Category Archives: 2013-03-04 to 2013-03-17 – Eyes shut

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.

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Arnold Jenson’s Prologue

Arnold  Jenson had always been interested in understanding people. When he was eight years old he first discovered the public library: a revelation for him as he had long exhausted his parents rather limited knowledge of philosophy.At the age of fourteen he rejected the religion in which he grew up.  And then,  after seventeen months of serial belief inspired by various new age eastern mysticisms ,  he finally settled into the calm certainty of the secular rationalist.

 
He graduated top of his class in law and gained post graduate qualification in the Philosophy of Ethics. Throughout his university years he systematically learnt about the mystery and the muscle of love using ancient Urdu texts as a primary source and the abundant co-eds for practical experience. He rose through the ranks of Kramer, Giles and Smith and was broadly recognised as having a sharp legal mind and an uncommon ability to get inside one’s head. This was a quality that earned him regular promotion and loyal clients but very few friends.

 

Arnold Jenson,  at age thirty eight years and four months ,  met someone.

 

In his clarity he saw a bright,  joyous future. Everyone else saw a fool walking a high cliff path,  striding forward fearlessly,  eyes tight shut.

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