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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Feng Shui Robot V

Johnny was sitting together with Wayan, at the bar table.

It was a rare moment of lucidity. Just a few hours earlier he had been at the police station making a statement about an incident he had been involved in which included an attack with a pair of plastic toy scissors and many of the most brutal of insults which he had exchanged with one of his neighbors.

- For all of my life I cannot recall a moment for which I could say for myself that I had any of, what people might call – religious feelings.

Since I was a teenager, I have read a lot of books about illusionism, and about how to make tricks, as you know.

However, having survived all the hassle and indescribable events that unfortunately took place, many times I had a chance to witness events that many people would consider as spiritual, or religious or something like that.

I was sent to the frontline once together with all of my communication devices.
They had assigned me to give reports from there.
So I went there and met a lot of people.

We were at a village which was ruined completely, the houses were missing roofs and their old inhabitants – it was the first line of a battlefield.

In one of those ruined houses I set up my thing – antennas, wires – and had started testing it.
And then I heard the quarrel outside.

I went out and I saw a man insulting another man, and soon I realized that it was all because of a bicycle.

A crowd gathered around them watching the show.

A guy took somebody else’s bicycle by force and was now threatening the person whom he had deprived.

It all looked meaningless to me.

Two idiots were fighting over the piece of junk, in the middle of nowhere, where every second was breathed as heaving some particular weight.

I was thinking about the guy who was screaming – what you could use this bicycle for you moron, maybe to start a healthy life here in this wonderful Apocalypse Now scenery?
And just because you are a thousand times meaner a person than the one from whom you have just stolen – does that give you the right to act this way?
I went inside; I had a work to do.

My duty was to set up the communication with headquarters; I didn’t have any more time to spare watching a lousy quarrel.

Should I just snap that guy in the face?

Should I take out my sword of not?

I recalled a Zen Coan – to take out the sword or not?

It was the question that even the bravest samurai were afraid of.

I got sick of all this.

Of the burned and deserted place where we were, of its people I didn’t want to know.
I had the feeling that the place I found myself suddenly in was making me sick, and for me to leave it – that was completely out of the question.

I gave the imposter a look full of hate, and I turned back into my burned room.
We had Motorola’s equipment and I started with assembling antennas.
And then I heard the whistle, of a kind very familiar to me.

We were getting shelled.

And a terrible blow followed a few seconds later.

One person was gone.

He had owned the bicycle for the last 30 seconds of his life.



Pretty intense thoughts J.C. I was shaken by the shallowness of the thief and how amidst the turmoil--somehow it gave their lives meaning.

J. C.said...

Hi Bobz, thanks for the comment. Shallowness is deeper that you usually think.

Michelle Gartnersaid...

Oh My! It puts things in perspective.
Fantastic writing here

"Two idiots were fighting over the piece of junk, in the middle of nowhere, where every second was breathed as heaving some particular weight."

and then again at the end with owning the bicycle for all of the last 30 seconds of his life.

I enjoyed this post a lot.

J. C.said...

Hi Michelle, thanks and nice to see you around.

Michelle Gartnersaid...

I am hoping this economic crisis in the states puts the excessive owning of junk and materialism in perspective for Americans. I don't think it will cure materialism but let's hope it give us a better perspective.

I still get around to blogs on my blogroll- it's just in the Winter I am very busy with my one son wrestling and the other playing basketball. Mainly the wrestling- I drive the wrestlers around and some of the tournaments are 10 hours long or more. SO then I can't get around to reading blogs and what not on the weekends.

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