Panopticon.jpg

The Other

There was once a young man of considerable influence and property. He had not a care and found or obtained whatever he desired. His affluence took him wherever he wished and after he had gone where he pleased he quickly-quite-naturally grew tired and bored and began to seek what he was unable to obtain, and there he found a desire great and plentiful. He needed no possessions because he owned anything and everything he pleased. He desired no woman because they came in legions. He longed for something that was not tangible, something greater than that what he owned, and he found that longing in his search for an acquaintance – a man an African-American woman, a homeless professor and a bee. This youth was cruel, even savage, and though he learned quickly, he learned sometimes not at all. He sought that intoxicating acquaintance in hearth and during travel even in taverns. Occasionally, when the youth had ceased looking or when he had grown too tired for seeking, he found that ancient acquaintance. There and then the gap filled as the two now friends met and chatted, played and discussed. Encounters with the man and then the woman and older woman were encounters with the same presence and at one time it seemed as if he and the fullness of those encounters merged. He needed no more, longed over nothing. Yet, the longing was not ending and he did not realize it. Sated for a time, he was again filled with an emptiness that came naturally from every what that the cosmos possessed. He lacked not food or drink not company nor travel. He lacked no education and needed no more of control over his environs. Still, he desired that ancient acquaintance and needed it. It was part of him, but he did not know; knowing would not have mattered. He sought again that same sensation – that ancient acquaintance – though on this occasion not through his friend. He sought in church and stable, in exercise and entertainment. He looked to friendship and meditation. He did find this sense that he needed, and it was everywhere. Puzzling. It never remained and quickly was it not part of any one occasion. He sought and lost it in every perception and experience. No religious feeling gave him the least sense of it, except that same acquaintance that arrived with every encounter. Now confused in a comfortable manner, he began to seek it nowhere, looked for it where there was nothing at all.

© 2014 by Kirk A. Shellko a.k.a. Lucian Whyte