I was never a great believer in mysticism. My parents attempted to raise me as a church-going, God-fearing boy, which lasted tenuously until I was twelve or so. The older I grew, the more cynical and skeptical I became, until I relegated religion into the same class as notions such as ESP, seances, and other supernatural “nonsense.” Whether you believed in ghosts or the Holy Ghost, it all seemed the same to me; it all seemed a denial of the natural human mortality that I learned to love rather than fear.
Ah, how we grow. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes leaping forward in a few moments.
On a non-descript Summer day, with heat as annoying as the brilliance of the sun, a day when I scolded myself for leaving my sunglasses at home, my perceptions of the Universe turned suddenly back toward those weak spiritual roots. I'm not here to tell you there is or is not a God, but I know my own ignorance as I've never known it before. Knowledge! Now that is something to be skeptical about. Only fools trust their knowledge. Only fools believe themselves wise.
What difference could I have found in this day? It started like every other drab, dull step toward the death I welcomed to end the ache of life. On the drive to work, my coffee spilled in the rental car (the one putting me deeper into debt as my own car added even more debt at the hands of a snide mechanic), and the report for my boss, the reason for little sleep the night before, was spattered with brown. A confused freight train engineer tied up traffic, making me late and sparking the ire of that same boss, who whined again how the tight job market was her only reason for not replacing me. The woman I'd spent far too much on and woke up that morning without for the first time in weeks, ostensibly my girlfriend, called me just before lunch to tell me she was moving out to go live with this nice guy she met at the bakery. These trivial events just marked it as a day like any other.
“Paul,” the voice of my boss interrupted my lack of focus on my work, shortly after midday, “I need this packet taken to the downtown office immediately.”
With an excuse for fresh air and a break from her owlish stare, I jumped at the chance to leave, even if it meant squinting the entire drive. Traffic was light, but the signals were against me, and not once did I pass through an intersection without waiting for a green. At the last light before my destination, I noticed a man with dirty face and dirtier clothes standing on the corner with a cardboard sign. “Need cash for bus fare.” Or a beer, I thought as I accelerated past him.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish