“... and lead us not into temptation... ”   Like the first  de-congested nose full of fresh air after a severe head cold when raw sinus passages smart with welcome relief, my entire skeleton revels in this midnight wind... whistling somewhere near my clavicle... airborne pollen particles of sage trailing taste impressions through my unhinged jaw... my wedding band, no longer snug, faintly “clinking” between aluminum strut and fractured bone... death finally emitting a clean smell, and a feeling of being purified by the abrasive sand... darkness surrounding my unsanctified plot as sympathetically as a widow's veil. I pray, contemplate, meditate, pray some more, unconcerned about the contradictions—right versus wrong become an echo no less distant than my heartbeat's memory. Preoccupied with The Presence—which is stronger, closer, dearer—my material grip on Existence has loosened of itself... only to tighten, on occasion, groping as for some elemental lifeboat, fearing the fathoms below, my soul no longer buoyant, thus condemned to sink... irretrievably?
    'Let go,' intuition counsels... while something more intractable overrules.
    At least the pain is gone—the worst of it. I still wince now and then, but the impetus is merely a reflex of un-forgetful nerves, whose ends, in physical terms, have long-since disintegrated. I am no more; Ol’ Jolly Roger flashes his grin with a fixed anonymity—could be anybody, waxing in the moonlight... as I test my unseen tether and discover it, too, has decomposed. Meaning I’m released? Free to wander?
    “... but deliver us from evil."
    Where is there to go?
    "Amen.”

 

They went to Changuu Island...

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