Night School 94: Oneness
Posted by Grady Miller on Nov 17, 2012 - 4:46:48 PM
HOLLYWOOD—The ambulance careened into the parking garage at Cedars-Sinai and unloaded Suzanne first. The trouble began as she was wheeled on a stretcher from the ambulance into emergency. Before getting elbowed out of the way, one paparazzi from TMZ managed to photograph her face, still lovely despite oatmeal-colored flecks of vomit in her honey blond hair.
Behind closed doors in a sterile domain where curtains passed for walls, doctors huddled over her. They connected her to a demonic array of devices and ascertained that her heart, insulted by a corrosive cocktail of Xanax and alcohol, had lost its metronome, its regular steady beat.
On the other side of the hospital, Kit, saved from drowning and munching on pizza in her own private room, asked her father, “Where's Mommy?” Jason was afraid. He didn't know what to answer. When you're a parent, a boss, a leader, even a ham actor, there are questions you leave hanging deliberately in the air. You pretend you don't hear them and keep walking, whether it's cowardice or wisdom, you just keep walking. . . And that's what happened when Kit asked, “Where's Mommy?” And a split moment later she said, “What's arrhythmia?”
Had Jason been anywhere near his ordinary self, he might might have been inspired to lyricize:
I got arrhythmia/I got arrhythmia/I got arrhythmia/Who could ask for anything more?
But he wasn't himself tonight. After the euphoria of Kit's resurrection, uncertainty about his ex-wife's prognosis gnawed at him. In the hallway he plopped down on a seat next to Candy. His knee grazed her leg.
“Sorry,” said Jason.
“Sorry,” said Candy.
“Where's Juventino?” Jason asked.
“He had to go,” she said, looking up from her reading. “Business.”
As the minutes passed, they began reading together Mylanta's magnum opus, his posthumous book Oneness:
“All is love. Its force conquers all—even misguided, misbegotten, miscarried human enterprises, such as the Spaniards casting out the Jews and Muslims from their country in 1492 the Jews and Muslims, exiling all their art, science and knowledge." Spain, displaying all the fanatical self-mutilating zeal of a former spouse who razors the face of their ex wife or husband from all family photographs, leaving an eerie blankness, slid into endarkenment and become a hick country, pure and ignorant, from which it would require several centuries to reemerge. The desire to break apart and pulverize the whole prosperous unit and purge, destroy peace and unity stems from a destructive folly: Man's pursuit of an elusive purity. The phenomenon asserted itself notoriously in recent human history it received the name, Balkanization. This crumbling is inherent in human affairs. Even a baby categorizes everything as mine and not-mine, and has no use whatsoever for not-mine. And the list of things mine and not-mine grows exponentially as the years pass: there's my stuff and your stuff, my beliefs and yours, my way or the highway. And polite society does its best to subdue this pervasive separation.
“Why something innocent as a hug—an expression of pure love—if given when a person is distracted or deeply absorbed, could be repellent. The huggee's mouth could respond “I love you” while the body pushing away the hugger is saying “I hate you,” and this shattering of love's oneness can escalate into murderous rage. It can happen within the skin a single person precisely in this way: so powerful is love, the unexpected loving gesture can provoke an awareness of “I do not feel love,” and beget its opposite--hatred--turned against oneself, which in turn gets redirected as the hand pushing away. When we say we are are 'beside ourselves' it is admission of a single body and soul's Balkanization.
“And yet. . . The force which keeps this in check is love, love is all, love is for all, love holds the swarming molecules together and overcomes their urge to break apart. My fellow guru/profiteer Chopra has rightly observed: 'Every living organism shows a tendency toward unity, above the interests of the individual parts. Cells do not function for themselves alone, but for the integrity of the tissues of which they form a part. Likewise, the tissues operate with total efficiency to maintain the integrity of the organs and, in turn, maintain the integrity of the whole organism.'
“And death, my friends, even death is but another mask of love. Death brings us together, it changes plans instantly and roots out nonsense. It brings to our lips a cup called soberness and restores a scouring sense of the tragic and obliterates memories of stinky feet. No uncherished memory of stinky feet belonging to the dearly departed ever survives death's wand.”
As he finished reading Mylanta, Jason felt something heavy on his shoulder. He looked over and saw Candy's head—she had fallen fast asleep.
(to be continued)
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