A Day in a Park Somewhere in Time and Space
Siddhartha was not Asian in the sense of epicanthic folds and golden skin with which many people today associate Asians, although being Indian, he was, of course, subcontinental.
He’d stepped down from Nirvana a while ago to have a piss, something he’d not done for quite a while. He’d forgotten to do it before his ascension (or whatever it had been) and as time went by somewhere, not where he was at the time (somewhat ironic as neither time nor space existed there, or at least that was the scuttlebutt), it had started to bother him, and it bothered him more and more, so eventually (a very long eventually), he’d stepped back into time and space and after wandering for a bit (things were a bit confusing and adjustment not quite as easy as one might suppose for a Shakyamuni), he’d eventually learned a bit about his transcended (as opposed to former) self and even found some purported imagery, although they’d gotten his features wrong, especially his eyes. How he’d learned anything was the kind of mystery with which religions love to frustrate philosophers (somehow words like epistemology come to mind, not Siddhartha’s mind, but someone’s).
But about that piss. Well, it had created a bit of a problem as evidently, in the epoch in which he now found himself, natural functions were not encouraged, at least not publicly. He was “relieved” but somewhat, well, … “arrested”.
Confused but imperturbable (as was his nature) he was grabbed by two men in dark blue matching clothes wearing strange hats who pushed him into the backseat of some sort of wagon which miraculously began to move on its own and then stopped in front of a sullen cement structure where he was led up some steps and then taken into a room where he was forced to sit, exposed to a bright light, and then had his fingers stained and imprinted on some sort of parchment after which one of his two captors led him to a small room which apparently dropped of its own accord, then stopped, the door opening by itself to reveal a long hall, with cells on either side. He was led to a cell and placed there, somewhat roughly.
But he was not alone.
His cellmate, equally confused, was a tawny Semite with long, dirty hair and a scraggly beard, dressed in a dirty robe that might once have been unbleached cotton (so, sort of a once creamy color). Still his eyes seemed beatific and he also seemed imperturbable. He also seemed familiar as though at some point they’d interacted but he couldn’t recall where or when. Of course, he’d spent a great deal of something, not quite time, in a place without time or space but which other entities seemed to share, although they never communicated in the sense that, as a corporeal being, he recalled communication. Perhaps he’d had to piss as well.
After a while the two cellmates were taken into a large room in another building, filled with rows of chairs, then a semicircular wooden rail inside of which were two tables and in front, a high podium at which sat an apparently bored, middle-aged woman, dressed in a black robe. Scowling at them, she uttered gibberish neither understood. After repeating herself several times, each time expressing apparent anger or exasperation at their imperturbability, she said something to a burly man dressed in strange tan colored clothing, with a leather belt from which, on one side hung a type of club and from the other, in a leather case, a metal implement. The man grabbed them both by the arms and escorted them outside, muttering more gibberish and then releasing them
Outside the air was chilly and smelled terribly, as if something strange was burning. They looked at each other and in turn, each spoke, but neither understood anything. Oddly, they both looked up, as though seeking guidance. Together they crossed the street to a large park. It had a lot of trees set among winding paths made of some rock-like substance and every so often, benches were placed, some occupied, others empty. His cellmate left him and sat on one. He started murmuring with his head bobbing up and down.
Siddhartha spotted a large tree, not one he knew, but he’d had luck with large, very old trees in the past, so he went and sat at its side, facing the risen sun in the East, and tried to meditate, wondering if he could find his way back to where he’d been.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved