She’s been scheming, she has. Now she’s ready.
THE RIGHTEOUS MAN
When I woke up this morning, the world felt like a dark oil stain around me – normal. All the righteous men that have lived in this world have felt this huge blemish on her clothes, the corrupt imprint of human consciousness on all existence.
I am in a small room that is really a naked concrete floor except for a leaf-thin mattress that takes up half the space. There is a tiny barred window very close to the tall ceiling, beyond one’s reach. The door is a garden of parallel iron bars. The walls were recently painted a lazy white when a team from the state department came to visit. I wasn’t in the room then though, but even when I discovered the white to be more preferable to the rotten, old grey, I immediately began to miss the old stories left behind by those who had had the privilege to use this room before me. Though the wall was still wet, I traced out whatever I could still see under the weak paint with my fingernails. The memory of a man, no matter how insignificant, should never be erased.
It seems that I would be leaving here tomorrow. I might miss this place, I do not know. Here, the heaviness of the blemish of the world is not as dense as it is among the people who seem to think that they are the best of it. Here, among the worst, there is a lighter weight on my shoulders and I wonder why. I had thought that the consequence of sin would be fall upon me heavily in this place, for after all, it is a collection of the vilest sinners. But it is not so, the peace here, I would liken to the peace I would feel whenever I wandered into the wild to detoxify my spirit whenever the weight of sins of the world became too much to bear. Maybe this was why the righteous man of Israel made his bed in the company of sinners.
Thirteen months have passed since I was here, and three months before I came here, I was somewhere else like this. They put me here because two little girls died but I’d be leaving here tomorrow because they cannot hold me any longer with good reason. The world knows what happened but it cannot be explained to a courtroom in the way it did. Even the eyewitness accounts had to be amended to individual taste; the people who saw what they did still doubt what they saw. Consequently, all their testimonies were incongruent. The video clips online are still being debated as hoaxes, but that doesn’t change the autopsy results.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’d done the right thing. The modern man in me asks that question everyday but I cannot answer a moral question with my own moral judgement; the scriptures on my mattress have been thumbed wretched and I still am not satisfied. I know that the power of God is his and if he chooses to lend it to me, it must be righteous, what I do. That is my logic. If he lends me his power to heal broken bones, it must be right to do so; If he lends me his power to straighten bent backs, it must be right to do so; if he lends me his power to open blind eyes, it must be right to do so.
I replay it all in my head, their screams as birds fell out of the sky, crashing through the windows to tear them to pieces, as rats ran out of their hiding places on my command to join in bringing the wrath of God to pass. The church was horrified to witness divine vengeance from the days of Elisha. They had watched as laughter had turned to screams and then silence with shock on their faces, as they sat immobile. All that was left was dry bones, there had been no blood. They would have gone home to warn their children never again to make cat calls at a righteous man because he is uneducated, because he can’t complete fancy grammar sentences to their taste.
However, I still wonder, if he lent me his power on that day, was it righteous, what was done?