VOID

He lay back on the bed, his big belly protruding rather vulgarly into the space around him, looking outside the window at the garbage dump nearby. He wished the window had shades so he could avoid looking at the scene outside but rains had covered the glass with fog and it was getting thicker and denser by the minute. He let out another cloud of chemical smoke from his mouth and let his large body stretch and relax. A lot had happened in the life of the towns’ richest businessman in the last few months and he had managed to remain in the news quite frequently.

On the floor sat Rosy (what a cliché name, he always thought), the Eunuch hooker to whom the room belonged, she sat there reading a children’s book about alphabets though she was about 25 herself (Rosy preferred the female pronoun. Being a male meant less business). He was one of the few who actually knew where she lived, he was a frequent customer after all ,and one who did not want to be seen anywhere around the Red Light District.

‘You shouldn’t be sitting with a children’s book, it’s a turn off.’ He said with evident displeasure in his voice.

‘I am all but trying to learn how to read.’

He chuckled. ‘And what do you plan to read?’

‘Rene Descartes to begin with, maybe some Baruch Spinoza and some Voltaire as well. But they are the first ones to come to mind, I have a lot of other works on my wish list as well.’

He was dumbfounded. ‘What does any of that mean anything to you?’

‘It means a lot to all of us.’

‘Why should their thoughts mean anything to a lowly street whore?’

‘Ah, it is simply a matter of interest.’

He chuckled again. ‘And what interested you in them?’

‘A man. He would come here very often, the only other person who knew where I live.’

‘He came here to talk about that?’

‘He came here to talk about a lot of things. You see he was a man full of doubts, and this was his safe space.’

‘Quite a place he chose.’

‘I went to him first, to meet him when I first came to this area.’ She continued, ignoring him, ’I was going through hell and the brothel business was a nightmare. I felt disgraceful, dirty, and imprisoned. But I remember what he said to me after listening calmly to my grievances, words nobody had ever uttered before ‘you live and work in an island where you’re not bound by the chains of morality or expectations, you have the privilege to see the true side of humans on a daily basis, the side nobody reveals in public. You might be confined by your physical environment but you are truly free in thought and in word. Nothing you ever say or think will be blasphemous or judged. You are the symbol of depravity and that in itself means liberation. In thought and in word you are the freest soul.’’

‘That’s an interesting way to look at things’ he remarked.

‘Yes.’ Rosy said. ‘He asked me for my address and I at once gave it to him. He would come here very often and talk to me about the doubts that his life brought to his mind. Grave existential thoughts, the kind of doubts that might have had him removed from society and incurred the wrath of people.’

‘What? Why would that happen?’

‘He was a priest.’

He stared back with widened eyes.

‘Stuck in the wrong profession’ Rosy continued. ‘He had read Nietzsche and Voltaire and Spinoza and knew at once what he should have realized a long time ago. ‘A brothel might be a moral graveyard’ he would say, ‘but religion is an intellectual one.’ He lamented over the fact that people came to him to solve the riddles that troubled them, but his was a troubled soul that never could decide if it could continue living the way it did.’

‘That’s horrible.’

‘Indeed. He would talk to me about a lot of things, about society and its people. He was an intelligent man. He would come to share his feelings, never once did he even touch me. He spoke of you once, too.’

‘What did he say?’ He asked, sitting upright in a matter of seconds.

‘He told me about your recent marriage, that you had married the woman you had been cheating on your first wife with. He predicted the new marriage would fail as well, and as luck would have it, that’s when you started coming here.’ She smiled.

‘Ho…how did know that?’ He asked with a frown.

‘’What do you think makes the mistress so appealing?’ he asked me once and upon my admittance of ignorance he said ‘it’s the fact that she is the forbidden fruit. It is only desirable when it is sinful, the moment the wife is gone and the mistress is yours legally and morally, the pleasure disappears as well.’ When I told him you had started visiting me he had said ‘let’s hope he isn’t foolish enough to marry you as well’’

‘Does he still come here?’ He asked after a few moments of silence.

‘He died two weeks ago…’

‘What happened?’

‘…I was present at his funeral, but I left as soon as people started pouring in.’ she continued.

‘I don’t think anyone would have known you.’

‘I still remember the last time he came here’ again, ignoring him completely, ‘I had told him about all the pondering I had done over his words, about my life and my state of liberation. ‘Good’ he had said ‘contemplation is the beginning of any intellectual journey and also what keeps it alive’. I had remarked how glad I was that God made me this way because I wasn’t confined by gender roles either. He gave me a weak smile, but then his face turned grave and serious and for the first time I noticed how old he had become. ‘I don’t think God cares.’ He had said. And then he left, forever.’

 

 

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An Ode To The Almighty 

I speak on behalf of all celestial beings

This is a prayer to thee,

The Master of all

Beyond whom nothing exists

You’re like a Buddhist monk

One who walks with utter peace and serenity 

Unperturbed by the happenings of his surroundings 

His consciousness on a higher spiritual plane

And his movements so subtle 

Even his shadow cannot mimic the grace

But even he, my Lord, knows

That you’re above him 

No being born in this cosmos

Goes one day without thinking of you once

You’re in the minds of all

Striking fear in some, an utter awe in others

Our only absolute certainty in a life of chaos 

But you remain silent

Undisturbed.

You judge no one 

You respond never,

But you’re there.

Ever present.

The cries or the prayers never affect you 

No man has been born 

No matter how rich, or talented ,

To be able to escape your awareness

You’re ultimate

No war or bloodshed could shake you 

No tears could leave you disturbed

You walk your path and pick us up in your eternal cusp

The predator or prey, man or woman , a child with a terminal disease 

They are all the same in your mystic eyes

I acknowledge your presence

I bow down before you, my almighty

Lead us one by one out of misery and lust,

This is my prayer to you, Death.

Of Religion And Society

The sheep gathered in the feild
Grazing the grass as always
When a goat walked by
The lamb was curious
He had heard about the Goat
But never seen him
Where are you going Mr. Goat?
Asked the lamb
I’m off to the Garden of Eden
The Goat replied
The Garden is only a legend Mr. Goat
Said the Lamb desperately
The Goat cackled with laughter
The animals sing the praises of the place
It is a place of infinite pleasures
I shall find it and make it my home
But Mr. Goat what if you don’t find it?
I will, as I’m determined to
I have faith in my senses
And loads of experience
Unlike the others I have read a lot about Eden
Would you like to join me?
The Goat asked with a smile
Just when the Lamb was about to reply,
His parents came hurriedly
And whisked him away
They asked Mr. Goat to leave
Never again should you speak to him
Mama sheep said
But momma he’s going to the Garden of Eden
There is no such place
Momma snapped back
The Goat will be eaten by the Tiger in the woods
Eden can be reached by following the shepherd
He knows what is best for us
The Goat is evil
He thinks he can reach Eden without the shepherd
He is a fool
Assured his poppa
The lamb watched the Goat slowly walk away
He did not want to defy his parents
But he wanted to go to Eden as well…