, simply not understanding how inappropriate that smelly gust of elephant ass was at this moment. Quite honestly, as the concerned author, I don’t believe there is a welcomed venue that smell.

Gabe had his face buried in his armpit, that fart was the worst thing he had ever smelled. It was worse than dad’s diarrhea smell when he had the flu, and worse than the smell of cleaning the chicken coop.

“So what is this crazy mission I have to do? What incredible feat must I live up to in order to tip the scale a fraction to the side of happiness, justice, and all natural law? I want to help you, the world, the universe, but I am a teenager with acne and I am bad at math. I don’t get picked last for sports, but I am fucking close.” Shane was stunned at all that was going on but the sewage language pulled him out of his trance and right back into father mode.

“Gabe, you never verbally swear! What gives?” Shane was nervous too.

“Well, I am scared dad. Scared of what I am about to face for the rest of my life. Scared for my family tree, mainly the kids I will have.” Gabe was sullen as he looked at Ganoogle and whispered “What must I do?”

As Ganoogle opened his twenty-second jar, he looked straight into Gabe’s eyes and said “Smile.” Gabe laughed at this request.

“That’s it? Smile? That tips the scales? Yin and Yang? The middle of every journey?” Gabe felt that a great joke had been played on him.

“Yeah! What the fuck Ganoogle?” Shane impulsively yelled out.

“You humans,” Ganoogle started “have forgotten the power that exists in a smile. In a lifetime of 70 years a smile will change the lives of millions upon millions of humans. It travels from face to face but it has to originate in the heart, after being granted by the soul. There is nothing more powerful and moving than the smile. If world leaders stood toe to toe and smiled at each other with intent, there would have been no wars. So smile you Cilantro pig fuckers! Smile!”

At that moment, the Fin men got it. The blue marble table only had a green line now and Ganoogle thanked them for the peanut butter, throwing the last jar to them. “I can’t take it with me, so enjoy!” And just like that Ganoogle was gone. The Fin men glanced around the room and admired art that the earth had never seen. Then vibration and the sound of a thousand Loons was entering and just like that the Fins were back in the tower.

Gabe asked his father why he had gone before him and Shane told him. “I was shown what happens to us in death, son. In order for you to keep smiling after I am gone, I must inform you of all that I learned. For now, let’s get down for dinner and hug mama Fin.”

Both of them smiled and life continued as normal life does, and they were conscious of reminding each other to smile. They both stayed true, and every once in a while one of them would say “Ganoogle farts,” and they would bust a gut laughing.

The End