Before the Law

January 28, 2007 at 4:32 pm (Surrealist Anthology)


Yes, I humor the old doorkeeper. He thinks he is guarding the light, but the light is everywhere – he can’t do anything about that… But I humor him by making requests, asking for advice, and entreating him as if he were an important person. For without me, he has no occupation, he must close the door. I know that. But then what will he do? At his age? So I humor him.

When he falls asleep, which is often, then I enter. Once I got as far the as the third court. There is a magnificent library there which rises seven stories into the air and disappears into a stained glass vault that is a heaven unto itself. Along the sides of the vast circular library are ten great marble archways rising high and wide each lined with books.

As I sat staring at this, one of the King’s own family came up and gave me a small text. As she handed it to me she said, “If you read every book here, you would not find what you can find in this one text.”

I took this text with me and came back. It was everything she said it was. It was any book and all books, every book written and every book that would be written, and every book that could not be written. It was all that and more. 

I will become rich and famous once these wonders and marvels are revealed I thought. But of course that didn’t happen. I was silenced.  Sure I could write whatever I wanted but my gift came with a curse – prophesy all you want – no one will listen or comprehend. It was like writing on water. 

It took me a long time to realize that, but now that I do there’s not much reason to stay around.  It’s getting late in the day and I have an appointment in paradise. You’ll have to keep the doorkeeper amused in my absence.  Get him intoxicated then you can slip past. Then once you’re out– well,  it’s another world out there. 

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