Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The God of Small Things

As I walked into the coffee shop, I got glimpse of Phillip, comfortably perched at a small table facing the window. He was reading a book, occasionally setting it down to take a bite of his blueberry muffin. Finally, he gazed up and met my eye. He smiled and waved towards me. "Right on time" he says. "I hope you don't mind, I picked the table with the best lighting". "Not at all" I encouraged.

About ten minutes after I ordered my food, the waitress finally set my plate down in front of me. I ordered a roasted tomato mozzarella panini on toasted pita bread. In case I got extra hungry, I also purchased a bag if sea salt potato chips. "I'm glad you asked me to lunch Colette" Phillip murmured. "Since my sister died, I haven't really spent any quality time with friends". "I understand Phillip. I'm glad you decided to join me!" I took a deep breath and prepared the words I spoke next. "Your sister is actually what I wanted to talk about. Forgive me if I sound inconsiderate, but do you think Hanani is still with us?" Uncomfortable silence fell upon us. "I suppose, in theory, her spirit has the potential to still loom around". His smile faded and he glanced out the window, towards the now grey and ominous sky.

Before I got out another word, a sudden flash of lightening darted through the sky. It's spider like strands crept across the clouds, sending sparks in every direction. Suddenly, the atmosphere felt increasingly weary. "Weathers getting bad" Phillip sighed. "Better stars heading home before I get caught in a storm. I suggest you do the same". Without a proper goodbye, Phillip got up from the table and made his way out the door, a bell chimed as the door closed behind him. Another crash of lightening hurtled toward the ground, this time coming closer than the last. It was as if Zeus himself, watching from above, aimed them perfectly. As I grabbed my purse, I noticed Phillips book perched on the edge of the window pane. "Kafka on the Shore" it read, by a man maned Haruki Murakami. 

I picked it up and noticed a bright red bookmark peeking through the top of the book page. Intrigued, I opened the book to the page Phillip left off. One line in particular caught my eye immediately. "And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.” 

A chill sprang down my spine and I decided to head back for my apartment. As I walked back home, I stepped inside a puddle sprawled on the concrete and suddenly, as the thunder crashed down, everything went white. I could feel my nerves burning like fire, and as I tried to scream, nothing but  a muffled whisper came out. Suddenly, a figure appeared in front of me. A young girl crouched beside me and said "You don't belong here! One day, but not today. Before you go, please deliver this message. Tell him that I am ok. I've finally made peace". Before I had time to process what she meant, I woke. Laid out on the concrete, my vision blurred into the faces of many people huddled around me. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It was a Thursday

I was taking my usual stroll throughout town, taking note of the beautiful weather surrounding me. As I passed the cemetery, I noticed Phillip Hornbuckle perched in front of his recently deceased sisters grave. I prepared to say a prayer for her, but noticed a familiar tingle wash throughout my body. As the hairs on my arms stood, I took a deep breath and eradicated the thought from my mind.

I continued down the street, and just as I was about to turn the street corner, I hear an unfamiliar bell begin to chime. Very faint,y I made out the figure of a man, very tall, who seemed to be wheeling around a contraption of some sort. Eventually my vision cleared and there was Pope Michael, his homemade confessional pushed in one hand, a rusted choir bell in the other. "Come one come all, reveal your sins and relieve your sorrows" he belted. Despite his outer appearance, which typically frightens most, there was something about the innocence within his tone, the collectiveness of his posture, that intrigued me. I decided to turn around and join him in his search for spiritual cleansing.

"Are you here to repent yourself ma'am?" he asked. "If it's no trouble to you Pope, would it be alright if we had a chat?" I shamefully whispered. His fragile, pale hand reached for the brown cedar wood door of his confessional. Inside sat a eggplant colored velvet chair, with a black slotted screen separating myself from him. As I sat, I got glimpse of his icy blue eyes. They reminded me of the sky, so pure and beautiful, so full of freedom. If eyes are truly the windows to the soul, Pope Michael's is pure.

"You may begin" he encouraged. Taking a deep breath, and for the first time since discovering my gift, I divulged to a complete stranger my deepest inner mysteries. "There is something that I've recently noticed about myself, something extremely odd and quite terrifying" I said. "I hope you will not think poorly of me, or view me as something unnatural and sinful. Pope Michael, I have the ability to talk to the unloving. I'm not sure how, or why, but they find me. I hear them whisper to me. I believe they find solace in me because there may not be others like me out there, others who can provide them with the peace they search for." For at least five minutes, Pope Michael said nothing. I could hear his feet tap against the wooden floor, and I could feel my pulse electrify as the anxiety within me built. Finally he began to speak. "I hate to say that I don't have practice dealing with this kind of situation" he said. "However, in contrast to your own beliefs, I myself find this eccentric gift you've been given as a god sent blessing. It is obvious that you've been given this ability for a higher purpose. Perhaps these spirits seek you out because you, unlike many others, serve as a medium between their world and our own. Perhaps they have unfinished business, and look to you for aid. You have the ability to restore peace between spirits and there loved ones."

I pondered this statement for a long time. Perhaps the pope was right, and I was viewing this in a more negative aspect. "If I were you, I would make the most of this situation. Your ability is exceedingly rare, and despite the fear that renders you vulnerable, it's never been a crime to be different". I decided to make a visit back to Phillip's sisters grave.