Thursday, May 10, 2007

Disaffection


The thoughts would not leave him. Even here in these bucolic surroundings, where as he made his way down a wide boulevard near his home he would taste the clean brine of Pacific sea air carried in light gusts of wind, a soft breeze that also happened to move through the white blossoms of a nearby canopy of Dogwoods sending off a light perfumed fragrance ; where a mellow sun shone down on him bathing him in a warm, dappled light.

Lies all of it- like the affection of a gentle, attentive woman for whom he felt nothing in return, . There was a sense of decay or if not decay, movement without purpose, or something. He could not put his finger on what but it was there all the same.

He would feel it as he browsed through the bookstore he would amble through to while away the time. There, today he saw nestled on a prominent shelf amongst the other neatly arrayed new releases
another book proclaiming there was no God. Christopher Hitchens this time. He liked Hitch and knew he would read it and not believe a word. Like traffic accidents it seemed these books drew him even as knew there was no agenda out there. But he sensed it somehow. He felt oppressed, sullen, out of sorts as if he did not belong.

When he spoke to his friends in India he would not feel this way. Nostalgia then seizing him would return his attention to the film, and television and Internet, to another place where everyone moved, it seemed to him at least, moved toward a purpose.

Then he recalled a review he had read in Salon of Hitchen's book and he thought how well the writer had made his point while still accepting the underlying premise of there being no God. Accepting it as if he knew without a shadow of doubt, on faith somehow. Iris Murdoch was quoted to soften the edges, Philip Larkin to point to the pain of irrevocable loss.

He had made mental notes at the time to counter thrust, but now, as he walked past the twin sentinels of sensors stationed on either side of the exit doors, to prevent shoplifters walking away with impunity, out through the automatic glass sliding doors into the dilute sunlight a fatigue overcame him. He no longer cared what others thought. He knew what he believed.

More in heaven and earth he said to himself as a quiet afterthought. Still, at this moment he wished he were elsewhere, where the sun would burn and where he would feel the clamor of countless eyes watching him. At least he would not feel so alone. He was just tired he thought. And shrugged it off.

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