Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Miracle


The smell of thousands of spilled drinks and peanuts permeated
the air about the lone man sitting far down at bar's end.
But he did not notice that or anything else for that matter.
He just kept pounding away the booze as fast as it would come.
Maybe that would kill the pain, the suffering that only he,
and nobody else, was feeling that day and every other day.
Ever since the time he watched his daughter's remains being cremated.
That cold, dreary day when the snow was blown sideways by the wind
and the ice formed on his beard so that he looked mad as a hatter.
He had spent months praying for her recovery but it would have taken some
miracle for that to happen.  With that disease, it would never be.
Sure, there had been expensive treatments and he had tried every way.

But she died nonetheless.  And he had started drinking and never stopped.
He had lost so much weight and was gaunt and thin.  He had committed every sin.
His wife finally left him, drowned in her own sorrows. To mourn separately.
For her it was not drink, but prescription pain pills and weed.  His other seed,
his two older boys, had just seemingly disappeared from the face of the Earth.
So, he really had nothing left to live for at all, no reason to continue this life.
He suddenly felt an urge to go pee and vomit at the same time, so he flopped
towards the door of the filthy bathroom and, oblivious, vomited first all over his chin.
He then managed somehow to get his fly open and he took a whiz desperately
as if he had been holding it forever.  Thinking then that maybe he would need
to take a dump as well, he loosened his belt and tried for all he was worth.
But, no such luck.  He stood up quickly and just passed out thinking of his wife.

He woke up some time later to the rattling sounds of his own coughing and hacking.
On the dirty floor he lay.  Then someone knocked on the door, pounded on it loud.
He muttered something and managed to stand up.  He noted a little shrine then there
in a niche in the wall.  The Blessed Virgin was there.  He remembered a little prayer
and said the whole thing, crossing himself.  Then he got the door open and a little
man, the barkeep, rushed by cursing about to piss his pants.  He walked back to his seat
and sat down again, planning to order another drink.  He had stopped long ago with stacking
the empty glasses one in the other and had taken to just drinking with the crowd
when there was one.  But tonight there was only him, the barkeep, and, in a chair
down across from the bar in the corner, a slim beared man that seemed to care
about his appearance.  He was dressed all in white and, strangely, was trying to whittle
a stick into some sort of figurine.  His vision was blurred, but he thought that was neat.

He decided to stumble over to that table where the man in white sat and offer him a drink.
As soon as he stood up, he swore he heard a familiar Christmas carol.  It was Christmas time
after all he remembered.  He looked over at Joe, the barkeep, but Joe was just washing a glass.
Joe had never played music in there ever but usually just had some game on the radio.  No TV.
As he neared the man in white, the music got strangely louder he swore.  He yelled at Joe to
turn that down!  But Joe never even looked up, as if he did not hear him.  He reached the man
and that is when he noticed the music had just as suddenly stopped.  He leaned up against the sink
that was just next to the table and cleared his throat.  But he could say nothing.  All the grime
of the old bar was no where to be found at this table.  It was as if he was being nothing but an ass
as he just sit down uninvited across from the young man.  There was a feeling of insensitivity
that left as fast as it had risen.  He felt weirdly calm, almost at peace.  He asked for two
beers from Joe but still Joe did not even look up.  He was glad he had just gone to the can.

He needed all his faculties now, fleeting though they were.  He seemed to be sobering up quickly.
Looking over at the man, quite the young man actually, he could have sworn he was glowing in the darkened room.  All around the table there was an eerie white light.  He looked straight into the blue eyes of the man and, suddenly, felt drained of all his pain and troubles.  It was as if a burden had been
lifted from his shoulders, a great weight just disappeared.  He cleared his throat again but still
could not speak, so he just crossed himself once more.  At this, the man smiled and reached out to touch him.  At his touch, he was instantly completely sober, something he had not felt for years.  Sickly no more, he sat up straight as an arrow.  Then, the man stood up, and moved his mouth, and harkened him to him with a gentle gesture.  He could hear nothing but what sounded like a choir of angels.  Wise beyond his years the man in his thirties seemed then.  Still glowing, he held out that carving then began to rise into the air!  He took the carving that was offered and watched in amazement as he will now forever more remember.  The man in white looked up as he rose clear
through the roof saying much.

The words seemed to enter his mind not through his ears but through his soul.  There in the place of the man were images of glowing beings, all looking familiar to him somehow.  Then one in particular stepped out towards him.  He fell down to his knees as he recognized his daughter!  She just smiled at him and pointed to the carving he had been holding then she too disappeared along with the others to the glorious sounds of heavenly music.  He looked over at Joe.  Joe had finally finished that glass and was looking agape at his direction, his mouth and features as wide as his own.  Getting up from his knees, he realized he was crying.  Looking down at the carving, he gasped when he realized it was an exact replica of his daughter when she had ran to him with her last dying breaths so many years ago now.  He stared and stared but could not believe it. Shout at them, he thought!  But they were gone and with them all of his problems.  He looked at Joe who was all disjointed and was rushing towards him.  Joe and he embraced and, speechless, he showed Joe the carving.  On these grounds now was the change of a lifetime.  All the burned out lights suddenly came on and shown and he began to miss
the presence of the man in white.  He and Joe looked at each other and each thought the other was dying.

But this was not dying!  It was living as never having lived before!  Joe and he embraced and jumped for joy.For what was it they had seen today?  It could not be explained but it was forever known and engrained in their very souls.  Joe went back over to the bar and systematically, began pouring all the alcohol down the sink.  He walked over to Joe and smiling, waved at him and left the bar never to return again.  He saw Joe though quite often after that down at the local Parish.  Where he now spent all of his time also.  In his pocket always was the carving.  On his knees he prayed and then went up and took Holy Communion.  It was Christmas Eve tonight.  Now, he left the service and, a new man through and through, one that knew his daughter would also enjoy his new outlook on life, walked down the block running into a bunch of carolers who were singing right there on that very spot in front of the old bar where he had come outside of after the visit with the man in sync
with the whole universe.  The man who was one with all of humanity.  Who had saved all of them, even Joe.  He joined with the carolers in singing "Silent Night, Holy Night".  Then, he turned toward the neaby alleyways and vowed he would search them one after the other until he found the love of his life and all would be right.

And he did, and they lived happily ever after until the man in white took them into his loving arms
and sat them at his right side with their daughter...

Joy To The World.

mindbringer, 12 December 2014