I haven’t eaten since midnight yesterday morning. It is 5:44 a.m. and I have days left in this fast. I drank one gallon of water today. I have abstained from smoking, caffeine, and sex. I am wearing a white shirt and black pants. In the days of the holy knight, black signified death, white purity, and red conflict. The red comes later. I will wear that when I get to The Desert.
It started years ago when I started talking about my life on my blog. I wrote shorts that told of my DID, and then it moved on to other things. Soon I was inspired to write the entire book. I began Normal Street December 15th. I finished March 5th. I was blasted and destroyed with pain and loss. I was questioning everything. I wondered why things had gone the way they did and why Bekah and I had to fight so hard. I wondered so many things about my past, and the horrors I had to endure. And I had no answers.
A man I thought was a friend of mine was sent Teardrop Road and Normal Street and asked to read them. I thought he might see what I am and what I have lived and find a better understanding of his friend. Well his response was that there hadn’t been enough of him in the books and he was pissed.
But I let people walk all over me, so I apologized for my life story and begged him to let me make it better. He said a few more shitty things, then told me he didn’t really care anyway. Well before he said that, I had written a few chapters and I was in it. I had my book list and I was started. It took this long and a day of fasting for me to see that he had not been a friend to me for a while.
I drop him in the sand and I walk away.
When I was writing the first two volumes of Reality of the Unreal Mind I worked from the beginning to the end. I wrote one chapter then the next in that book. Everything was very measured. Everything was very ordered. But this time I went a different way. This time, I jumped from topic to topic. I slid into The King’s Concubine for a chapter, then the very next chapter I wrote would be in The Round Table. I bounced around and it caused chaos in my mind. I felt as though I was not writing fast enough and struggled to get it done faster.
Well it came faster. And the faster it came, the more it all became clear to me. I had from the very beginning of The Keep designed the third volume in the series to discuss my issues with the Lord and how much I felt betrayed and alone. At the same time I wanted to show that I knew He was reaching out to me and trying to bring me home to His arms. This call has been evident for many years, more years than I can count, and I have been unable to find His hand. Too much has happened and too much bad road has been put between us. I raged for a few chapters, then I was out smoking a cigarette in the garage looking out at the night when it came to me that this is not a section of the book that is devoted to discussing my God issues.
This is where I come home.
Writing this section of the book has allowed me to put it all right in front of myself and force me to look at all my history with God. It has shown me the true face of things, but my mind is in such chaos now that I can’t make sense of it, and I can’t bring myself to any peace. I have so many things I want to say to God and so many ways that I want to both ask Him to explain to me why things happened the way they did, and tell Him that I love Him despite all of it.
I need my God.
I have needed Him for a long time but have been unable to find Him. This is my way home. I have felt the closeness of the Lord when writing all my life. So here I come, in the only space that makes sense to me, and bring myself to Him as clean as I can get in order to try to see His plan and see why He has done the things He has done and allowed the things He has allowed.
The final words I have to say will be said right here. As humble as I know how to be, I will come in the only way I can to find Him. What follows is what I am inspired to write by showing what is happening in my mind. I want to get the alters to The Desert we will walk out into. Then I will finish my three-day fast and try to pray. I will take communion at my in-law’s house, and come back here and finish this story. I will tell the story of my way back to the Lord and finish the telling of my life.
The book ends here. It ends in the next few chapters, when I come before God and beg Him for my answers.
Guardian sits at his campfire with his men around him staring into the fire. All of his war has been put out before him. The abused and raped kids. The raging mother. The psych hospital and the Battle of Normal Street. All of it he sees in the fire, and suddenly there is a bottle of Fighting Cock bourbon in his hands.
Half a bottle in, he is up. He begins to walk to nowhere, when from the distance he sees light. He sees in the distance a white hart.
Its antlers gleam silver in the gloom, lighting all around him. He knows this legend. He knows what it means when a warrior or a hunter sees the White Hart, and he stumbles forward as the Hart turns to go. Slowly he walks as he follows it out of the camp and into the light. When the sun is blinding and the heat blasts him in the face, he sees that the White Hart is gone.
Guardian looks out before him and sees a never-ending desert. Parched land run through with drifts of sand lit by a merciless sun that seems closer to the world than it should be.
One more swig of his bottle and Guardian steps into the heat.
“I will come. I will ask. I will beg for answers.” He tries to do the sign of the cross before his heart, but it has been far too long. He stumbles forward into the Land of God.
Shadow throws a bottle at a window and it shatters. He grabs his nuts and spits on the ground. He runs his fingers through his hair and knows it is dirty, his hair greasy. Shadow has not been clean in a long time. He has not felt washed in more years than he can count.
He runs his streets, and somewhere in the screaming and the shattering, in the spray paint and the smoking, he finds himself on the street weeping.
He does this a lot. Finds himself lost in his own land. He thinks of Bekah, he thinks of the kids, and he tries to picture all the love he has for the world around him, but all he can find is darkness.
He hears fire and Shadow looks up to see a flame before him. He stands and sees a narrow band of fire that runs through his streets and out of them. A path for him to walk. A path he started down a long time ago.
Shadow does not scream when he steps onto this path. He bears it as he always does at times like this. He follows the path of flame because he knows answers will be on the other side. God is calling him home. He only needs to try to work out the anger and the loss he feels inside, and he knows God will take him from this fire and let him cool.
God will save Shadow.
If Shadow will follow.
Servant leaves the Monastery he lives in. He walks past the grapes of the vineyard and out into the growing light.
Servant knows when he is being summoned. He knows the call of God. He has talked to that voice before. He has prayed, he has worshipped, and he has been weighed by God.
And he has been found wanting.
Servant finds the sand at the end of the vineyard and drops to his knees at the foot of it. He tries to pray, but the words of his mother sound off in his head the moment he begins to say sacred words. He closes his eyes when the prayer won’t come and he whispers, “Let Your Will be done.”
Servant stands and with exhausted feet and a drooping head, marches into The Desert.
Absolution is out there, and he will find it or dry up under the sun.
Shade has no land. He never has. He stands where he wants. He wanders nowhere. Shade has been to the ends of his mind before. He has drowned in pain and shined in love. Shade has too many questions about the motives of God to find rest.
And he is so tired. So tired of carrying around the pain of the years of his childhood. So tired of the anger and the rage. He is exhausted with fear that he will never find true peace and he is exhausted with the idea that he might never find Light.
So when he hears the trumpet of Gabriel in the air, he knows its clarion call. When Gabriel came to our apartment so many years ago, he gave everyone a message. Pain has been waiting for this call.
He closes his eyes and feels the heat of the land. He feels the sand under his feet and between his toes, and he can see that he is naked. He opens his arms and steps out into the sunlight as the call of the trumpet sounds over and over again.
And I am here. Adam sits at his computer with all of you. Making sense of this in the only way he knows how. I will walk into that desert in two days and face my Lord. I will ask Him what He wants from me and why He sent me a false prophet.
I will demand no answers. It is not my place. But I will listen and I will beg. And if I can, I will kneel before God and I will find myself at home.
When the next page begins, my three-day fast is complete. When the next page begins, I have taken communion and been prayed over by two holy leaders. When the next page begins, I am as clean as I can make myself.
This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 3: The Keep.