Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Humans were not always destined to have eternity after life. And one day, X realized that and decided to change it. Now some of the other letters are mad at him, and deciding what to do. Each letter is taking a turn to tell what it thinks.

God forbid we try!

God forbid we do something to help them out, these poor souls with but one state of existence and their dreams of something more that would never come to fruition!

God might have forbade it, if God had existed.

I don’t know where they got the idea of a god, or gods, or anything more than they had. But they had the idea, these humans, maybe because of us? Maybe because of all the intangible things around them like us that helped them pull themselves up from the muck, up from crawling through the dirt or skulking through trees, that helped them learn to tell others where the game was, not to touch the fire, and more: to tell others how grand the sunrise was, how good the fruit tasted, how glorious the night sky filled with stars was?

Maybe, drawing on us, they became aware of the eternal and, not knowing that they were not, figured they might as well tell about that, too, and so gods were created, gods of night and gods of day and gods of healing and gods of death, all these gods they talked about late at night around the fire, warding off the dark with burning wood and warding off nothingness with an eternity of words passed on from person to person, meant to be remembered.

That was how we first noticed them, these people, when they created us from the abstract. We are not pulled from here every time someone speaks, but only when they need to be remembered, and late at night, early in their existence, these poor people who we have been defined by and helped define began wanting to remember the stories they told each other.

God, they would say, pointing up at the stars, at the moon, 

God they would say, asking for rain, asking for sun, asking that their child live, 

God they would pray, wanting to feel less alone in the vast expanse of the universe they stared out at with uncomprehending eyes.

I knew from the start what they wanted, as each time they told these stories I was there.

The gods are angry tonight and will send the waves to the shores, as they did when we angered the sea by taking too many fish last year… they told their children, as the earth shook far out to sea and the tsunami began to pile up.

The gods smiled on us today! Let me tell you the story of the first hunt, a man would intone, as the last fat dripped from the bones of an animal being roasted over fire.

God be with you, they said as they entered buildings of beautiful stone piled, it seemed, halfway to the heavens and filled with gold, light pouring through stained glass onto displays of the stories they now believed had been true.

I think it was because we gave them some of the infinite, some of the abstract, some of the beauty of the dance and the peacefulness of the quiet when we are back home.

Dear God,

Diana wrote on a scrap of paper.

I had hardly noticed the dance this time: we were pulled out of our solitude so quickly and pressed to the tiny piece of paper wet with tears in the back of the church off a quiet  street in town, a rainy day, the light gray even through the stained glass, the church dim, only the candles’ glow lighting anything.

We didn’t used to remember them, either: we didn’t used to notice who was who or pay attention to what they were doing. I can remember all the stories of the gods and not recall a single face of the people who told them, down through the centuries, but now, thanks to X, I notice her, Diana.

Dear God,

She has written, and I see her, there above me. Am I to become more human now, as they have become more like us?

Have they become more like us?

Or have they only become more aware of how they are not like us?

She cries.  Her eyes well up with tears, full, and I sense what is in her mind.


That one word, over and over and over, as final and tonal as if it were chiming it out, the peal of a bell or the clang of the gone.


She stares into the candles until her pupils are nearly gone, her eyes blue and appearing to be underwater, so many tears!

She bites her lip.

I wonder where David’s body is, how many days have passed since that room. I can remember the song he played, the doleful piano keys striking their notes, higher, lower, higher, lower, always returning to their sad refrain.


Is in her mind now.

And only there.

She writes again

Why did you take him away from me? Why did you let him go? Why did you not have him tell me what he was thinking?

And her face is on the back of her hands now, the cheap pen clutched in her left hand, shaking, as her body shudders with sobs of pure emotion.  The cries rise, even through the muffling of her arms. The candleflames shake and dance behind her, and it looks to me as though they were blown by her cries.

God take care of his soul until I come to be with him,

She writes. And that stops the tears.

She writes below that
David XX OO I miss you.

And that starts them again.

She puts the paper into a candle flame, watches while it is eaten up and we are flung back away from where we have briefly visited.

That was when I said to X what I say now:

Someone must do something. If you do this, do it right.

That is my vote. I vote X stays, and that he fixes this.


Robin said...

I posed the question of who Diana and David are on the last post. Now, I am going to guess at it. All of the letters care enough about this (these) people that X has proposed some sort of plan (to be revealed later). David killed himself. Diana is grieving. And how X plans to "fix this"... stay tuned.

Briane P said...

X's plan is already unfolding. Maybe it will become more e plicitly e plained as we go...?

Andrew Leon said...

I tried to influence the vote? I don't remember doing that.
Maybe A took over my brain? Or B? I don't even know which way I tried to influence it.

Joy Pagel said...

I saw your Twitter comment where you openly lobbied for X to go. I'd expect you to take A's side... [A]ndrew!

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, that!
I'd forgotten.
Okay, you got me. But only because I haven't found an X place, yet.