Somewhere between a plateau of messianic inspiration and the depths of a delusory hell, you will enter the mind of Rodney Real--a young man who God throws in the deep end. He inevitably drowns, but in the surreal visions portrayed to him in those final moments before he's finally washed away, he'll find what he was ultimately promised: the glory of eternal splendor.
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Copyright © 2017 by Eugene Samolin All rights reserved. ISBN: 978 1 387 36154 0
This is God speaking.
I spoke to your forefathers and told them their descendants would be scattered like grains of sand across the world.
Now I speak to you; a grain of sand.
I gave them many blessings;
Many covenants were made;
Much good work was done;
And everything promised
Has been delivered;
For Here you are,
Speaking with me,
A descendant of Abraham,
Scattered in the very farthest corner of the world...
Paul was eight when he escaped from Russia holding on beneath a train after his family were killed.
He was taken in by a Rothschild orphanage with a host of other fleeing children. A few years later, the orphanage was burned down in a tremendous fire.
Paul was able to speak other languages, and he and his family disguised themselves on a dangerous sea voyage that took them over the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean and all the way to Australia.
Paul passed away in a hospital soon after. His 12 year old son, Guy, watched as he passed away on his hospital deathbed. The spectre of the pogrom cast its shadow across the scene.
Rodney Real, son of Guy, was born and raised by his mother’s side of the family. He was proud to call himself a seventh generation Au8stralian.The story of Paul and the pogrom and his miraculous escape was the stuff of story, of myth.
Rodney Real moved into the bungalow on the top of the hill overlooking the University in March, 2015.
He'd decided to become a writer; a storyteller. He splayed his bungalow's insect laden walls with info grams of the Twelve Character Archetypes and The Hero's Journey.
Looking at the Twelve Character Arhetypes, He felt a magical attraction to the character of the wizard. I can be a story telling wizard, he thought. With a pen for a wand, and a story for a spell, and when you read the story, your under the spell.
Goal: "Align yourself with the cosmos."
Gifts: Personal power...Catalyst...Transformation.
Catch phrase: "It can happen!"
In the evening, Rodney sat in the backyard looking at the sliver of crescent moon waxing in the clear autumn sky. How to align myself with the cosmos? he wondered.
I'm on a spinning spherical ball of rock, he thought, flinging itself around a star which is hurtling through space around a black hole at the centre of the galaxy.
He saw Jupiter, the planet of expansion, hanging in the night sky.
When the moon is full, he thought, I'm at full energy. When it's new, I'm a blank slate.
He noticed movement in the stars, and turned to see a satellite making its way across the constellation of Sagittarius. He thought of the 12 zodiacs. Each zodiac was yet another archetypal character. Rodney decided to pay attention to the zodiac, to attune himself to the spirit of the character of each one as the year went by.
He was serious about becoming a wizard. He made a solemn promise to his soul that he would align himself with the cosmos and refine that alignment closer and closer to perfection for the rest of his life.
The current zodiac was Aries...the fiery initiator. The journey was about to begin.
Rodney sat in class in the first of his Scriptwriting lectures reading over the unit guide:
As a student of this University, you have the right to be respected, stimulated and valued as an individual. You also have responsibilities: to participate constructively in class, and to treat staff and students with respect and courtesy.
The lecturer, Peter, tall and bald, began abruptly in a no nonsense, belligerent tone: "Every Hero's Journey," he said, "Follows an archetypal mono mythic structure. The hero starts off in the ordinary world, where a mentor is usually introduced and a herald announces a call to adventure.
Rodney looked around the room at his fellow students. An Indian girl did the same thing, and they made eye contact.
"When we look at all the different mythologies of all the known cultures throughout history," Peter continued, "We find that they all tell stories that follow a seemingly pre ordained pattern."
Rodney looked back toward the Indian girl. She saw him out of the side of her eye and smiled.
Peter looked Rodney in the eye. "The Hero's Journey," he said. "Is real. It's the story that defines our histories, our cultures, and ultimately, ourselves. We're all on our own hero's journey's, creating for ourselves our own unique stories that automatically follow an archetypal narrative form."
The class soon ended and Rodney packed up very slowly as the other students left the class. The Indian girl did so too, and they were the last ones left in the class room. "Hey," said Rodney. "I'm Rodney."
"Call me Missy," she said as they made their way out into the hallway. "My Indian name's difficult for English speakers and no one can pronounce it properly. It's embarrassing for me."
"I understand," said Rodney, and sparks flew as he touched her shoulder.
They exited the building and climbed the steps leading to the big walkway that went through the university. "I've only been in Melbourne twenty days," she said.
"Like it?" asked Rodney.
"Better than India," said Missy. "Though it's difficult finding the time to cook for myself," she said.
"I can cook," said Rodney.
“I’m a vegetarian.”
“Sounds like a challenge.”
They exited the building and into the warm evening outside and made their way along the large walkway. “Will you be my teacher?” asked Missy.
Rodney's heart skipped a beat. "Sure!" he said.
Missy halted in front of a house with no fence. "Well," she said, "This is where I live."
"Right outside uni," said Rodney. "Nice. We should spend a day out on the town, sometime. I'll show you around Melbourne."
"Hey, that sounds great!" said Missy. "I'll text you my number."
"Sounds good," said Rodney. "See you next week."
Rodney came home from class that evening. His phone beeped! notifying him of a new message: Missy xo
No substance can be made perfect without long suffering.
When the natural order is deficient in power, it must be aided by art.
Art begins at the point where nature ceases to act.
Nothing can bear fruit without having first been mortified.
Missy and Rodney sat next to each other in class as Peter outlined the major stages along the Hero's Journey. I’m so sleepy, Missy wrote on Rodney's ledger.
Are you dreaming??? he replied.
Missy was nervous. He wrote an acronym on her ledger: “FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.”
Missy drew three love hearts on his ledger. Rodney drew arrows through the hearts.
After class they went back to Missy's house. "What are your house mates names?" asked Rodney as they walked around the side of the house.
"I don't know any of them," she said, writhing in embarrassment.
Rodney burst through the back door and introduced himself loudly. "G'day, names Rodney, how's it going?" They introduced themselves to Rodney.
They went upstairs to Missy's room. She had dream catchers and candles and a table with a mirror with perfumes. "Thanks for that," she said. "I was too embarrassed after living here for three weeks already to ask their names."
"Are your sure you're not a witch?" asked Rodney.
Missy giggled. "Of course not." She changed the subject. "I really hate my grandmother," she sighed.
"Well," said Missy, "I'm from a high caste in India. When I was younger I had a friend, a really good friend, we shared things together, you know? Anyway, I had an accident one time where I broke both my legs, and she came to visit me when I was all strung up in bed. And my grandmother was very cruel to her. She said she wasn't good enough to be my friend and humiliated her until she left in tears. She's such a bitch."
"It's funny how you always seem to hate the one's you love," said Rodney.
Missy grunted thoughtfully.
"I suppose the important thing is to make sure you don't end up treating people the way your grandmother does, in that way."
"True, I guess." She began shuffling around papers on her desk and rearranging her bookshelf. "I'm doomed," she said. "I have a hundred things to do, and I can't even find the scriptwriting program we were supposed to download."
"I've got it on USB," said Rodney. "Here." He handed her the USB.
"Thank you, Rodney!" she said, copying the program onto her laptop. "It's only week two and already I need a fucking break."
"Let's do a day out in Melbourne together," said Rodney.
"Definitely!" said Missy. "How about next weekend, after our first assignments are in?"
"Sounds great," said Rodney, who soon departed, saying goodbye to Missy’s house mates on the way out.
Next week in class Peter selected Missy and Rodney to come to the front of the class and do a reading of another student's script about two lovers having a quarrel. The female character had caught the male character kissing another lover in a restaurant. She confronts him, and he pulls out every trick in the book to deny it, but is left at the end with nothing to say except, “I love you!” The other students, aware of the tension between Rodney and Missy, giggled with attention, looking forward to Rodney's reading of the “I love you” line. Rodney revelled in it. Missy squirmed uncomfortably.
They read through the script. When the moment came, Rodney turned to Missy and read the “I love you” line with feeling. Missy blushed intolerably. Everyone laughed.
Missy was annoyed with him after class. "Why did you do that?" she asked.
"Embarrass me in front of the whole class."
"I had to read what it said on the page!" he said. "And besides, I was just giving the audience what they wanted. Come on, don't be mad. Still friends?"
Missy smiled. "It feels like the universe is conspiring to for us to be together. Let's talk all about it on the weekend."
"See you then," said Rodney.
The zodiac had moved into Taurus, the nurturer, when Rodney and Missy met up at 2pm on Saturday and drove into town. They went to the National Gallery and looked at art. "You and I are a blank canvas," he said, gazing at the buildings twinkling in the twilight. "Let's paint a picture, like one we saw at the gallery. A picture of you and me, to show the world." Rodney felt a funny, immense kind of feeling when he said these words, like he'd uttered a prophecy, like those words were somehow destined to end up as squiggly lines on paper pages.
Missy laughed. "Sure, why not?"
A couple of hours went by until the gallery closed and they were ushered out. They went for a walk to the Shrine of Remembrance. "Looks like the Taj Majal," said Rodney. "Like it's floating on the air.
“What's the Taj Majal?” asked Missy.
“It's your home ground wonder of the world," said Rodney. "A tomb built for a beautiful lady."
“Ohh,” said Missy, “I haven't been there.”
“It’s funny how you never go and see the famous landmarks of the city you live in yourself,” said Rodney.
“That’s what friends are for,” said Missy.
They climbed the steps to the top of the shrine and sat for a while, enjoying the spectacular view of the setting sun over the city. The purple buildings sparkled. Venus, the planet of love, came out and shone brightly all alone.
Missy gazed at all the names of dead soldiers as they circled the Shrine. “What happened?” she asked.
“World War One,” said Rodney. “Gallipoli. An entire generation of men died. They thought they were going on a great adventure. Ended up sick as guts in the trenches, slowly dying in filthy conditions." Missy wore a look of wonder. Rodney nodded. "That’s why we’ve got ANZAC day.”
"Australian culture is really fascinating," said Missy.
"Not as good as Indian culture," said Rodney. "You've got Hinduism a rich mythological and spiritual edifice. ANZAC day is the closest we have to a mythology."
"It would be easier for me to get a green card if I married an Australian," said Missy.
"The registry office is this way," said Rodney. Missy laughed. “If you're gonna be a proper Australian, like me," said Rodney, "There're some essential phrases to add to the vocab. Repeat after me: G’day, mate.”
“Gooday, mate,” said Missy.
“Chuck another snag on the barby.”
“Chuck another snag on the barby,” she said.
“That's good,” said Rodney. “Now try, show’s ya tits, love.”
“Show us your tits, love,” she said.
“Show’s ya tits, love.”
“Show us your tits, love.”
They gazed out over the Melbourne skyline
"In India there is poverty everywhere," said Missy. "People living on the streets without clean water. And if a woman is walking alone down the street they can rape them and there's nothing anyone can do about it."
"That's horrible," said Rodney. "I want you to know when I'm with you, you don't need to be afraid. Australia is a safe place. We treat people fairly and equally, here. We place a high value on people."
They left the shrine and drove to Brunswick St where a gypsy band was playing. The music and the room, filled with bodies relishing the start of the weekend, gave them a second wind.
As they sat on the balcony drinking tequila sunrises, Missy pointed out a girl. “You should pick her up,” she said.
“Why would I do that,” said Rodney. “This is our night together,”
She pointed out another. “You and her would work well together.”
“Me and you would work well together,” he said.
Missy had loosened up and she started expressing herself with gusto, much to Rodney's chagrin. She commented on the appearance of several of the other clientele:
“She’s too fat.”
“She needs to put on a bra.”
“She looks like a psycho.”
They went back inside and danced until the band finished. Spirits were high as they drove back to Rodney's bungalow, where they hung out for a while.
"This," said Rodney pointing to a cabinet filled with buddhas with a mirror behind them that had the equation Gravity=Karma written on it, "Is my shrine. The Shrine of Real."
She laughed. "Gravity equals karma?" she asked. "What does that mean?"
"I'm not entirely sure," said Rodney. "It came to me a couple of months ago after I had a vision."
"A vision?" asked Missy. "What did you see?"
"I was in a vacuum, with a big bunch of entangled fibres all enmeshed together, like steel wool."
"Oh my god."
"And I realised that the fibres represented all life here on the planet. There was no life to be seen anywhere else around in the empty abyss."
"Was it frightening?"
"A little bit, but it was inspiring, too."
"What happened?" asked Missy.
"The fibres were alive. Moving; interacting. And I was like pure spirit as I passed through the fibres, moving from one to another. And depending on how I moved, the fibres around me would react accordingly."
"What do you mean, how you moved?"
"If I moved with positivity," said Rodney, "The fibres moved toward me. And if I moved with negativity, they moved away."
"And that led you to Gravity equals karma?" asked Missy.
"The equation," said Rodney with a nod.
Missy thought about it. “But what does it actually mean?” she asked.
He chuckled. A bulb flashed over his dome. “How about this, we'll figure it out together. I’ll be gravity, and you be karma.”
Missy laughed. “Let’s do it,” she said. Rodney nodded.
"I'm glad I met you, Rodney," said Missy. "I feel so comfortable with you. Let’s keep in touch even more often?"
"I'd love to," said Rodney.
"I've got a work experience event next weekend," said Missy. "It's at an event in the city that I have to write a report on. They gave me two tickets. Do you want to come with me?"
'Sounds fabulous," said Rodney.
"Thanks so much for the day out," said Missy.
“Did you have fun?” Rodney asked.
"Easily the best time I've had in Melbourne," she said.
Rodney wrote a love letter for Missy before the next class. It was written in red pen and every little stroke was done with loving care:
I see you be,
And it's plain to see,
The best things in life
Are completely for free…
After the poem came a quote:
"If you'll see the world through my eyes, through your eyes I'll see myself."
Peter stood before the class next Wednesday. "Today," he said, "We're going to look at the myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was unequaled for his beauty. When his mother asked a god if her son would grow to old age, the god said, 'If he but fail to recognize himself, a long life he may have beneath the sun.' But Narcissus did recognise himself in the reflection of a pond. Upon seeing his own beauty and how nothing could ever be perfect enough for his love, he fell into the pond and drowned."
Rodney and Missy went to the library after class. “I’ve got something for you," said Rodney. A jolt of fear flashed across Missy's face. Rodney's heart went out to her. "It's a poem," he said, taking out his notepad and tearing the sheet from the page. "Written specially for you."
Missy took the letter and her face lit up "Aww," she said. "That's the sweetest poem ever! Thank you, Rodney!"
"No worries," said Rodney. It made him happy to help make her feel safe.
"Want to come back to my place?" asked Missy. “I’ll show you my shrine.”
They went back to Missy's and sat in the backyard under a tree where Missy had set up a stone altar. "The work experience event I told you about is on this Sunday," said Missy. "Are you still coming?"
"Its a date," said Rodney
They sat on the grass, looking at the moon, and she lay on Rodney's chest as they chatted on Missy’s holy ground and looked at the stars.
Rodney got a call from Missy on Friday night. She spoke loudly over the phone, rushing her speech. He couldn’t make out a word.
“Speak slowly,” he said. “And quieter.”
She did, and now her words came through crystal clear: “I got the dates wrong for the work experience event, it isn’t this weekend its the next, but it’s three weekends, so will you come with me next week and the one after that and the one after that?”
Joy flooded in from a forgotten corner of Rodney's soul. He was falling in love. "I'd love to," he said. "We’re going to have so much fun together."
“I think so,” said Missy.
"I'll see you in class," said Rodney.
Rodney hung up the phone and got the distinct impression that this was just a story, that they were just characters in a book, literally squiggly lines on paper pages, being written by someone, somewhere else.
Rodney was on facebook a week later on the Friday before his date with Missy on Sunday. Facebook had suggested him a friend. Looking at the picture, he thought it was Shanti, who he'd introduced himself to the first time he was at Missy's. At the time, though, Rodney had forgotten her name. She went to uni University and had Missy as a mutual friend.
Rodney: hey. Did I meet you at Missy’s?
Shae: What is Missy’s?
Rodney: I thought you were there when I went over the first time
Shae: Are you sure…
Rodney: She’s a very good friend at uni. I thought you lived with her.
Shae: It seems you like Missy
Rodney: I do. don't you? :)
Shae: Of course…
Rodney: hahaha. Well, we should catch up for a coffee at uni sometime.
Shae: You like Missy, so why you ask me for a coffee?
Rodney: Just being friendly. Never mind. Bye.
Rodney got up up the next day, Saturday, and opened facebook to find the following message from Missy:
Missy: What the FUCK Rodney? Why are you texting my friends and telling them that you like me??? Are you fucking crazy? You are so strange in the worst way possible. And it’s freaking weird.
Rodney was shocked; rocked.
Rodney: What? I thought she was your house mate. You're being silly. Don't let slander and hearsay stop us from having a great time together! I'll see you tomorrow.
Missy: Just leave me alone for a while. Tomorrow can never happen.
Rodney: tomorrow never knows
While Rodney was gutted at this turn of events and by Missy's words, as he read over those squiggly lines again, he became gladdened, as he saw that the emotional connection between them was as real to her as it was to him.
The next week was the last week before the mid trimester break. "The single greatest aspect that defines a hero," said Peter, "Is that the hero makes the greatest sacrifice."
Rodney approached Missy after class. "Hey, Missy," he said. "We should talk."
Missy nodded vulnerably. "How about over the break," she said. "I'll text you."
Rodney was palpably relieved. "Okay," he said. "We'll talk then."
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