Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO RED


Because many have tried to make sense of the disorder involving the events that happened, I have decided to write an orderly account for you, so that you may know the truth.

In the ancient days when he was made of braggadocio, the man they called rondavis was full of contempt for those who would question him. He was always right and when someone deigned to disagree with him the first word out of his mouth was usually "no."

But he had strange charisma and he was a fun guy who liked to party. He was never heavy and he did not seem very deep, so people put up with rondavis because hey, a free good time, amirite? Plenty of people knew of him, but only a select few knew him, and those who did only stayed a short time. Once they got close to rondavis and shortened his name to Ron, they discovered his loathsome qualities — his tendency to think too much, his incessant habit of asking too many questions, his inability to just leave well enough alone.

He lived this duality for years and for decades, and while he was never happy he felt sure he would never have to worry about being alone. There were always plenty of people who liked to flit in and out of his orbit. He was popular, if not at all liked. He was always so good at showing people a good time.

One day he woke up and discovered there was more to life than being a smart-ass caricature. In the twinkling of an eye and the turning of one second he changed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was set free and he declared to the world that he was happy. Joy lit his face. He was Ron and Ron was good.

He gulped in great lungfuls of life and drove out the impure spirits in him. His neighbors and friends were in awe at the change, and through the hills people talked of it. He set fire to rondavis and walked away with smug satisfaction at the metanoia. He was blissfully unaware that he was actually setting fire to himself.

Having driven out the demon of braggadocio in one, he embraced it in another. The things he loathed about rondavis, he accepted in Ron. Now he was deep and arrogant, and his pride of plenty rode the crest and plunged into the trough, and there was no thanksgiving.

So it came to pass that in the turning of another second he found himself wandering in the wilderness, far away from home. Having stared into the sunshine he could now peer into the future — a long way into the future — and he knew that he would succeed in surviving, if only to record his swift and peculiar descent into Hell.

He plunged into unparalleled decadence and reveled in his newfound freedom, so that others would see the light on his face and ignore the broken parts of his soul. Only after he found himself alone did he accept his sins of pride and arrogance, and acknowledge how he had squandered his life on wild living. When he came to his senses he set out to go back home, to that place of joy and comfort. But unlike the prodigal son he did not find compassion and open arms at journey's end. He was lost and not found.

He started talking to himself. He worked overtime to exercise his mind so he would not forget, and even though this brought him some misery it was much better than forgetting where he had been.

He started writing again. Many did not understand it and muttered that he had gone mad and wild in his sorrow. Those who thought they had once liked rondavis came to hate Ron, and because there was no one who liked Ron he was able to pass through the narrow door without difficulty and without anyone seeing his wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Soon enough he learned to accept the wisdom of silence. He stopped allowing his heart to be weighed down with the anxiety of life. He stopped allowing his heart to feel much of anything. Only in the quietest moments — and never for too long — did he let his mind turn back to that brief time of joy, for in that time it seemed the sun had never set. Now darkness settled over his landscape, and the sun stopped shining.

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