Written by Padriac A. Harrison
He wasn’t afraid to die. He wanted it. He yearned for it. His body had long ago rotted away. He didn’t remember what it had looked like. He remembered the pain of the worms feasting on it, the feel of the crow’s beak that pecked out his eyes. Bit by bit he was consumed. Yet he remained. Without form he should have gone into the next generation or to Gehenna. He certainly wasn’t going to heaven. Perhaps he was in the hell the Christians had spoken of.
No, he thought. It’s the curse. He may not remember his body but he remembered the Son. Yeshua ben Yosef had been carrying his crossbar when he stumbled for the third time. All he had done was remark that perhaps a carpenter shouldn’t drop the wood he was working. That was when the Son looked at him.
“I see you were watching that,” he said. “You shall watch forever. Until the sands of time run dry. Never to know the Kingdom.” Another man picked it up for Yeshua and then they continued on the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha. The Son of Man asked God to forgive them, all except him it would seem. So he watched. He watched the Messiah rise. He saw his followers spread to every corner of the globe. He watched them mar the precious Torah and corrupt their own sacred words to justify heinous acts. He even watched them eat of the unclean.
I tried to tell them, he thought. I wrote it all down. Heretic they called me. They were the heretics. Peter was jealous. Had it been Peter? Or had it been Mary? Not Thomas, he had at least listened. Or was it Matthew? He couldn’t remember their faces anymore than he could his own. They blurred and clouded until they were no longer human. The Son was the only one he remembered. It had rived his heart to do what was asked but Yeshua had asked and he could not falter.
“If the cup will not pass from my hands,” he had told him. “It will not pass from yours either.” That was when they called me Yehudah, he thought. He been called many names. At first he had run from the Christians. Those rabid warped Jews who turned against him for his betrayal. When did they begin to see themselves apart from us? he asked. At what point did they cease to be our brothers and sisters?
Stars and planets broke apart. Life died in galaxies far away. He watched that too. Worlds that had never known the Son or his teachings. He pitied those species that had never known his Yeshua. Those that had never known the Torah. Why didn’t they? He thought to himself. Does God not love them?
The Son had told us God loved all his creatures. A dark thought crept across his mind, What if these others don’t belong to God? Could there be life without God? Could there be soulless animals with human intelligence who wandered the cosmos? If he still had a spine he would’ve shivered. He felt an echo of a memory. People shiver when scared. Or is it cold? I wish I had my body back.
Even though he couldn’t remember what it was like to have a body he still wanted his back. He missed eating, sleep, and sex. He thought he remembered having a wife. Or maybe a husband. Was I a man? He could not even remember the difference. In the empty void after Earth was gone the words had no meaning. He thought the difference was in what lay between someone’s legs but that was so ridiculous he dismissed it immediately. How could something so trivial determine anything?
While he was lost in thought the last of the stars went out without him noticing. At first he was surprised but then he felt joy. I’m free, he told himself. Finally I can die. Will I see my Yeshua again? However, he remained. There were no longer stars to look at or creatures to watch. There was only him. Time had ceased and yet here he was. That was the curse. To remain until the end of time. Perhaps it had all been a dream. There had never been a curse or a body. He had always been as he was without shape or form. Just an insane consciousness floating in the vast eternal void of space.
Eternal means forever. Maybe time couldn’t end. Maybe it was a vast wheel repeating every time. In the nothing he brooded for he didn’t know how long when he saw something. He looked at it carefully. It was small but dense. The densest thing he’d ever seen and he had seen it all. He stretched his consciousness out and touched it. It exploded. The biggest explosion he had ever witnessed. Not even the light of a supernova compared. Let there be light. And he saw that there was light and it was good.