Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer


In a field, a church on the horizon
What a beautiful, sunny day. I am lucky to be alive. My appreciation of life is at full bloom, white-flowered like an apple tree. The earth beneath my feet is solid; the sounds in my ears are of birds singing and insects humming. Perfect little machines they are, windup toys set in motion by a deity that seems to peer down smiling from the rolling, butterball clouds. Ahead is the rock, the foundation of my existence, the altar constructed by human hands. I walk slowly, appreciating the distance between myself and my destination. I need to get there, that is true. All in good time.

Inside the holy walls
I break down and pray at the foot of the altar. No one is around me; everything is silent. The righteousness of my being is palpable, and I feel that I can commit no wrong, for I have left human fallibility behind back there in the place beyond the field. How can you describe a religious experience? It is beyond explanation. I lie my consciousness down beside God and ask him to relieve me of it. He takes my sense of self, my essence of being, and throws it into the heavens from whence it came. I am nothing but a cipher now. I am a machine man reset and reprogrammed.

Out in town, rambling around
I see the city streets as a dog would. The desires and pains of my past are gone, and I live only in the present. A beggar man hops up to me and asks me for change. I empty my pockets; everything I have in them I give to him. There is no thanks in his eyes, no look of gratitude. He is like me in a way. The shirt off my back is taken; my pants are given; my shoes are discarded and stolen. They stare but I keep walking. I walk myself out of town.

Beneath a tree on a dark night
By the faintest light of the moon I see the band still encircling my finger. It is scratched and worn smooth, its luster having faded long ago. There was an inscription on the inside once. If it is still there, I cannot read it.

In the graveyard, clutching a headstone
There is a skeleton lurching out of a grave next to me, the fingers brown with the texture of old wood. Ants roam about, moving on top of and through soft earth. Little machines obsessed with their purpose. I realize suddenly that I defined myself through my possessions. Without a definition, I am afraid. There is nothing in my skull yet I fear the ground beneath me, as well as the weathered bones protruding from the soil. Whether or not consciousness was a burden seems irrelevant now. I get the unshakable sense that I have failed someone. What a way to go.

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