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The Journal of Ayub

by Hunter J Purvis 7 months ago in Short Story · updated 3 months ago
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by Hunter Purvis

Here we go, or really, I guess I should say here I go, since I’m the only one really writing or reading this lol. I feel weird, and honestly, I don’t like this. I don’t like writing something no one else will read. When I write, I want to know the reader or at least I want to know that there will be a reader. I want to know who I am communicating with. I don’t think it is possible to write something in which the only intended audience is myself. It’s uncomfortable. It is almost like talking to yourself in a room by yourself, which from an outsider’s perspective seems quite strange and even borderline insane. I guess being borderline insane is not new for me anyway, so who really cares right? But that does not solve my problem. I still find it difficult to write without it being directed to someone. I guess I could just pretend to be writing to someone or pretend that this is intended for someone to read. My therapist never said I couldn’t, so why not do it?

Anyway, whoever it is that is reading this, please let me explain what this is supposed to be about. You see, my therapist recently recommended that I start a journal in which I write about my past experiences, mainly the one’s filed as traumatic. Basically, my therapist thinks this will help me to cope with, heal from, and overcome my traumatic past experiences and maybe even help reduce some of my symptoms of PTSD. My shrink told me to just write. He told me to write about whatever comes to mind. He told me to not even worry about being grammactially correct or about spelling all the words right. He told me to just write from my heart and if I struggled, then I should just come back to it later. He especially wants me to rewrite about what happened and how I felt. He said I should also focus on how I feel when I am writing about it, because writing about it will probably trigger the same physiological stress responses I had during those events. He said that many of his clients do this, and it helps them process their past experiences and learn from them.

Lol I just thought of something funny. You know, Dr. stink says I have PTSD, which if you don’t know that stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. I want to make a petition to have the meaning of PTSD changed to post-traumatic shit disorder. You see, post-traumatic shit disorder is when your mind becomes constipated with shitty memories and experiences, which cannot be fully digested or excreted. I guess this writing thing is supposed to be like medicine or a laxative to help me get rid of the fecal matter in my mind.

Anyway, that is what I’m trying to do here, but as you can see, I am not doing a very good job. I think I’m avoiding writing about what he suggested, because I don’t want to revisit those memories. Revisiting that horror would be equivalent to digging up my septic tank and saying hello to the poopy dookie doodoo that I just flushed down the toilet. No one in their right mind would do that. Lol, I guess that is the only thing left in my mind that is right, because I am not about to do that anytime soon. Maybe I will do it after I put on some type of mental hazmat suit. Geez leweez! That was a mouthful. I feel exhausted already and I haven’t even scrapped the surface of this jumbled mess that is trying so ever hard to come out of me. Talk about brain farts. That’s enough for me today.

*****

Sometime has past, but I’m not sure how long it has been since I last wrote in this thing. Maybe I should have dated the last journal lol. Time becomes fuzzy when you a trapped in a dark septic tank. The fumes have fogged my mind and sense of direction. At this point I'm just taking it one step at a time. I feel alone. I feel like I'm the only one walking through this brown brick road of poo. Lol that reminds me of Winnie the Pooh. That was my daughter's favorite disney character. I could use a friend like Pooh in my life. He would listen to me. He would try to understand me. And even when he didn't understand me; he would at least have something sweet. Lol, I conclude that it is better to have poo, Pooh, and honey, than it is to have no Pooh, no honey, and only poo. However, it seems that if there is no Pooh and no honey, then there is no poo. Maybe poo, Pooh, and honey are an unescapable package deal. Either way my therapist is not cutting it out. It is as if she is standing above my septic tank and listening to my muffled words through the shut lid. That's not what I need. I need someone to walk through the same poo I do. I need true empathy and compassion. Maybe the golden rule should not be golden, but it should be brown. The brown rule. I like that. The holy brown rule states: Walk through the other's poo the same way you would want Winnie the Pooh to walk through your poo with you.

You know I don't know who you are. I don't who might read this one day. I'm still pretending that this is for someone. I guess I don't want to be alone. Well, if your reading this, then maybe you can be my Winnie the Pooh. It should not be that hard. I mean, the two of you are not that different after all. You both exist in my imagination. Anyhoo, if you choose to continue to walk with me on the brown brick road of poo, then I should probably properly introduce myself. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Ayub. That’s me. I’m Ayub.

Now, that that is out of the way, let me update you on what has been going on. I don't want to be rude to you. I think it is bad manners to open your trauma file once you meet someone, so I would rather share some honey with you before we start walking through the poo. There is one memory that sticks out to me. It is not a prickly prickle. It is a more like a velvety feather. It is honey to my mind. It is the time in which my wife and I signed our children a bed-time story. You see, every night we would turn off all the lights in the kid’s room, except for one of my portable projectors, which I would place facing the celling of the room. We would lay down beside our kids and look up to the celling of the room, which was covered in a projected image of a night sky full of stars. Underneath the heavens we would have shadow puppet wars and sign stories.

Well, on one night my daughter Wila, signed “Dad, can you read me my favorite bible story?”

I nodded my head up and down. And I signed, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”

I was about to sign the next verse; but then Wila interrupted me and signed, “Dad, I have seen this story so many times. I don’t want to see it anymore. I want you to show me the story about what God was doing before he started creating the heavens and the earth.”

I looked at her baffled and frozen. Her request was surprising, unexpected, and beyond me or anything I have really contemplated before. But I was happy. I was proud of her to be so curious about something that seems so profound and unknown. I miss her. I’m sorry. I can’t write about this anymore. I can’t think about her or any of them. Not after what has happened. Here I go again. I’m shaking. It’s hard fro mee to wirte. I can’t breathe. Breahe, Braethe. Deep Breathes. Take deep breathes. Come on, you need to write this. You need to do it for them. They need to know what happened. I’m sorry. I’m sorry this writing thing is difficult.

I took a break and was able to relax. I am feeling a little better. I think I can write it now. Let me pick up where I left off.

I looked at her all baffled and frozen and signed, “I don’t think I can do that sweetie. I really wish I could, but I don’t know that story. That story is beyond me. No one has ever shown me that story and I have never read it either.”

Wila signed, “Dad, you really don’t know the story?”

I replied and signed, “I really don’t know sweetie.”

Wila started to cry and ran over to my wife.

After about two minutes we finally managed to get her to calm down, lift her head up, and communicate with us.

I signed, “I’m sorry, I don’t know the story. No one really knows the story”

“Your lying, I know the story, God showed me the story, you just don’t want to tell me the story.” she signed

My wife and I look at each other in disbelief and astonishment. Wila’s certainty and innocence touched us to the core. She would not just say that. She would not make something like that up. I wondered what in the world she saw.

I looked her into the eyes and signed, “Wila, you know that if I knew the story, that I would tell you it as many times as you wanted me to. But I do not know it. You said God showed you the story. Can you show us the story?”

“Okay” signed Wila

We all laid back down and Wila cast the shadow of her hands across the star filled celling and signed, “There is no heaven or earth. There is no creation because there is no creator. There is no motion or movement. There is no change. There are no actions. There is no displacement. There are no propagations. There are no perturbations. There are no forces. There is no push. There is no pull. There is balance. There is rest. There is equilibrium. There is homeostasis. There is peace.

There is no before or after. There is no time. There are no oscillations. There are no cycles. There are no rotations. There are no intervals. There are no sequences. There is only an eternal, unmoved, and unchanging now.

There is no space. There are no points. There are lines. There is no length, width, height, or depth. There are no dimensions. There is no quantity.

There is no matter. There are no atoms. There are no particles. There are no waves. There are no fields. There is a universal substrate.

There are no sensations. There are no perceptions. There are no thoughts. There are no feelings. There are no emotions. There is a universal mind.

There is absolute love. There is maximum unity. There is wisdom.

There is one character. There is one characteristic. The character is a giver whose nature it is to give the gift from itself to other.

The scroll was closed. The mouth was shut. The hands were folded flat together like that of a man praying. The gift is between the giver’s hands. The gift is wrapped up and hidden. There was no space between the hands. The giver didn’t think. The giver didn’t choose. The giver didn’t hesitate. The moment the giver came into existence, it gave itself to other. The scroll unraveled like the tongue of a dead God. The hands spilt giving birth to space. The giver is giving yesterday, today, and forever.”

I felt shocked to hear this. I didn’t really know what to make of it. Looking back at it is comforting. It is like a waited blanket for when I’m going through a rough patch. While I didn’t really understand everything Wila signed. One thing that stuck with me is that there is a giver, and it is always giving. Even if those gifts are temporary and don’t last forever; I should be thankful for the time I had it. Maybe I need to look at everything as a gift. Even the bad parts of life. Maybe it will be easier for me to accept it if I think about it that way.

*****

Today was a hard day. Today, Wila would have turned nine years old. This world is so empty without her. This world is so empty without any of them. I had a big surprise planned out for her, but I guess our plans in life don’t always work out the way we want them too. Instead of going to Disney world, I spent the day having a pity party at a dining room table. I bought her a cake and candles. I lit it and imagined if she was here. I would make a wish for her, but it is not mine to make. I think if she was here, she would wish I was happy. That sounds like her. She probably wouldn’t even wish to be alive again. She probably is happy where she is. She probably is happy to be back at the beginning with God before he started creating. Of course, that was her favorite story. I lit the candles. I started to pray before getting a piece of cake, but then a memory of Wila came into my mind. It was the time Wila signed grace for the first time. My family was at the dining room table and Wila signed, “I want to pray today.”

My son Yuda, said “You can’t say grace, because God can’t hear your prayers.” Luckily, Wila couldn’t hear him say that. It was strange. Usually, she kept her eyes opened and read our lips while we said grace. This time was different. We closed our ears and opened our eyes. We didn’t hold hands. We held hearts. We all looked at Wila as she signed grace. There is something pure about her. The way she prayed was like a dance with God. Her hands and expressions were angelic. Her expressions were rhythmic and harmonious. It was like she was in tune with that divine gift in each of us. After that day she said grace more often. I think my son and all of us realized God can see our prayers as much as he can hear them. Maybe between each of us God has a special way of communicating. Like a special language or a secret code. Wila and I had a secret code. Whenever we would say goodbye, we would make a hand sign in the shape of a dove. The dove was a way to show that we are always looking out for each other no matter how far apart we are. Anyway, after that memory popped into my mind, I lost all appetite for the cake. I didn’t blow out the candles either. They are probably still burning. I know it is dangerous to leave candles burning. At this point I don’t care. Maybe I want my house to catch on fire. Maybe I want to die.

*****

Well, I think I am finally ready to open the trauma file. I don’t really want to open it. At least not for myself. I have been thinking. I realized maybe this story can be a gift. Maybe what happen is a gift. Maybe I’m supposed to unwrap it and give it to others. I realized this after going to a group meeting where people who are going through something similar as me get to share their stories. There was this one kid. When he told his story my heart sunk. I felt what he felt because I have been through what he has been through. I felt in my heart I had something I could share with him, and maybe just maybe it would ease his burden. However, I was stuck and frozen. Despite my desire to share with him, I just could not find that ability to do it. Now, I really want to write about what happened. I want to get it out, so I can it can be used as a gift. Even if it is of little value, it is still better than wasting away in the septic tank. So here I go. I am going to do my best to tell you what happened.

It was a Saturday night. I had just gathered all my stuff together and was about to leave the office when my phone suddenly started to ring. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket. It was my wife; she was trying to video chat with me.

I opened the video call, and saw my wife covered in her mud mask, and I said, “Hey honey, I am leaving work now, I will be home soon.”

She replied, “No, baby, the weather is really bad right now. I got a call from my mom that there have already been two car accidents in our area. I don’t want you to drive in this kind of weather. Can you just wait at work until this storm blows over?”

I said “Really? It’s not even raining here; it has been a long day. I am ready to go home. I think I will be okay, I’m just going to go ahead and come home, okay.”

She replied, “Please baby, I’m really worried about it. It’s not safe. Look, let me show you.”

She walked over to the window. I could see it was rainy really hard and it was also thundering and lighting really badly.

I said, “Okay baby, I will just go back to my office and wait until this storm is over. Can we just stay on the phone while I wait it out?”

“Yes baby, that sounds good”, she said

I walked back to my office and sat in my supper comfy office chair.

“So, how has your day been?” I said

“It has been good. I just finished putting on this mud mask. Wila is good. I just put her to bed. And Yuda is still working on some homework. What about you? How has your day been?”

“That’s good, Well, my day has be—"

Boom, thunder struck. And the power went out. I could hear Wila screaming and running into the room crying.

My wife, comforted Wila and got her to calm down. Then I started to talk to her.

My wife signed, “Are you okay?”

Wila signed, “I’m okay”.

My wife signed, “Wila, I need to check on Yuda and get flashlights. Daddy is on the phone right here. You stay here and talked to daddy okay, I will be right back."

I could see my daughter’s face and smile. She was happy to see me. I signed, “Hey Wila, Are you okay now?”

She signed, “Yes I’m okay now. I was scared. I could feel the thunder shake my bed and my night light was not on.”

I replied, “That must have been very scary, but it is okay now. Nothing is going to hurt you. The storm will be over soon.”

She nodded her head up and down and signed, “Your right and smiled.”

The power came back on. My wife came back into the room with some flashlights.

She chuckled said “well, that was pointless”

A couple minutes past and the fire alarm started going off. And then a loud explosion came from a nearby room. Wila and my wife started to try to make their way out to Yuda and get out of the house. It was too late. I stayed with them on the phone. Wila was really upset and didn’t know what was going on. I went and tried to call the fire department from my phone in the office. Then I ran out of the door and to my car. I was soaked. I could feel the cold rain. I could hear my family’s cry for help. I tried driving home as fast as I could. The weather was so bad. I couldn’t see anything on the road. I looked down at my phone. I kept trying to sign to Wila that I was going to be there soon and that she needed to run outside. I looked down at my phone and saw my wife and daughter stuck and trapped. They fell through the burnt floor. Wila was praying and screaming. I crashed. I crashed into a I crashed into a something. I don’t know what happened after that. All I know is what they tell me. The fire department said the fire was caused by faulty wiring. My neighbor said that my son made it out of the fire, but he ran back in to help Wila and his mom. My wife and Wila were found trapped under some flooring of the house that collapsed from the fire. All I know is my house I gone. All I know is my family is gone.

*****

It has been one year since they died. I haven’t visited their graves since they were buried in the ground. Today was different. A sign of hope. I went a visited their grave. I laid down beside them and looked up into the night sky full of stars. A cloud was cast in front of the full moon. The cloud morphed into hand shaped like a dove.

Short Story

About the author

Hunter J Purvis

University student. Professional writing major. Minor in philosophy. Contact Info: [email protected]

Here to share content made at Uni or made for fun.

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