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–only 3 chapters left to edit before release–

a future of dreams is a short novel that grapples with love & true love, human beauty, sensuality, fantasy, and the surreal. | Release Date: June 1, 2018 



Chapter 12 | The Priest at the University’s Chapel


“…He felt an object against his palm, a folded piece of paper. It was going to be their little secret. Áxel understood that much from the interaction. He closed his hand discretely and pushed the paper deep into his pocket. He blushed the whole time. She gazed into his eyes and held them while the cordial orderly said his goodbyes…”

“…’I gave you all you need to know,’ she added with a smile. With her customary sway and bounce…”

“…Written in feminine penmanship was her name –Julie; and below her name, a series of numbers separated by dashes. Her phone number was followed by ‘A man who defeats death is worth my time.’ Áxel smiled with an ample reason to blush…”

“…He entered through the university’s main gate, near the corner of Brown & Stewart Streets. He walked by the law school and sourly considered how unjust life is to mortals. Ultimately, the only laws that matter are the laws of time. The study of law… How useless could such an endeavor be? Especially when you consider the ultimate fate for mortals…”

“…He looked around with the expertise of a detective seeking evidence, evidence of the secret –the secret of time. Áxel understood that if anyone knows the secret of time, if anyone has a complete grasp of the essence of time, it’s the gods…”

“…The King was a complicated man. Another detail in his life was his love of many foreign women. This is the vital intersection between Áxel and King Solomon’s asynchronous lives –the ‘many’ and ‘women’…”

“…King Solomon’s prayer would also hold true for the foreigner who prayed toward the House of the Lord. Áxel became that foreigner as he sat in Dayton’s House of the Lord…”

“…Father Antonio examined Áxel carefully, much like an archeologist studies a newly discovered artifact. He observed Áxel’s face and took note of his tortured expressions…”

“…What is it about prayers and closed eyes? Tell me… If you close your eyes, does it improve communication with the divine? Does it make prayers come true? Does God prefer conversations with closed eyes?”

“We also close our eyes when we kiss, one of our most intimate interactions. Do we close our eyes when we kiss and pray for the same reason? I suppose that when we close our eyes, a degree of intimacy is established that cannot be achieved with open eyes, an intimacy that implies trust. It’s possible that humans develop a greater bond with others and the divine through this implied trust. We connect in ways that are impossible with wide-open eyes…”

“…Áxel had never treated clergy with more or less respect than he would anyone else, but Father Antonio was different. Áxel sensed this man was more than mere clergy. The man had lived, and lived fully. There was an aura about Father Antonio that singled him out from the rest. The priest was truly a chosen one. Áxel responded with heightened respect toward the man who possibly had a gift for him, a secret gift…”

“…Father Antonio regained control of the conversation. “Augustine, that son of many tears, believed that humans experience life in time. For us, life is present, past, and future. We truly experience things and events in the present through our senses and awareness. After they occur, they transition into our past –mere memories. Finally, what has not yet happened –the future– acquires some reality in the present through our expectations.”

“What’s truly real? It’s our experiences in the present because the past is no more, and the future does not yet exist. On the other hand, unlike mortals, God experiences the past, present, and future all at once. This occurs in his eternity, as opposed to time –time is for humans. God is eternal, and this eternity facilitates his omniscience.”

“Áxel implored passionately, ‘I seek only understanding and discernment from his omniscience’…”

“…Father Antonio continued his homily… ‘Áxel, I know what troubles you. You understand enough about your predicament to suspect that God is Time. I know. But Time is not the only thing God is… God is also love. It’s such a simple message, 1 John 4:8, ‘Whoever doesn’t love does not know God; for God is love.’”

“God becomes part of the human experience as Time; but his manifestation in human nature, intimacy, and happiness will always be as Love. Time pursues you, Áxel. It has proven to be your worthy adversary; but you can’t reciprocate such worthiness because you are finite. After all, Time is God, God is eternal, and you are nothing but a mere mortal. You’ll never win, not directly. For any possibility of victory, you must approach Time through Love. It’s true –from Love to God, God to Time, and then you strike…”

“‘What is Love?’ asked Áxel.”

“‘I’ll tell you,’ replied the priest.”

“Many years ago, before I became a priest, I thought that I understood what it meant to love and be loved. In fact, I believed that I was loved. My affections for a woman, who shall remain nameless, were clear manifestations of love. As humans, we know very little about love. We know when we love –at least we think we do. Sometimes, we’re fooled by the appearance of love, the mere semblance of the sacred emotion. We are rarely mistaken on our part. The difficult task is to correctly identify being loved by another. When we realize that we’ve been the victims of a mirage, our world crumbles…”

“…Forgive me if I ramble on. I’m an old preacher. I’m an intellectual, an academic. I serve God by sharing his message with the enlightened, the religious intelligentsia, and college students. At times, people come to be entertained by my words. I say ‘entertained’ because I can see in their faces the lack of understanding, no discernment whatsoever. They enjoy the beautiful words and ideas painted with the many colors of my soul on their spiritual canvas. They come to enjoy the thrill of artful words that are soaked up by their senses. They are like those who enjoy a painter without understanding the mechanics and paradigms of her brush strokes. I can only paint from the experiences I’ve had, from what I do, and what I’ve done.”

“Áxel, the world has learned to speak about Love in many ways. Civilization has dissected the essence of Love. In Love’s dissection was its weakening. Love’s power was diluted; and with this ungodly dilution, the intensity of the experience of Love also waned. Love was maimed and quartered –possibly forever.”

“Humans happily experience the various manifestations of Love, individually, but ignore the full potential of undissected Love: Love as Love, Love in fullness…”

“…I have desired the touch of a woman –even now, at this age. I know this is no longer a possibility for me. Time has passed, and I have been a victim of its agents, too. What is beautiful in a woman, what inspires music and poetry is all beyond me now. Often, I sit in my room in solitude and wonder about the magical mysteries that are a woman’s companionship, her affections, profound wit, and intellect. I fantasize about the joys she inspires through the beauty of womanhood; but I’m just one of Time’s helpless victims. There is no remedy or salvation for me; but for you, there is still hope.”

“When you look at a woman, ask two questions. The questions are the same for any woman who looks at you, too. It works both ways. In determining whether a man is fit for a woman or a woman for a man, the answers to these questions are crucial. They are simple questions whose answers reveal whether she is the foundation and the ALL of your life –and just so you know, your struggle against Time is a related matter.”

“What are these questions? Here you go… First…”

“…The questions are the same for both men and women. For Love to withstand the onslaught of Time, to find true Love, to Love with true Love, to be Loved with true Love, both parties must harmonize their answers to these questions…”

“…Áxel sighed. It was a deep, troubled, and melancholic sigh –like the sigh of a man who is forced to watch the woman he loves walk away for the rest of his life.”

“He was exhausted. The culprits were his recent illness and life in general. His condition was both physical and spiritual.”

“Finally, Áxel saw the letter…”

“…He would read the letter again with new eyes, with discernment, and knowing that its voice would somehow be different.”

“The letter was from…”

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a future of dreams (Release: June 1, 2018)