Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reincarnation 001

From time to time I will post a series of short segments from my many unfinished projects. The goal is to expand on and enhance my body of work through my 365 forcefully productive days.

The first section is a concept I have relating to reincarnation. I call it Reincarnation.

Hank had run his little newspaper stand on the corner for 12 years. After he retired he realized that he was very unhappy without random human interaction. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were bad, and very often (as running a news stand in a city happens) the interactions involved urine somehow. But overall it was good. A quiet walk from his rent controlled apartment to the news stand in the gray of the morning kept him alive and awake. But now he was starting to get a little too old for it. He could feel his spirit rise from his body. Every now and then he would get a jolt on a random street corner as his mind raced back to occupy and control his body.

On this particular day, during his walk to his news stand, he had the most severe attack yet. The thing was that they didn't hurt, the attacks were more like an unchaining of the soul from the worn body he had. Immediately he was free, the weight of his many years was lifted and he would begin to float. This morning, the attack pulled him out of his body and he abruptly felt the whole world. The tiny weeds pushing out of the concrete, the sleeping people in their apartments, the barking dog, the scraggly tree planted as a beautification project. It was a very sudden and serene feeling. And it lasted for a good fifteen seconds. Then he was snapped back into his body; a lifeless puppet left behind while the master did other things. His body had sat down into the lotus position.
The rest of his day had passed uneventfully after that, sort of. The rest of his day was really only until 2:33, at which point his day ceased to matter, as did the small bit of life left in his body.
At 2:33 a young man in a crisp gray suit with a dark blue tie asked for a Time magazine. Hank had heard this request many times and had met many young businessmen in crisp gray suits with blue ties. But of course there would be no story if this was just another businessman in a crisp gray suit asking for a Time magazine. When the young man, whose name was Daniel, handed Hank the money to pay for the Time, Hank saw his soul. Granted Hank's vision was a little spotty, but there is no mistaking a soul for anything else.

“Joe?” Hank said, half incredulously, half-completely comfortable with the notion.

“um...No...Daniel,” Daniel replied, only partly sure that he was giving the right answer.

“I'm sorry. It's just that, hmm, that's funny, I saw your soul and it looked just like Joe's.” Hank wasn't a mystical sort of character, he was quite grounded in reality—after all, he sold news and tabloids and he really had to know the difference between them—so he was quite alarmed that any of those words should come from his mouth in the first place.

“My soul? That's funny, I always thought I was in a different body than my original.” Daniel said it jokingly. Souls. Who could believe in those when the only proof seemed to be an old news stand man that could see them?

“I guess it is, I must be losing my mind.” He laughed it off, but he still couldn't shake the feeling—or the sight of the soul, “here.” He handed Daniel the change. As Daniel started to walk away, “wait, your favorite color is blue with lighter blue stripes.”

Daniel stopped turned and stared. Daniel always did like blue with stripes, and he called it his favorite color. Which is sort of like cheating, almost everyone likes blue, but no one likes a color that isn't a color, but really more of a pattern.
“Yeah, yeah it is.” Daniel replied, smiled and walked away to take on the rest of the day.

And so that's how their relationship started—continued. Who really knows which is the beginning and which is the end in matters of life and death? For Daniel it was the beginning, but only in the vague sense that sane people would call it a beginning. For Hank, and Daniel's soul, Joe, it was the continuation of a friendship far too old and tragically cut short many years ago.

Hank watched Daniel walk away, shook off the delirious and short interaction that had just taken place as senility, and started to reorganize his news stand. When he was done straightening up, he realized that his day was truly over and he was definitely losing it. He had covered all of the pornographic magazines with the children's magazines and had somehow slipped several Washington Posts in with the New York Times. 2:33 had quite powerfully stopped his day. The last bit of the actual day was spent living in other days. The days past. Joe and Hank, they were such good friends. Hank was sure he would see Daniel again; they had so much to talk about and say. Old friends catching up with the exception that this time the border between life and death had separated the two and the odd bridge of reincarnation had reunited them.
What was odd about that? Nothing, especially given the fact that Hank was able to spot and identify a soul in a body (an occurrence not only rare but almost definitely unheard of).