Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Dying Light

“Stop calling me that! Scheise! Stop calling me that – god damn you!” When she brought out her hands, they were tensed into claws. “Arschloch! Verpiss dich!” For the first time he began to feel something like fear. She took a step towards him.

“Now hold on there, you. This was your idea too.”

Holding out her arms, she fell on her knees, those weird pink tears trailing down her face. “Sir! Sir – look you. You must pay attention to me, please
, please listen and pay attention to me. I am feeling it. I’m feeling it inside and you must run. You must run and get away from me as fast as you can, please sir, I am on my very knees, you must see me. Run away from me... please...”

She began crawling towards him on her knees, her arms out.
“Lieber Gott! Look you, God, I’m telling him to run. Do you see me? Are you watching at all, do You see I don’t want to hurt anybody anymore, do You see? Oh Gott
! Make it stop!” She crumpled into a ball.

Father Delmar left the bed and came over to her. “Cut the drama, young lady. That’s enough.” He put his hand on her shoulder.

She screamed and jumped away, kicking her feet against him. “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me!”

He dropped to his knees and took her by the shoulders. “Cut out the hysterics and listen to me – “

“Don’t touch - ME!” She shoved him away with such startling strength he fell on his back. “My soul will rot in hell! And you – may you rot in hell too. Nasty man! Wicked, nasty sonovabitch man, you! I came to you because you are a man of God, you should help me, not tempt me to more sin. Fuck you! I trusted you with my soul! You should have mercy on me. I came to you with all my hope and on my knees like a beggar. I’m not a beggar!
Ich bin nosferatu!
I’m Nixie the vampire!”

He leaped up and swung. There was a sound like a gunshot as he slapped her face hard with the back of his hand. She put her head between her knees and he held her, speaking into her ear. “Now you listen to me, Nixie the fucking vampire. Listen.“

Her shoulders writhed and she tried to twist away from him.

“Listen. Nixie – God is dead.”

Her mouth fell open. “No! Don’t you say such a thing.”

“God is dead, Nixie. There is no God. God is a fairy tale, like this vampire act you’re pulling. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry Nixie, but I have to tell you. No one is going to save you or forgive you. You’re waiting for a savior, but no one’s coming. I wish there were. God, how I wish there were because I need Him as much as you do.”

“That’s not true.” She sat up straight and pointed an accusing finger in his face. “That’s not true.”

“There is no God. No one to forgive you. You’re a whack job, honey. You’re just as crazy as a mud bug. We’re all damned, no matter what. I love you. I’m sorry as hell for you and me both.”

“You don’t believe in God. That’s why you have no hope.” She shook her head. “
Vater, vater
, there is really a God; yes there is, and He hates me and I need His forgiveness because I’m an evil thing. Please. I just know there is, I’m proof there is.”

“Because you think you’re a vampire?!” Father Delmar seized her in one hand by the back of her neck and shoved her face down hard into the bedroom carpet.

“Smell that, kid. That’s bullshit down there. Bullshit and mud. That’s what the world’s made out of, Nixie - bullshit and mud. You need to take this Vampirella crap and all your comic books and all your supermarket novels, whoever’s feeding you all this little goth girl crap you’re living and bury them or shove them up your ass or something and get involved in the world.” His voice was choking. “It’s bullshit and mud down there but it’s all there is.”

He let go of her neck and lifted her gently, his hands cupping her face. He looked into her hard strange eyes. “I don’t like this world anymore than you do. But you can’t run away from it. It’s your world as long as you’re in it. I got a gut ache from wishing, Nixie, you don’t know. I wish I’d met you thirty years ago. I’m tired, I’m even crazier than you. Can you see that in me? I’m not as bad as you think. I paid a price for my faith, I really did, but God didn’t keep His end of the deal. There’s no God out there, I’m sorry.”

His throat tightened and he began to cry. “I wish for both of us there was, but there isn’t. There just isn’t.” He melted into braying sobs. She wrapped her arms around him and held him as he fell apart. He put his arms around her. They leaned on each other and wept together.

Nixie and Father Delmar from “The Dying Light” C. Sanchez-Garcia

Back in the day, Albert Einstein used to spend a lot of his best working time loafing around in a little sail boat with a notebook handy. During these moments he was performing what he called “thought experiments”. These were experiments every bit as serious as anything a physicist would do in a laboratory. Eyes closed, hands behind his head, a floppy hat shading his face, he would dream. Imagine a man on a train. The train is moving at the speed of light. The man is bouncing a rubber ball in the aisle. He sees the ball bouncing up and down in a straight line .Another man is standing on the side of the track as the train passes. What does the rubber ball look like to the man on the ground? With day dreams like this he revolutionized the way we look at time and space. The earth does not revolve around the sun. It only appears to. A man bouncing the ball on the train traveling at the speed of light ages more slowly than the man watching the train go by. He knew these things before he wrote the equations. So much of modern science resembles mysticism that someday they are destined to meet.

Everybody has their own reasons I guess. People write fiction for different reasons. In my case, when I’m putting my heart in it – and I believe you should always put your heart in it – fiction is where I go to explore my obsessions. They are my thought experiments. What would it be like to wake up as a woman one morning? What would I do with myself? What does a vampire think about God? What if a vampire wanted to repent and seek out atonement and redemption? How would she do it? Why would she do it? Why would anybody believe her?

In the above scene, I'm exploring two sides of the great question of my life. Both Nixie and Father Delmar represent me. One is older me, the person of great faith and earnestness. The other is current me, a spiritually tired but undefeated soul. The one is a creature of the supernatural and consequently a believer in a God who loves and hates, and holds out hope in miracles of redemption and atonement. The other side, spiritually exhausted and disillusioned is saying there is no evidence that the world is being controlled by any moral force outside of Man. Both entities exist in a balance of tension within me.

I am above all a man who has had a more than average exposure to bull shit over the course of his life. I have become more than wary of it, I have become paranoid of it. I am fascinated by language and the nefarious uses to which it is put in the information age. The art of the spin, the lie that is not quite a lie, or as Macbeth would say "the fiend that lies like truth." I tend to be suspicious of what people say, trying to understand why they say it. This eventually became one of the roots of my fiction writing, my thought experiments to know why people do what they do. In my case what does the man bouncing the ball on the train at the speed of light do if a woman comes up to him and takes off her clothes? Does he stop bouncing the ball and look?

I want to believe that I'm doing some high minded thing, helping people to find themselves or some eternal truth. But I know I'm not. My audience is too tiny, my voice too weak, and my insight too limited. Its just following the bouncing ball to see what kind of rabbit hole it drops down.

What I know for sure is that faith can bend reality. But faith is not associated with reality. You can believe an idea with all your heart - and I have - and it can be completely wrong, like believing the earth is flat or believing that human beings were created 6000 years ago in the Garden of Eden.

I believed in my God with all my heart and believed I was following God. At no time did God tell me otherwise. But I was wrong. I started out as the guy on the train, bouncing a ball at the speed of light, and now I'm the guy watching the train go by. But I also know that if you believe in something fiercely enough, there are special times when the Universe will step out of your way and allow you to pass. The human mind has to ability work magic that an animal mind does not because human beings have imagination.

I’m much clearer about what I don’t believe than what I do believe. I believe God exists. At least there’s no evidence God does not exist. I’m not convinced at this time that God exists in a way that matters. A casual reader of these words will have no idea what they mean, what a gigantic fall these words represent. I am a man who has come into a Wisconsin town in the dead of winter with only a sleeping bag and set up a mission to bring the word of God to people. I have preached on street corners. On separate I have had two guns and one knife pulled on me. I have been hunted in the dark, one humid night near Houma Louisiana in April of 1981 by three men who intended to kill me if they could find me. All these things I did for God and much more. You must understand this – when you hear me say I’m not sure God exists in any way that matters, this is coming from a man who once had the faith to build the ark even when all the world was laughing at him. I built my ark for God. The problem is, the world turned out to be right.

What I know for sure to be true is that what matters in the search for God is compassion. Without compassion, religion too easily turns to the most selfish fanaticism. I’m baffled by people who are looking forward to Heaven because they have been born again, but without their children or loved ones who will be going to eternal flames because they have not accepted Jesus. What heaven is that?

Compassion doesn’t come from success. It comes from the experience of what the other guy is going through, and what most people are going through is a hard battle. It comes from suffering wisely and not selfishly. I believe humility is a necessary element of the spiritual life, and the most important defense against fanaticism and the flowering of personal evil. Humility as I see it is the ability to see yourself clearly as you are, no better and no worse. The ability to be flexible with others.

I’m at that age where the horizon has come closer and the edge of the world is in view. According to the statistics I might have twenty to twenty five years of life left in me if nothing bad happens to cut me short. I can remember where I was and what I was doing twenty years ago. When I think of that, twenty years doesn’t seem that far away. It’s a strange and scary thing to be able to see the end of the road just right over there, and not to know if there’s anything past it. I would like to believe there is. Carl Sagan, through one of his characters in the novel “Contact” observed that if there were no other intelligent beings in the Universe “then it would be such an awful waste of space.” I would say if there is no life after death, what an awful waste of experience.


  1. Garceus, thank you for an excellent post.
    I am 74, so possibly in a similar situation to you.
    I also believe in a Prime Mover, but I cannot make myself believe that it is interested in anything less than the entire Multi-verse.
    I would like to think that we continue,"after we reach the clearing at the end of the path."
    I agree with Carl Sagan and you on that point.
    As a side-note, on the question of a vampire seeking redemption, there is a writer who calls herself Patricia G, she posts on S O L. she has written an interesting series on just that point, you might enjoy.

  2. Hello, Garce,

    Heavy stuff for an erotica/romance blog, but I love it because that is who you are. You can be hilarious but you are never frivolous.

    Someone said once that there if there is a God, He probably doesn't give a damn whether we believe in him or not.

    Think about it, too--when you were a wandering preacher--how do you know that you didn't touch someone's life and make a difference?

    In any case, your thought experiments do change the world, at least in small ways. Keep doing them.


  3. Hi Garce,

    Fascinating post. This weak has been a real journey of discovery and there are so many insightful quotes and comments in your post I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it.

    Do you know how difficult it is following you each week ;-)



  4. Hi Paul!

    Multiple universes - that would be a huge workload for any deity. As you say, I think there's a prime mover, I'm just not sure what his stake is in us.

    The writer you mentioned sounds interesting. I'd like to read her series, but I don't know what SOL (shit outta luck?) is or where to find it. Can you point me at it?


  5. Hi Lisabet!

    Well, if I touched anyone's life i hope it was in a good way. Maybe we all touch each others lives.

    (Julia's coming along. Halfway done.)


  6. Hi Ashley!

    You sound like you;ve had an interesting week. I hope we'll hear about it tomorrow and get to know you better. I know you've been pretty busy at ERWA.


  7. Garce,

    Amazing stuff as always. I understand what you say when you say God exists, but not in any form that matters, and to some extent, I understand what that means to you (though I have never even tried to set up a mission in Wisconsin). How all this plays into erotica is very important, I think, because of the moral taboos imposed by so many religions on sex and intimacy. However did something so simple and so wonderful get transformed into something so complicated and dirty?

    But I guess that's why we write about it and that's why people read about, right?

    Take care!

  8. Garce, sorry, because I know it, I think everybody knows it, here is the address;

  9. Hi Helen!

    Yeah, I guess so.

    Sex, and creativity and spirituality all seem to come from the same place. I wonder if that is why some religions enbrace it as a path, and others place restrictions on it.


  10. Hi Paul!

    I followed your URL and signed onto it. It looks like a very good site, thanks for passing it on to us.