The Tonsure Warning
was happy to arrive in Hong Kong with the sacred tablet but he knew his days in
Asia were numbered when he showed up for work a few days late. During the first
week back at the office his lethargy was noticed by his boss. He told him that
he lacked a certain urgency in his work. By the end of the first week
back from Burma, he was spending more time drinking coffee in the pantry
instead of rushing to finish the textbook. He just didn't care as much as he
the actual artifact existed made him look at the world differently. Nihilism
flourished and he abandoned any false idols he might have had in a culture of
mistrust. But this wasn't all. The city that once moved like a symphony of
parts now appeared as an aggregate incongruity of subways and buses and honking
taxis. Crowds of peoples regarded each other with suspicion and unjust blame,
spewing out a vibe of resentment making it a contagion even to the purest
fortified heart. People's faces showed the poison of the tap water and wore the
gray eye rings from the sedentary life of office work, busy comparing what
others had with what they didn't have. The philosopher needs his space, his
view, and his sounds of nature to feel a sense of belonging to the environment.
He needs his hue and visual texture and freedom to smile at the rising sun. To
keep the stew from oxidizing into an inedible crust, the stir stick must jostle
the dormant powers of creation inherent his character. He needed to be able to
retreat to the sanctity of the forest with winds fleecing tree branches
creating songs from nature. The sacred knowledge Thomas had gained had produced
a narcotic effect on his person.
cannot experience such a profound event without being affected in ways that at
the time remain unclear. So much of one's actions are dictated by an
overpowering strength of character that one always thinks he is master of, but
most times his character will hold sway over even the strongest will.
first week back he received a letter from Josh. All it said was: "Your twin
brother needs you, please come home." He booked a flight to Canada for the end
of the August, three weeks hence. He would be returning with the stone tablet
and reunite with Josh.
the ferry coming home from work that Friday night at the end of the first week
back, he bumped into Our Man Chaffey.
You coming to the Full Moon Party tomorrow night?" His usual reply wasn't
forthcoming. Instead he found himself enamored with the girl standing beside Our
Man Chaffey. He saw the same look of irony in her eyes.
you be there too?" he asked her.
not used to this heat and I don't have air-conditioning right now in my place,
so yes: I'll be spending Saturday and Sunday on the beach."
think I'll be there." He winked at her. That' was when she introduced herself
see you tomorrow night."
night he had another vivid dream. He was out on a soccer pitch but instead of
playing he was watching the game. For some reason he knew when there was going
to be a goal. When he saw a long-haired player place the ball for the corner
kick and watched the header go in, everyone else was surprised but Thomas. Then
after the game he found himself again on the pitch. He had a soccer jersey and
went to trade it but the long-haired player saw that he wasn't a player so he
wanted the jersey from him without barter so Thomas gave it to him. He was
there empty-handed on the pitch but the long-haired player came back and
completed the trade by giving Thomas his jersey, which ended up being his old
Green Hornets #11 hockey jersey. He then found himself trying to find the way
from the soccer field. He was in this underground labyrinth of concrete where
he couldn't find the way out. The gray concrete had no way out except
staircases and dust. There were no signs. But after he led the way, many others
followed him down stairs to the dusty hallway to a door that opened up to an
old stone house - his father's house. They all gathered there but Thomas was
concerned that his father will be angry with so many people there. Just then
his mother opened the front door and approached him. He could see that she was
beside herself with fear at how his father will be furious. He explained the
situation to her - that there were no directions of how to exit the soccer
stadium so they ended up here. He then slipped out of the house as if no one
had seen him and was relieved that he won't be yelled at. He stood in what he
thought were nearby woods where the remainder of the soccer fans and players
soon emerged from the old stone mansion where they crossed a bridge over a
valley and then stood in line waiting for Thomas. But when he looked at them
across the bridge, he saw they were all men who had really short hair -
tonsures - and were wearing brown monk robes. So from where he stood in the
woods he watched the men all with very short hair and thick brown friar outfits
line up waiting for him to show them the way. As he looked at them he could see
his breath because it was so cold.
the morning when he awoke, he was baffled. The subconscious mind is a powerful
thing when affected by life's events.