Dear Jonathan

Dear Jonathan,

I just wanted to let you know why I could not complete this week’s assignment. Please bear with my verbose explanation.

As I was out walking and brainstorming thousands of edgy approaches to completing the assignment (all of which would have surely been spectacular stories if the “incident” had not happened), I came across a gothic style church. It was out of the way and behind a flat concrete wall, and I thought it would be an appropriate time to assault God. Sure I could do that from anywhere, but when someone is attacked in their own home, it somehow causes greater disturbance. Yes, I wanted to disturb God because his very existence had been disturbing me for awhile, and I wanted to confront him about a recent death spree he indulged in on my family. I went inside the church. I felt out of place, and decided to hide in a confessional. But then the priest started talking to me, so we had a chat.

He wanted to know my sins. I told him I don’t believe in God, that logically he doesn’t make sense. And he replied, then why are you here?

And I said because I’m pretty sure not believing in God is a rather offensive sin, and I’m just covering my bases, considering recent events.

He proceeded to kick me out of confession, mumbling something about being flippant. As I was leaving he quietly asked me why I base my beliefs in logic. So I told him. And he said to me if he can disprove logic, does that prove God. And I said you can’t disprove logic because that in itself is logic. And he said therefore disproving logic is illogical, proving the existence of illogic. And I said, illogic? As in noun? He told me it exists.

This is all essential to understanding why I could not complete the assignment. Because the priest insisted on showing me illogic. So he took me to the room behind the alter. The one I was never allowed in as a child because it housed the body and blood of Christ. Quite a room. A little morgue right in the church itself.

Body of Christ?

Er, no thank you? I’m more of a giver, you have it.

What childhood thoughts.

Anyway, I went in the room. It was carpeted. Blue carpets. A little too powdery for my taste. Not at all as austere as a morgue should look. And he took a key and unlocked a box full of keys. It must be annoying to have placed all the keys in one box and then have to lock that box. Then there is just the one straggler key.

I looked in this box of keys and he picked one out, and closed the box with both hands as if to point out just how important that box of keys was.

He left it unlocked. He led me to a door, turned the key, and walked through. There were stairs there, which went on endlessly. I started to feel like I was walking horizontally rather than upstairs. We wound up in the basement. That makes sense. Bit of a mindfuck there. Like when you’re stopped but think you’re moving backward because the car next to you suddenly started moving forward.

So we’re in the basement, and he says to me “pick an emotion,” and I said guilt. He said does it exist. Of course, I said. I can feel it. He said you don’t feel it enough if you’re not numb. But then I wouldn’t feel at all. And he said that’s when you feel most.

I started to feel a little numb with “whatthefuck” at this point. And you’re probably wondering why my explanation for not completing the assignment couldn’t be a nice neat little two sentences.

Well, that would just be too easy.

Why do synonyms have antonyms. This was his next question. It took me a while to even figure out why that would be illogical, so I just stared at him for a few minutes, wondering why I was in the basement of a church rather than sitting at a café working on my assignment. So to make his little “proof” go faster I made something up. I said in a room of synonyms and antonyms, the synonyms repel the antonyms, while the antonyms attract the synonyms. Then I asked have there ever been two magnets such that one attracts while one repels. And he told me I was being nonsensical and that I need to learn to focus. Fine. Because nonsensical and illogical clearly are not synonyms. But we weren’t talking about illogical things, we were talking about illogic. Completely different nouns.

Because I’m apparently not focused, while we were discussing all that I zoned out and noticed a tower farther down the corridor. I asked him what it was and he took me to it. We had to climb more stairs, and I was sure we were going up this time because I was out of breath. When we got to the top he opened the door and led me inside, finding the light. I have no idea how big or small the room was, or whether it had floors or ceilings or was just a round room because the whole thing was completely white. I had zero depth perception, which I thought was weird because it wasn’t even as though I just couldn’t tell how tall the ceilings were, but I didn’t even know which way was up. How could depth perception affect my directional abilities too? Wasn’t I standing “down,” so then “up” should be opposite me. But I felt like if I moved I would fall off of something into something, and I don’t even know why I panicked because clearly there was nothing to fall off into except more white. It was so strange, how the white seemed to be right in front of my face, as though I was stuck in a mold, but then when I lifted my hand in front of me, it cut through the white.

I didn’t even think to ask the priest why such a room existed in a church, but he said to me it was representative of the absence of God.

Oh, preach time. I was not in the mood. I was walking toward the little black line that ripped through the sheet of white when the priest opened the door again, and probably looked ridiculous as I shuffled across the floor, leaning backward as though if something were to go terribly wrong, I would be safe because I was diagonal. So I made my legs go first. I could tell I was getting closer to something because the black line kept getting larger. The priest had already left, but he left the door ajar thank God (or whatever), because I would have stood there forever too scared to move. Finally got through the door, and of course it wasn’t the way we arrived. There was a balcony-looking thing, and I was tempted to go onto it, but next to the little flight of stairs that led to it, there was a bridge that led to a part of the church I didn’t even know existed. It looked like there just wasn’t enough room for there to be more to the church, since it didn’t look all that impressively large from the outside. So of course I had to go explore, partially because if I didn’t I would have to go home sooner and work on the assignment. So I put off the balcony, and walked across the mystery bridge, as I called it, because my brain was so full of amazing assignment ideas it had no room for general thinking. Also I was feeling a little bit like I had emotionally plateaued, so anything greater than “mystery bridge” would have been underappreciated.

That is, before I crossed this mystery bridge. When I got across and turned the corner, I actually felt, for the first time this entire month, like I had a circulatory system.

A clock twice my height stared at me from across the room. It was distorted, and the minute hand was shorter than the hour hand, as they probably all should be. It was definitely a mead hall-sized room, but looked bigger because the floor was all mirror, and the ceiling was all glass. When I looked down I saw what I must look like to an ant. How disproportionate I must look to a wonderfully segmented creature. I looked down, and my reflection looked up. How am I supposed to look at mirrors? From what perspective? Would I rather, when I look in one, see what I look like looking into the mirror from the back? Isn’t that a more accurate representation of how I look at that time? Or would I like to see what I look like to someone else when I raise my right hand, and when facing them, they raise their right hand on my left side?

Neither of these is what the mirror actually shows. So it shows a complete lie. However, since at that point the mirror was reflecting the sky, it looked like I was walking on the sky if I looked further past my reflection, and I was totally cool with that. There was no earth around, just sky above and below me, as though I were suspended somehow among the stars. I wondered what time zone I would be in if I were in the stars, and it occurred to me that perhaps that’s why the crazy clock was there. Yes, crazy clock is one of those like mystery bridge. Adjectives were too much for me to handle at that moment.

Language was not my strong point then, and I decided to blame it on the fact that it was dualistic and subjective and was therefore in an unattainable realm along with God. And if I sound loopy in this letter it is for this exact reason–I entirely mistrust language and will therefore only write my thoughts as they appear in my head, in raw form, bad grammar and all. This is how I remembered everything, and when I reread this letter I will realize just how unimpressive and unbeautiful my thoughts actually are. But I don’t think in words, and that’s part of the problem too, because if I dress up my thoughts with pretty words, the thought will be covered, and hidden beneath the unnecessary fluff.

I wish I had a better excuse for not completing the assignment, like I fell asleep in someone’s trunk and woke up in Malaysia where a bomb exploded right over the the only place I could find a pen. I am almost positive you wouldn’t believe me though, so I’m taking the honest route like a good Catholic. Hah, but I lied right there anyway, because I’m a terrible Catholic.

Anyway, the point is I could not complete the assignment, and you probably still have no idea why.

I have no idea how much time I spent in the clock room. But the priest showed up again and asked me why I thought green was green, and why I think I can only see green, and why I can’t see the wind but know it’s there. The wind question got to me. I said I know it’s there because I can hear it when it goes through small spaces, and I can see it move things. What does wind look like, he said. I don’t know. And he said you can see it but don’t know what it looks like. I was silent. Then he said what if there were nothing around. Would you see and hear wind then? And I said no, but I would still feel it.

And I thought, it is amazing how the wind would never be seen without objects affected by it. It’s so dependent upon the outside world–and it would go unnoticed without things. Does this mean the wind has no personality? I wonder how it must feel, tearing across the sky, unnoticed until a ripple appears in a shirt, and a grizzled dandelion scatters.

And the priest for some off reason thought bringing me to wonder about this had proven that it is not possible to disprove God, even if he can’t prove God. I was missing a major point. Maybe my imagination wasn’t working because my reality got too intense since that death spree. But then I got it. The wind’s existence depends on things it affects. If a shirt wrinkles suddenly in the street, we assume it was the wind. If there were no person to feel the wind, the wind wouldn’t exist. It was a very priestly things to say and I argued that just because no one feels it doesn’t mean it’s not there. And with that the priest looked satisfied, and I became furious with him for thinking that statement somehow disproved the idea that there was some logical way to disprove God.

After all that I couldn’t do the assignment, because after my logic was dispelled, a beginning, middle, and end to a story about something as precisely measured as a map, or as accurate as an encyclopedia was entirely too confusing for me to grasp.

I hope you understand.