A Friend

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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A FRIEND Like a wanderer and poet, my friend, I had searched for You. In the long-lost silence of my earliest childhood dreams, the placid restlessness of valiant youth, and even in between those little intervals of life in which on count the petals of the flower of Sorrow, I had longed for You, a poet returning from exile.

On summer mornings the sky is blue like the ocean; on autumn evenings, when the sun peeps through the leaves of the Devdaru tree, the sky is fiery red, and on the dawn of a winter morn the sky is white; and with the passage of the seasons, the long road I had taken eventually lost sight of me, and decided to fall asleep fasting. And then You came.

The day had rained itself into the evening. I had been told of You: "The king is due tonight." But I scarcely believed it and merrily played cards with Conceit at the tables, and pretended to search for a shadow that wasn't there in a glass of wine.

Then with the silence of the night, your chariot-puller pulled the reigns, and the horses neighed. I heard the metal doors of my palace clank open, and the cries, "The king! The king is here!" I scampered from my tables to greet your patient knock waiting at the door, and there You stood, magnificent in front of my eyes. But the valiant king had no armor, and he had no sword! You smiled into my eyes "“ (it reminded me of a long-forgotten dream) "“and the halls that held the two of us complained into my ear that it felt poorer than a broken hut flooded with moonlight and it didn't know why. As You bade me take Your coat, I noticed the big diamond attached to Your ring. I could not think naught but of it: all night I tossed and turned in my bed, waiting, with crestfallen thoughts. For when You sat in that corner, buried in a newspaper, and the atmosphere resurrected a deep craving for Home- I had already planned to flinch the precious stone in Your sleep.

At dawn break I leapt from my bed, only to find the gates open. I cursed myself; Opportunity had slipped through my fingers like running sand! My annoyance was intoxicating me, when my attention fell upon a shiny object on your bed. A gift? A token of gratitude for my services? My Lord, it was your pen! I picked it up, thinking what to do of this strange thing and put it in a silver case. As I walked down the stairs, I came across my love who was returning from Your temple in the pure morning light with a plate of offerings in her hands. She smiled at me, and I wanted to show her the gift- but what was it? What was it in her smile, the innocent bliss twinkling in her eyes, or maybe, in that particular moment of my life? Realization came over me, and I seemed to visualize myself from a height. I looked back and saw Aberration stealing away through the back door, the same way he had got in. All that was left for me was a moment that stood out in Eternity.

My Lord, I was a pilfer, a hypocrite, but what have you done to me? I have dreamt of You, my friend, that you would be my savior and show me the light, and bring me infinite happiness. But You never answered me when I whispered to You in my sleep; nor were You there when I wondered home along the solitary path after giving alms to the blind man begging in the street. And now You come and leave me desolate with a strange gift. My friend, I am not a writer, I am a common pilfer, a thief, a hypocrite; yet You leave me pen that has robbed me of my sleep, my drink, and all the pleasures that I once built my house with. I pray Thee: why do You trifle us with such gifts, my Lord? I cannot eat, I cannot sleep; Your remembrance echoes in my words, my dreams, my actions"¦..in my despair I press your gift tightly to my heart, frantically searching for verse.

And as my heart bleeds through my hand, I search for the selfsame You in words; You, who I have dreamt of all my life.