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–only 2 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 13 | The Reverend & Her


“Áxel held Gloria’s letter. His grip was unusually strong. Since he received the letter, he possessed it with loving respect. He protected the missive as if guarding a secret. Its existence alone was enough to spark painful feelings of nostalgia, but not for the reasons you would think…”

“…In silence, he opened his eyes wide, as if in disbelief –not of Father Antonio’s truthfulness, but that any person could be so manipulative, cold, and insensitive toward the feelings of another human being…”

“…The sunlight bathed Gloria’s letter, making it legible. It was an eloquent letter. The writing was double-spaced and perfectly crafted with distinctive penmanship. It was a woman’s writing, the writing of a woman he knew. He stared intently at the correspondence, at the form of the words and letters, but without reading them. He scanned the paper from top to bottom as if preparing to read, like a sprinter stretches before the hundred-meter dash or a boxer jumps, punches, and stretches her neck just before the big fight. Áxel’s main event was about to begin…”

“…Father Antonio’s words were the key he was about to insert into the letter’s lock. By unlocking the mystery in Gloria’s tender message, Áxel hoped to liberate more secrets…”

“…I know thoughts of me have haunted you since our last night together in Old San Juan, but not the way I thought they would. I know it now, and suspected as much then.

I suspected your heart wasn’t mine; but unlike all the others, I saw your soul, and this gave me false hope. I saw through the windows of your eyes what the world couldn’t, what it wouldn’t allow you to be.

It’s never easy to love. I belonged to you, but I knew you would belong to another. You weren’t a coward or afraid to love me. You couldn’t love me because your heart wasn’t mine. No one rules the heart.

The play of ‘Life’ is not yet over for you, my love. ¡Vive, Áxel!

When you finally understand this letter…”

“…Rev. Forastieri stood tall, overlooking the Atlantic. It was a magnanimous view: the unsettled beauty of confused waters crying out to the mourning sand…”

“…She slept without shadows overhead. The ground received her as a luscious fruit disappears into batter. The earth yearned to taste the final reserves of beauty and nobility stored in her sacred soul and hallowed body…”

“…The preacher spoke: “What is it that truly defines our life? What gives it meaning? Is it God? Is it religion? Is it the sacred rites and rituals performed incessantly on behalf of mortals? …”

“…Her passing is a tragedy for many, a lost opportunity for others, amusement for some, and personal emptiness for the few of us who knew her well. Even in death, she inspires rebirth and gives life to others. Her loving nobility extends beyond this ocean with healing and redemptive power.”

“…She was a beautiful haunting to a particular man, men in general, and all of you –a phantom used, sometimes ignored and taken for granted. Why? Why do we take people for granted? Is it because of their immediate and certain presence? Is it because of our inability to think about their absence at some future time? Is it our denial of that person’s mortality? …”

“…She sat at his side listening to each sound, letter, syllable and word, the constructions of his mind, the artwork of his tongue as he painted a masterpiece on the canvas of her heart, soul, and intellect. It was a difficult task for the King because his strokes brushed over the preexisting painting of her life. The King refreshed the aesthetic beauty of her essence. She was left breathless…”

“…One day, she left and returned home. She was never as happy again, not the way she experienced happiness in his company, at arm’s reach, as when she held and touched him. King Solomon was never the same. It’s a portentous power: the natural force of men on women, women on men, and any human in lustful love and loving lust…”

“…The crowd was apprehensive of Rev. Forastieri’s words, as if offended; yet they couldn’t move, as if compelled to listen to his funereal homily like prisoners confined to their cells. He spoke the truth. They reacted to the truth like a patient undergoing a medical procedure under failing anesthesia. Rev. Forastieri pressed on…

‘Because of King Solomon’s wisdom and discernment, he wrote with discretion. He called out to her as a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. The Queen wasn’t his wife or concubine, but love transcends titles and labels. She was poetry. She was completely deprived of imperfections –honey and milk under her tongue. She captured his heart. Her heart stirred for him. Her hands and fingers dripped with myrrh. She was his and he belonged to her. She was like a palm tree and her breasts like clusters. He had climbed her and taken hold of the branches. She was a seal upon his heart. For the King, love was as fierce as death and passion as mighty as Sheol. Don’t hate or show disdain toward her, daughters and sons of the world.

At the dawn of civilization, the epic King Gilgamesh addressed his subjects and made it clear that the boundaries set up by the gods are not unbreakable. What metal this man was made of! What awesome and overcoming sense of human greatness! A challenger and worthy adversary of the gods…’ –The reverend’s tone turned somber, and his volume declined when pronouncing ‘worthy adversary of the gods.’– ‘On his quest to test these boundaries, he learned many things, as humans often do when they challenge the gods. What did Gilgamesh learn? First, death comes to us all. Second, no one knows when the last days of our lives will come. Finally, the gods decide human fate, yet we can challenge them while playing their game…'”

“…What does it mean to drink from the Well of Immortality? To make the dead rise from the grave, to free the prisoners from their cells and sinners from their sin. It means that Love is wrung from our inmost heart until only the loved one is and we’re not. When we love, there’s a part of it that’s self-love. This self-love stains our affections toward the loved one, making it all impure.

When we drink from the Well of Immortality, self-love is completely drained from our heart –wrung from it. It’s as if the sponge of death absorbs it from us.

True Love’s kiss kills the mortal heart of flesh. It’s the only way to immortality. In that empty vacuum, all that’s left is the object of our Love, the loved one. We vanish but experience the purity of the person that’s loved…”

“…’I’m as immortal as Gloria is eternal. She confessed as much through her life, her affections, her touch, and tender kisses. The warming sensation of her skin, the soothing moisture of her breath as her lips lingered over mine, the overpowering convulsions inflicted by her touch… These graces spoke to me, they gave me life, and gave you much to talk about all these years.

1 John 4:8 proclaims that God is love. On this cemetery hill, the contagious splendor of a woman who believed in love still radiates. Her last written testament to one man –not the one you suspect– encouraged his learning of love, prompting him to love and to be loved. I can’t emphasize enough that Gloria believed in love. Because she believed in love, she believed in God, but not as you do…”

“…The woman, her touch, her affections, her emotions, and her very essence are the fulfillment of your holy book. Through love, she believed in him and cannot perish. She’s worthy of everlasting life…”

“…Rev. Forastieri fell silent. He scanned the crowd one last time, missing no one. He pierced their eyes as one who is about to admonish and administer correctives. The preacher had nothing to say to their ears. Words were not lacking. If he wanted, they would overflow in torrents; but the man simply had nothing audible to say. At that moment, he spoke with his heart. He spoke to their hearts.

The crowd was ashamed but didn’t know it. However, they were aware of the insult. The slight was alive, festering, and brooding within. Once acknowledged, this type of insult sparks shame. They deserved to feel shame. It was a dignified insult, a slight inflicted to restore harmony in human relationships.

There was something he had to communicate that would underscore the shame in their heightened sense of emotional awareness. After he sustained eye contact with everyone, it was as if they could hear him say in the clearest, simplest, and most primitive way, “Fuck you! Fuck you all! May you burn in Hell!” The imagined tone was that of noble and refined vulgarity. He said nothing –with his mouth. His silence was deafening. They never heard the sweet bitterness of his voice again…”

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