(written in 2010)
When I awoke, I was attacked by an unexpected flood of light, for where I had left off earlier there was no longer any promise of it. Also, there was an aphrodisiac in the air, titillating every sense of my body, to such an extent to that it made me cringe. Yet, when I looked down, to avoid the brilliant light, I witnessed something truly incredible. For, when I had previously left it, my body was useless, a broken mess of the aspirations I had held for it, but here it had changed to something wonderful, to a thing declaring the joys and expectations I had had abandoned in my grave. I anxiously massaged my body, gently and apologetically, and when I had finished I had realized that I could only have been dead, for there was no feasible means for my old self to work such a miracle. Adjusted to the light, I lifted my head, scanning the ground before me as I did.
I knew where I was, and I knew that I was wrong for what seemed an eternity, yet I could care less for there was a particular beauty to indulge in, a majesty that stole me from the darkness and the troubles of the ordeal before slowly went away in my tears. There were no clouds, no feathered humans of any sort, but a tranquil fir forest where the wind always messaged your scalp and sought to make you feel the tender touch of a woman. The animals, scattered peacefully amongst the roots and the pristine rivers, feared not their proprietor and almost had a magnetic attraction to my call. And there, before me, was a wooden cabin that seemed to denounce the vanity of suburbia and the violence of the urban world. It beckoned me. The grass danced at my feet to welcome me to their perfect domain, to cleanse me of malice and confusion as they fondled my bare feet.
Within the loving abode was a refrigerator, and within it the nourishment I desired, forever-lasting and forever good. There was a mountainous bookshelf surrounding the main room with millennia upon millennia of literature, yet no tasteless smut of any kind to be found on its gleaming shelves. Then again, I no longer felt the overwhelming urge to find it necessary, the humanity of the previous life had been buried with my pitiful body and the catharsis along with it was forever gone. The whole cabin gleamed with the perfection of what it was; my own personal heaven.
There was a knock at the door. I heeded to its call, no longer stupefied by insecurity or the nonsense of mistrust, and found in my doorstep an elderly man with an ancient beard dangling from his comely jaw. The man bore the strength of an army in his posture and in his aura, yet simultaneously portraying the wisdom exceeding that of every book in my petty library and in his green eyes was a kindness impossible to find in the darkness. The door was slammed open by the inundating light, again blinding me in the presence of this man. I did not demand his name, for anger had evanesced from me and been purged by the baptismal wind and grass, but I invited him in with a peaceful gesture to eat with me.
And only then, over some hot chocolate, the taste sanctifying my mouth with its thick richness, and the most decadent tiramisu I had ever experienced, did I ask his name. He replied, in a soothing voice the mirrored the wind’s and a smoothness likewise to the polished wood of the floor, “I am sure you know me by many names. Just pick which ever one is most familiar to you.” Here I was, given the ample opportunity to bring the intellectual works of my life into an emotional implosion, but the ambitions of my intellectuality had left me. I no longer felt the desire to succeed above others, no longer driven to achieve my dreams for they were clearly presented here before me and for that I was grateful. God no longer was my enemy, but an acquaintance over for brunch.
One question came to mind, and only one could ever be more appropriate, “Why am I not in Hell? Why am I able to be granted this happiness?” He sighed dejectedly, as though the question I posed or some horrible phrase in it was a repetitive, yet hurtful, one. He took a sip of his chocolate and looked into my eyes with his so tenderly, the compassion of his maternal nature shining through onto me.
“I’m not really a human, as you might have guessed. You yourself refused to believe I exist. What you see before you is a manifestation of what you hold me to be, what you believe of me, my appearance is subjected to your whim. And not being a mortal, I am not subject to these feelings you have, of passion, pride, ambition, love. I created your world so that I could pass to you what I could never feel.” He took another bite of his tiramisu; the stoic appearance of his face startled me.
I had to inquire to him, “Why do you not rejoice at the delicacy that is this tiramisu. Does it not dance in your mouth like it does mine? Does it not satisfy ever single taste bud on your tongue?”
“Perfection is such a subjective and ever-changing thing. Like the whims of a child, one day they say that one toy will make their life complete and the next it’s the other toy and then another. It comes to the point where perfection becomes mundane and changes; it’s not a real thing. These things used to be delicious and I would love them to death, figuratively speaking, of course. But, after a while, they tasted the same, and the taste was a tired one. Like an old joke you hear once and each successive telling becomes worse and worse. Your feelings, many people will try to say down there, are what make you imperfect, make you unpredictable and evil. They put my name on these allegations and speak in my name. I never said any of that shit. I created that world for you, for the animals, for everything.”
“Are you then saying that you’re not perfect then?” I noticed my tone becoming more monotonous, the energy of my personality was slowly melting away in the absence of my ambition and my passion; of my life. “How could you say that when you have created the darkness and the light, the world and Heaven itself?”
“This is not Heaven. This is what happens after you die. You become me, a lifeless façade trapped in a painting with no way to express yourself, with no passion to do so, with no misery to take inspiration from. I always did admire people like you, those of who were satisfied with what the Earth was enough to either ignore or denounce my existence. You needed not any cleverly crafted tale to entice you to live and be good; you let your love of live do that for you. The darkness is not bad, for it is in there you have lived the most. It is not in relaxation and sloth under the caution of light you have lived, but in the hazard of night, in fear and love of it. If it be in the darkness you die, so be it, for you have to live to die. Do you not remember when you would ride home on your bike, through the frost and the screaming rain, no doubt freezing your ass off, singing at the top of your lungs “Come On Eileen” in a sweaty t-shirt and sweaty running pants? I do.”
“Then why did we suffer in there, also? Are you not the omniscient creator of the universe?! Did you not love us? Why so much suffering?” The misery of the darkness, looming in my memory, pounced upon my heart and tore at it with a tyrannical claw. My mind twisted itself into a chaotic maelstrom of thought, and the confusion of the darkness returned, hoping to return me to its bipolar madness. I shouted at God, something I have been told was unforgivable, so I clasped my hands around my mouth, gently choking in sorrow.
God was, sadly, unaffected, and responded indifferently, “Did I not tell you this, my son? I am unable of your imperfection, incapable of living, just facilitating in an endless daylight tending to the sorrow of my own existence, unable to cry for myself because that would be vain and selfish. At the same time, the emotions that drive you to hurt each other are the same that drive you to be whole and to care. Any mother would kill anybody if they touched their baby, but I cannot do that, for if I were, I would be forsaking the world of the very purpose I created it; to live. In misery and in sorrow, you find inspiration; you find peace in those moments where you meet the demands of your humanity. You especially, a creature torn by love. Did you not find inspiration in your torment, did you not flourish? This body is not my doing of which I see before me, but of the labor of your passion, because you live to achieve not my whims, but your own. I envy you, for I could never go about and do anything for just a woman, because I have no passion. No ambition. But, you didn’t keep to them, something held you back. Something held your conflict. Something held yourself and your ambitions away from each other and every moment you tried to reunite the two you were living. Do you not miss that feeling every time you were around her, every time you tried to conquer your childhood, every time you accomplished something to mock your complex of inferiority, every time you gazed into the face of someone you thought beautiful and could never move yourself to act?”
With a resounding tear drop, the wind dying down outside, the animals tucked in their shelters and the rivers mimicking my whimper as it trickled silently down my heavenly cage, I sought to respond for the blood of my heart, dripping in harmony to the reliving of my thoughts. From the blood, however, bloomed a black rose, so unique, so bizarre in its hated countenance, nothing at all like the red ones outside my window, yet so beautiful in its imperfection that it was, in fact, perfect. On Earth, I remember dreaming of roses that weren’t red, for although they were lovely, they became tired, dull. Who would want to eat same tiramisu and watch the same red roses for the rest of existence? What was happiness without sorrow, without misery, but a mere placeholder to be a façade for boredom? Never climaxing, never declining, always the same and always pointless. I looked into God’s eyes once more and saw this time no paternal love, but a stoic mediocrity in them, a sadness forever locked away, for that would make him mortal. Finally, I dropped the chocolate that was entering my mouth, a yearning for the taste of something mediocre so I could say to the better chocolate maker that his was better and validate his work, his existence, just a little more. The fabricated dream that was death, the horrid humdrum of living without misery, passion, pride, lust, anger, and everything else that made us human, in the light, shattered all at once with that glass. “I want it more than anything I’ve ever wanted. I want it back. I miss the way she made me feel when I was around her, the way THEY made me feel when they acknowledged me as a decent person, the way my friends were loyal to me and I to them no matter what we were accused of. I miss the ambition of my work, I miss my childhood, the astounding hellhole it was, and I miss the people, in their worse and best times. I miss this passion, for I know I’m dead. I’ve squandered it all, and when you leave, it will all leave me, won’t it?”
There was no hesitation, no mutual respect to my emotion, for how could He understand the turmoil of my heart, the vicious black thorns stabbing me within, of something so beautiful such as life. Tears meant little to him, for although he helped create me, my people, he could never be our father, not in Heaven at least.
“Fuck you, you bastard! Then why did I have to die, at least? Why did it have to end?”
“I don’t know. You’re the one who committed suicide.”
“Isn’t that a sin?”
“What does it matter? There is no heaven and hell. There’s just this. Wasn’t Earth Heaven enough?”
God left, and with him my humanity, and as he left the door, I asked myself in my introverted sadness whether or not anything he said was valid. Then, just as he closed the door, the gleam of his light remaining behind as it spread throughout the household, cleaning from it the humanity of it all, the books rendered pointless, the food forever redundant, and myself left to live out the rest of eternity in death, for what it truly is, I tried to reach into the essence of what I was, and stimulate it awake. But, by the time I did, I could not arouse myself for there were no memories left to do so to and the imagination I had kept before was long gone; all left inside with the darkness of my coffin. I wanted to cry, but immediately lost the means to do so and I stood there, dead and pointless. And forever so.