Sunday, December 30, 2012

Church Candles

The sky overhead is slate gray. It's been that way for three weeks. The weatherman swears it's going to snow soon, but the clouds right now are just offering a vague threat. I stand outside on my balcony in the morning gloom watching bustling little people drive and walk to work. They move quickly and with intent. A briefcase or portfolio in one hand and a cigarette or coffee in the other.

Gotta get that fix in before work. I know the feeling. I grind out the stub of my cig and let the wind carry it down to the street. Sticking my hand into my pocket I find and pull out the nearly empty pack. One left. I pluck it out and put it in my lips.

If I need another I'd have to go inside and that would probably wake Jessica and she'd want to talk about last night and I...don't want to do that right now.

I hold the lighter up and try to spark it, but end up knocking the cig out of my mouth instead. I watch in abject horror as it tumbles to the sidewalk below. It rolls but then stops against a trash can. I look back at the apartment. Maybe I can dash downstairs and grab it. I wouldn't have to go into our room and risk waking Jessica. I decide it's a good idea.

The busy little bees give me strange looks as I come and poke around the trash with my sleeping clothes on.  Finally I find the cigarette and tug it out from under the can, but it catches and tears. Carcinogenic guts spill out and tumble across the sidewalk.

I'm about to swear and curse in anger when something about the torn cig catches my eye. On the inside tube, where the tobacco would be, is writing. I gently pull the rest of the now empty paper open and hold it close to read:

Kaslo Renila Zs'ta

Long live your glory and your word

Let this prayer reach you

Let its sound awaken you

Bring your fury and fire

Cleanse the world

We offer this vessel to you

It's a prayer. Like a church candle. Burnt in hopes that God...or something else hears it. I look around and see the workers buzz to and fro. Cigarettes hanging from their lips and their hands. All of them secretly praying to something in hopes that it will awaken.

How many packs is that? How often? My hands start to shake and the torn little thing flies away on the wind. What is the vessel? The cigarette? Or me?

Above me something in the sky swirls.

No comments:

Post a Comment