The dark room suddenly glows at its center. It is lit by the flame of a tiny bic. Randall Morton holds this bic and for this brief second he is perfect. The orange of the lighter jumps into the burning tip of a cigarette and then disappears forever. A quick puff, a quick inhale, the inevitable exhale, and in this new darkness, with only a spot of orange, Randall is imperfect again. 

He scurries out of bed feeling that something, something big, has happened. Maybe God has finally spoken to him. God always seems to be speaking to crazy women and men who want money. Randall’s never heard of any sort of miracle happening to regular everyday folk. Maybe this was it. Maybe the lightening enrapture of bliss that took place in him a second before was an angel or some form of spirit making harmony with his soul.
Bear in mind that Randall is no one special. He hasn’t any abilities not found in the average man off the street. His spirituality, though profound in this moment, exists normally under the most unscrutinized of sources, what he can make out of religion by way of films or television shows. Nevertheless, with no evidence in his possession supporting the premise, Randall feels he is somehow worthy of intervention from something deemed a higher power.
He turns on a light. It is phosphorescent white, muscling into the darkness, pushing it out of view, out of consciousness. Reality is now the stuff of pigments and photons and nothing more. As he searches through the lit maze for reason, for a meaning that he believes will rest on the crux of his being, all this perfection moves further and further away. The moment passes and is gone.

There will be other dalliances with perfection along the years of Randall’s life. There will be times when he’s just right and all the cogs of his perception fit how they should, but only for a second. That’s as long as it lasts for anyone, for Mohammed or Jesus or the guy down the street. Just a second of perfection, that’s all any of us get in this twisting, spinning, dying world.


Image: Editor’s collection



Published in: on August 29, 2006 at 3:18 am  Comments Off on