Fiction  •  February 16, 2002

One Would Think

One would think that becoming a priest has something to do with dismemberment. One of tomorrow if not of today. I recall having to file away things of the past, deep in the back of a metal file cabinet, one that is so rusty you have no idea what the original color of it was. You wonder, though, why it was such a big secret. My sister never said anything to anyone about it. It wasn’t a matter of tradition, ethics, or moral. It wasn’t even a matter of money. It became sincere in its own way. One just had to do it, or rather, one wanted to. Isn’t that always the case with certain memories of the past? If you say something, you will remember saying it. If you write something, you will remember writing it. If you think, you will remember thinking it. The action is the content in the end. You never remember pure content irrespective of the action. Waiting for a bus, I remember, when I was about 10, I looked across the street where there was a bakery. People went in and out, and then it happened. My mind went blank. I didn’t know what I was hearing or seeing. It was all so abstract. There was no information in what I was experiencing. It’s quite amazing how a mind processes pure abstraction and extracts information out of it. I remember it was cold. That is why the idea of bakery attracted me. While my mind was streaming abstraction, I apparently was shivering unconsciously. A woman who was standing next to me tapped on my shoulder. This I know from the story I heard later on. I responded by stepping aside. My body, that is. Well, my mind didn’t exist at the moment. In a way, it was like a computer copying a huge chunk of data without processing any of it. The big difference is that I don’t remember any of it. There was no action. No movements neither in my thoughts nor in my body. Memory is designed in such a way so that we can build our own existence. It’s certainly odd to think that our lives are pure conceptual constructs. When the whole universe collapses, no one will be there to see it happen. It will not only make no sound, but the very entity that could potentially make sound will be sucked into nothingness. Well, nothing really exists now. It’s all pure abstraction. If we make anything out of it, it’s all in our heads really. I wish I could experience the pure abstraction again. The busier our minds are, the more we process our sensory perceptions. What makes our minds busy is fear. That is why pure abstraction is very difficult to achieve when our minds are unstable. Contrary to the ordinary image of them, priests are full of fear. Their minds are no where near abstraction. They don’t even know what abstraction is. Even pain is processed information. Pain in its pure form is no different than a sensation of orgasm. In the world of pure abstraction, there is no reaction. No action. And, therefore no memory. And, in turn, no existence. Nothing exists. Pure void. You can’t even talk about it. You wouldn’t even try because you don’t even remember. But there is a layer of self that deals with abstraction before our minds corrupt it. Neatly filed away. Deep in the back of a metal file cabinet. It can manifest itself every now and then. That is what my father told me once. And my sister will never repeat it. Because it’s all nonsense.