The First Revelation
Nara is a jaded young woman who happens to meet an eccentric individual in Bangsar LRT Station and was told that she is in fact, a Prophet of God
As Nara stepped into the white phosphorescence, the orange blush of the sky was fading, and the streets and buildings were instead illumined with this lifeless hue. Drones of groups of humans seem to have swelled this tiny LRT station in Bangsar, walking, sitting, and going to everywhere, but no one seemed to care except for this narrator. At that particular time, Nara was lining up to buy her token so that she can board the train. Her earphones were plugged inside her ears and Jimmy Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower was playing. She just got back from Publika, a post-modern, artsy mall in Solaris Dutamas that impressed and attracted no one except for her creators. She works in the small bookshop there, and she loves her job because no one ever buys anything there. Finally, she thought, when the bespectacled boy in front of her managed to figure out where and what to touch on that silly machine in order to get his token.
“Excuse me, could you help me out here? Could you buy one token for me? I’m in a hurry and I need to get to Wangsa Maju as soon as possible, because, you see, I’m in a hurry”, said a voice behind her, sounding quite desperate.
“Sorry, but I don’t think that’s fair for the other ten people behind me” Nara replied, touching the screen on Wangsa Maju as she was trying to buy her token.
A moment of quiet, then..
“First of all, there is only five other people behind you, and I already asked for permission from this lovely lady right behind you. She doesn’t mind”.
Irritated, she looked back and saw a bearded guy wearing sunglasses standing, rather tall, behind her. He was wearing a striped suit, and white shirt with a grey tie hanging loose at his neck and a black beady on top of his head, and Nara would have noticed that except for the prominence of the beard that kept staring at her. She had seen a lot of men fashioning beard, but not THIS beard. Bushy, and wild and overgrown, yet retaining some sense of having been groomed in its twirl and messiness.
She then looked at the lady behind her. She was a very old Nyonya sort of lady, and wearing the most contented smile that Nara have seen lately.
The old lady said “Yes, yes. I do not mind…and he looks like he is genuinely in a hurry. So would you please?” and Nara knew then she would buy two tokens to Wangsa Maju.
“Thank you!” the bearded man said as she handed him the token. He was taking out his wallet, when Nara said, “Nevermind. You’re in a hurry?” as she walked away. “Well, yes!” as he trailed behind her. “But the last train took off and you might as well receive this money. Consider it my token of gratitude” and then he let out “Aha! You see what I did there? ‘Token’ of gratitude?”.
Nara made a frown and walked off the escalator. She was, in actuality, quite amused, but she did not want to grace the weird beardie with her smile. But she did smile when she was off and away from him, even chuckled a little. The train approaches, announced by the screech that steel railway made when the train rides on it.
“You liked that joke” someone beside her said as she tried to get comfortable on that plastic seat, and in that cold coach as the sweat on her neck started to seep back into her skin. It was the bearded man again.
Startled, she quickly regained what she considered her trademark aloofness and replied “Heh. That was such a terrible joke. I was simply, slightly amused that there is still a person in the world that would do that kind of joke”.
“You liked it” the bearded man replied with a mad smile, ” and you better like it. I planned the whole thing just to make that joke!”.
“Yes, I liked it, but you won’t catch me liking another one of it. And sorry, I have to refuse. I’m not into beardies, mainly because I would wonder where all of that hair come from….Especially one that is as.. voluminous as yours”.
The bearded man looked at her, with a smile that now hides his teeth, showing little bit less of him, and thus, little bit less madness. “Well, I don’t know whether this is as much awkward it is for you as it is for me – and I’m awkward allright – but I don’t want to ask you out.
I am your God” and he smiled his mad smile.
“Allright, you look like a nice man, crazy, but nice. Heck, you insisted on giving me back my money! I could not say that for most strangers that I’ve met. I have no doubt that some other girl would want to play along with this mad persona that you have going on. But not me. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m leaving” and she did move away, to three coaches away and was forced to stand.
“Fuck, I’m tired”. She latched her hand on the handle above her head and closed her eyes for a bit. Not to sleep, just trying not to remind herself that she is not standing admist crowd of people and have to do this everyday in her forseeable future. When she opened her eyes, the train arrived in Wangsa Maju, and she cursed at having been standing all this while when seats must have been empty a few stations back. She got out, and went into a convenient shop in the station. She at first, took two Snickers bar and a can of coffee to the counter, but then only bought one Snickers bar and small juice box of soy milk. She went out and waited for the taxi.
“Hello, Desaview Towers?”, the driver said as she entered.
“Yea, how did you know?” was what she said when she started to recognize the beady, and then, when the driver turned to face her, the beard.
“I’m God, Nara, I’m omniscient. So have your head cooled down a little? I have to say, I have never met a woman like you that would think every conversation that she has with a man is a precursor to mating. This time, Nara, listen properly” he continued while the engine whirred and the car moved visciously on the street. “I am your God, and I need your help”. The car accelerated forward at frightening speed.
Struggling to keep herself properly sitted on the car, and thinking, rather suitably that “This man is going to kill me”, Nara kept her cool and said, “So, I’m to believe that you are God. I don’t believe in God, and certainly not in one that wears a beady!”.
“Your disbelief is noted. But it isn’t a problem. I don’t need one who ‘believes’ in god, because people would always believe what they want, and persuading a theist to change his religion is one of the hardest thing to do in this world. Believe me, I tried. They are blind to reason, and susceptible only to fanciful myths and little bit of poetry. But an atheist, show her a good reason, and she’ll die for her faith”.
He said all of those things facing her, which is not at the road. His hands deftly steered clear of incoming cars at that velocity, like magicians with tricks and perfectly executed prestidigitations.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/001fj/2855401248/ | Heck, what is this?
“I don’t have faith. I’m an atheist” she said as she tried to keep calm, and quietly suspected that she is failing.
“Sure, you are. But your atheism is as much as a product of faith as any other theists out there. Nara, theists believe the existence of God through scriptures, priests, imam, parents, teachers or whatever. Your atheism stems from the faith -an almost instinctive knowledge – that all of this shit is too crazy to be true. Science just happens to concur with your instinct. And rightly so. I still couldn’t believe that people still thinks it’s forbidden to drink alcohol. I just happened to have had a really nasty hangover that one time. Anyway, Nara, my point is that there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that I exist, and there is about just as much proof to say that I don’t. So, tell me, why don’t you believe in My existence?”
I must be going crazy, she thought, because against all likelihood, she is calming down despite the fact that the car is still running down the street like it’s being kicked about by an exuberant young boy.
“It’s none of your business why I don’t believe in Go-” she glanced at the neurotic smile that the bearded man wears, ” why I don’t believe in You” and she felt dumb saying that. Spurred on by her last failed comment, “Besides, the lack of proof is proof enough that something doesn’t exist”. She hoped she had remembered the quote off the internet correctly.
“So, if I erase your existence out of this world, get rid of your credit records and files, essentially, all your proof of existing, you don’t exist?” he said this as he swerved madly around a corner, a mosque on the left side and a food stall on the right. “Because, I am about to do so”. The car rammed into the front gate of the house and through the sliding door in the front, and Nara thought it was probably hers just before she and the bearded man disintegrated into nothingness.
“You see, what people seem to not get is this: I exist in nothingness. Which is another way of saying, I do not exist. So, be happy Nara. Perhaps, for the first time in your life, you made the right choice. It is quite sad, that nothing else in your life ever went the way you wanted it to. The scholarship, the job, the boyfriend, heck, even your parents – although that is not really your choice, sorry about that – one silly mistakes after another. Aren’t you glad that at the end of your existence, to found out that you are right about me not existing?” the bearded men said this out of the……nothingness?
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/creativefi/2088896324/ | Confusion to the core
Nara found that she neither see, hear nor feel anything, but understood him nonetheless. She is just there, floating in the vast emptiness. She thought that she felt pain, but no, it was not pain. It was a sensation that was very alien to her. She felt like a band-aid that is slowly being torn away from the skin that she had been attached onto. She felt like the iron that slowly rusted away and the stones that through the ages were reduced into tiny little grains of sand. She was scared allright, but she felt no tears on her cheek and no voice to ring out the sob that she felt. She was lonely, for the first time in her life, she was truly lonely.
“Few mortals have ever been into this place like you have. I retained bits of your consciousness, and let it float in this non-space. I’m sorry I have to do this. I have to make a point” God said out of the emptiness. “Have I told you about how I need your help?” he waited for an answer and Nara tried to offer one, but she could not. “Ah, I have. Essentially, dear Nara, I want you to be my Prophet. But wait a second, let me take back your voice….There”
The first thing that she did was to scream, scream as loud as she can and it seemed to her she can scream infinitely louder than she probably used to. She screamed to assert her existence but the voice, although audible, did not produce the reverbrations that the voice offered in life. The heat that usually permeates through the head whenever one scream was not there and neither was the throbbing of the eyes and the ears. She was in nothing now, and she had to get used to it. “So, this is how you induct one as your prophet?” she said, and was glad to feel the exasperation in her voice.
“Would you have believed me had I not done this?”. Nara did not answer
“Let me explain. Even I should not exist here. I should have stopped existing here, the moment I created the real world. It was silly of me really. I just had to create you lot for the fun of it. And I was right. It was a lot of fun watching creations go about their business. Almost as fun as watching The Kardashians” he said this with a chortle. “but the real world is both the plesure and the bane of my existence, unfortunately. Once the world of senses was created, it encroached upon this realm of non-senses, and its laws started to govern even here. Which is why things from that world could not exist here, as nothing exists in nothing.
“Yes, but you are god. As you said, you exist in nothingness”
“Yes, actually, yes. Exactly my thought before I created this world. But you should listen better. Omnipotent me was there, only because I live outside existence, mainly because existence was not there. Through that power of mine, I created existence and poof!, the laws of the world of my own creation started to influence this form of non-existence. Now, I exist merely on the limited power that the coexistence of the two worlds had bestowed upon me. Nara, believe me, there are powers to be had from prayers. I consume it everyday and I used what little power I possessed to prove my point by bringing you here. Otherwise, I am just a withered decrepit. Long life, strength, vitality, intelligence, yes, I have those, but would you believe that I will cease to exist one day? To die?!”
She sensed a slight trill in that last line, but was more concerned with her own state of being. Despite having again her voice and hearing, she still could not see, or rather, she saw nothing and felt nothing in this place. She tried to focus and tried to see the dotted, glowing lines that the brain makes on your eyes if one ever bother to look, but she saw nothing then.
“Prophet….So you want more people to pray? Is that it?” and Nara could almost feel mad snicker on her neck, even if there is no such thing. “Yes, and you would do anything to admonish people to do so”
“But, why me!? I didn’t even believe in you! You have thousands, billions of people out there clamoring for your countenance, praying, crying, and killing in your name. Why me!? I do not ask for this…shitty pig-sty of a place” was what she said as her voice petered out.
“I said earlier, the faithful would believe whatever they want. Some would go crazy after I put them in here. Some won’t budge from their original beliefs and accuse me of witchcraft, or of being the devil. But the unfaithful would, by now, have a reason to believe whatever it is I’m putting you through and would not concoct labyrinthian fantasies to justify these absurdities and accept the weirdest truth. And, I have to say, that among the unfaithful, sacrificing your life seemed to be the most morally cost-effective way to further my cause”
“So, you elevated my status to Prophet because I am the least valuable to you as a human? Nice way of asking someone for help”
“Well, I thought that I might be doing you a favor, considering how lifeless your life is. Consider it. What awaits you in the future is pain, suffering and confusion, but also happiness and perhaps more importantly to you, companionship. Who knows, maybe we’ll be friends”
“What if I refuse?”
“Well, I would leave you here, stuck between the living and the dead. The existing and the non-existing. And I would cease to exist as I no longer have any power to do anything about it except let the entropy claim me. Do you understand how desperate I am? Or perhaps, do you understand how desperate YOU are?”.
Nara could feel the mirth in the voice. The voice of one mad enough to give his life for another whiff of coccaine. She thought of revenge and deny Him the satisfaction of being His prophet, and just maybe, the lingering taste of vengeance would be sufficient to last her eternity of..this. But, she thought different of Him then. By using the last iota of His power and gambling His existence away on someone like her, maybe He should have her respect. Maybe. If He was telling the truth about the whole thing. But one thing dominated her thought most of all, would she really want to be like this, existing, yet not really?
“Now, I get it. “You who are wrapped in the blanket, get up and pray in the night”….You were just basically threatening the poor guy, weren’t you?” the realization made her adopt a more cynical tone. Or perhaps, a more pragmatic one.
“Allright. I’ll be your prophet. But you sure you want a woman for this? Your track record with gender-equality is not exactly great”, she decided that it’s better to resign her fate to God rather than to this suffocating nothingness.
“Expediency, dear Nara. In your time, woman would only be considered as mad as Noah or Muhammad had been thought of in their times if you preach my message, and they did pretty well. Now, if you don’t get to work, I’ll pull you back here and and suspend you like this for eternity, and we would both be damned. Was I threatening enough?”
“You are, sir. Lord. God?”
“Just call me Old-man. I missed that nickname. Somebody used it for me and it sounds good. I think we are done here. Let’s put you back in real world”
When she came to, Nara was standing in front of her home. She was holding half of Snickers bar in one hand and plastic bag containing empty juice box of soy milk in the other. The house looks okay but Nara was not surprised that it was okay. I am His Prophet, she thought.
Beneath her Snickers bar, in her hand, lies one LRT token.
It was insignificant, but Nara thought that it’s typical of him to leave little, insignificant signs like that behind. Like the little child that He probably is, this is a game of hide-and-seek. He does not want to be found, merely to be acknowledged.
What she has to do now, is not point in His direction. Just shout loud enough that they start looking. Again.