Eyes shut

Bang, bang, bang on the door.

You ignore it. You have work to do. You grab a fresh bottle of disinfectant and pop the top off with one hand, in a fluid, practised motion. You pour a few centimetres of it into the tray and rinse your tools.

Eyes shut, they said. Shut! Why would you want them to be shut? Some people just don’t understand.

***

Your bearers bring the sacrifice in. Six of them, the boy resting on their shoulders. They walk slowly along the central aisle, steps perfectly in sync, as you have taught them. They complained about the hours of training, but now they must understand. The beauty of the ceremony would be diminished without this precision.

The family and friends watch as their loved one makes the final part of the journey to an everlasting life. The bearers position him as tradition demands. But with eyes open. So that the mourners can see into his soul. So that he, even in his paralysed state, can see them.

The father cries, of course. He argued most fervently for eyes closed. You won’t let a grieving father’s wishes get in the way of his son’s salvation, though.

***

Bang, bang, bang on the door.

What can you tell him? That you saved his son, when he could not? That you had the courage, when he did not? No. He is still a grieving father and he does not need to hear these things. You will do as you must. You will take his insults and his threats. You will sleep soundly knowing that you have helped another soul along their path.

Bang, bang, bang on the door.

You rise from your desk and go to the door.

Posted in 2013-03-04 to 2013-03-17 - Eyes shut | Comments Off

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