Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Boy and the Tower

There once was a boy who swam in the ocean and saw the fountains of the deep and gazed into the sky and saw the windows of heaven and walked through the city and saw the bright glory of man and the flaming beauty of woman, and then perceived his childish ways and despaired. For all that life was to be was beyond him and he desired only to possess it.
No matter to what he put his mind these things drew his gaze and he looked upon them until their sighted sickened him with longing. So he sought to throw himself from a high place and see if in death the world was any more tolerable.
He hated himself for his weakness and he hated himself for his pitying of his weakness, his whining and his pretensions. And though he looked to be a man he was a child and all who spoke to him knew it and he hated this above all else. And he thought of it as he climbed the stairs of the tallest tower of the city.
In his waking mind he dreamt of the highest room, its windswept floor, its metal railing, and he dreamt in it a girl. A child like him to whom he would be a man, a wise child who would see in him his pain and his longing, but also his light and his glory, a child who would love him. They would speak as he descended from the tower and she would not seek to be apart from him. When the time came they would marry and he would know her and she would bear him a child to carry his blood into eternity. And that child would grow to be a man and find a wife of his own and beget children to the delight of his parents. And he, the boy that was the man, would die in peace with his beloved and his descendants would number as the stars of the sky and his line would never fail.
But then he reached the door of the highest room and opened it and saw the city beyond and felt the wind and knew that the place was empty, and that his waking dream was false.
A long time he stood at the edge of the tower and fought with himself, with his hopes and his despair. The air was cold and the place was barren. In him curled fear. Fear and longing, desperation and apathy. And so he did nothing, chose neither life nor death, and went from that place not for the last time to live all the years of his life in fury and loneliness.

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