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Reaching the Kingdom

by Lance Boivin, 19, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

For a good portion of my life up until now, I believed that sex was essentially the only gift from God that was worth opening. I viewed it as the inside track to Heaven that was solely my own to travel. Sex, that wonderful paroxysm of emotion, seemed to be the closest a living person could ever get to the Kingdom of God. It provided a certain form of escape from the perpetual suffering of the world. Through it I could glide on the pleasure that fired from all my senses. Nothing else mattered.

Sex imbued power. Sex provided a form of control. Sex gave everything in my shallow, superficial existence a purpose and value. It wasn't so much the idea of doing God and/or Nature a favor through procreation that made me feel purposeful; my motives were less than piously righteous. I had no intention of serving those entities. My life was for myself, and...well...who needs kids anyway? My unenlightened notion was that through sex I accomplished something, stimulated a sense of importance; every time I figured I had reached a goal. "Hell!" I thought, "Look at this! I'm having sex!" Through sex I expressed no feelings—it was a fix, that was all. People may have cared, but then was I even a person? I still don't know. Distressingly though, it gave me a need for those people, and sometimes getting people to have sex with me could be quite an intricate obstacle, but in time no more than an annoyance. With the growing of a salacious appetite, my charisma grew to accommodate. Sadly though, all my unenlightened notions were washed away in one fleeting moment. During sex a door opened and revealed a stairway to a place I now regret climbing to.

The way the exchange began was deceptively average. I was at a "friend's" house. Obviously, she and I were alone. We once dated, but now just enjoyed the perishing fruits of our once prurient relationship. We were lying on her bed naked, talking, and for no other reason than sheer boredom (or divine intervention) we started up again. Except as compared to the one before, this session initially seemed to be quite mediocre in technique and product. The sex itself was as if it were an automatic response to an external stimulus. All was going to script until a rolling flood of images and euphony crashed into my mind's eye and ear. The images were a frame-by-frame of my life. Birth, birthdays, red tricycles, hugs, ice cream, toys, school, pressure, girls, sex, this moment, and then a quivering hand holding a rattling pistol to my mouth. The peals of sound were the low rumbling of a vast baritone choir merged with a soaring siren song. The ambrosial opera was paralyzing, humbling, and beautiful. My life unfolded before me as easily and naturally as a blooming flower, everything was understood. I splashed and flailed around in the experience at first, until it became too much—eventually I drowned in the moment, forfeiting my control. As everything I once believed melted into a nebulous pool, I watched the divine slide show of my life, and while I focused more intently on the flickering images, my body felt as if it were melting away with everything else. For once in my life weight and torment lost all meaning. The escape emancipated me from the painful shackles of existence. My consciousness disassociated from the flesh that defined it. Senses transcended receptors; yet I still felt everything. Everything was bliss. As my perspective rose from our tangled mess of limbs, and I looked down on us writhing in unison, existence became a viscous flowing happiness, a river of love and wisdom combined. But heaven for the living has its limit. The flood receded, leaving me still wafting in the air like her perfume. Sadly though, out-of-body experiences are fleeting. The black hole that is my body sucked me back in. When the whole spiritual experience passed and I was back inside my holding place, I must have stopped writhing because my partner gaped up at me and asked, "Why are you crying? You're pale! Oh my god...it that bad?" If only she knew how much it was the opposite.

The experience changed me completely. That "moment" left me extremely sensitive to all external stimuli. I figured that the supernatural nature of the experience must have left some type of heavenly resin in my soul because even days, weeks, and months after my rapture through the flesh, I would find myself crying from observing the moon, or feeling extremely exuberant and physically as well as emotionally satisfied from hearing a song. Before the "moment" the only times I ever felt even close to that type of satisfaction was after sex. And now I could feel like that from something as seemingly mundane as a cloud. That's wonderful, right? No, it isn't really. Nothing would ever be quite the same as it was before. I had lost my frame of reference for the world. Everything had fluctuated a little, just enough so I ceased to be in tune with its song. The world and I once had a simple marriage based on some understandings I was given throughout the course of our engagement. But with my change, the nature of our relationship changed as well. I truly understood the falseness of our previous wedding. I realized that the world before provided me with a dim flavorless imitation of life. I was living a broken game. I could do nothing but ache for more and rail against the world's former self and the people who chose to remain in its lackluster shadow. Due to my new intense sensitivity, I lost the devices that once kept me closely connected with the people in my sphere of influence, the people I affected. My thoughts and feelings became inexpressible. Words always failed. I became shy, "creepy." No one owned any telepathic abilities whatsoever, so I lived in a very lonely isolated world. Cold silences opened many vast frozen chasms between me and the people I once loved. I was left to myself, and for a while I simply just existed. I didn't attempt to accomplish anything. I didn't try to pretend to fit in. Instead I became a walking nerve ending, craving stimulus. Life became a drug, and my whole purpose was to ingest it any way possible. I was a leach on the world, always taking what I could and never giving anything back. I was addicted. No matter where I was or what exactly I was doing, I felt the ebb and flow of using. The dependence grew to be a hard loyal ally, my only friend. Sometimes I considered giving up this "earth crack" and going straight to what I believed to be the source, Heaven. I figured, "Why snort it, or inject it, when you can let it become your whole being?" My contemplation of suicide never lasted long; my grip on what I had now was too strong. I wish I could say that by realizing my condition I was frightened back into the world of people, and I started to give back to life and them on my own accord. It would make an inspiring story, wouldn't it? But I wasn't big on changing myself then, and I was never given the chance anyway. In the height (or depth) of my addiction, a new drug materialized, and I latched on with religious zeal. Fortunately for me the mechanics of it dragged me back out of myself, and gave me that need for people again, or at least parts of them.

The road back to communication wasn't long and or arduous. It took one patient, attractive, tenebrous savior to pry me back open. She appeared through the dark mist of a faceless crowd, and when she flew into my life from the last open window (art), I could hardly belie ve it. I still wonder "Why me?" She wasn't physically beautiful, but for whatever reason I could not help but be attracted. Somehow I could see through the fašade of frailty she wore, which was probably used to cloak her immense mental strength and will. She always seemed to linger in an aura of mystery, and the first time I noticed this, I could not contain my pulsing curiosity. So I approached and invited her in. At first, we subtly discussed the nature of things in general from a social distance. Oddly, no matter how much I faltered in what I tried to explain, she always understood perfectly what I meant. She was the great listener. It amazed me how much she cared. Her patience and understanding were eternal. With those qualities she must have seduced me. The more we talked, the more I opened up and lowered my guard; eventually the space dissipated between us and I grew very close to her. One day she sat across a table at her home eyeing me, and unleashed her life, all her stories, all her feelings and experiences, all given to me soon after I gave back. While we conversed I felt her life as it was my own. It was orgasmic! The new flood of pleasure and pain that rushed in from the exchange washed me, cleansed me of my former reclusive self, and eroded me into something new—an empath. I noticed she reveled in my life as well, and when I saw how satisfying it was for her to sink her teeth into my "moment," I felt that sense of power again, and I was giving something back. Only this time the magnitude was much greater. The power lay in the realization that I could actually help someone else feel my rapture, even if it was only vicariously. Still that was so much more rewarding than knowing I was just getting them off and/or making them moan and scream in sexual ecstasy. Once I had faith in the exchange of bodily fluids; now I am the devout missionary for the exchange of lives. Hell, why physically thrust yourself inside someone, when you can be a part of them totally, even if it is only for a moment? Tragically though, in giving up my previous addictions, this new process filled the void, taking its place, and unlike the last drug this one was not copious whatsoever. Eventually my tenebrous savior and I drained each other. Our seemingly endless flowing river of crimson experiences had dried up. We had both devoured everything that was emotionally edible. So we parted ways. And soon after, my new voracious appetite forced me to search for new people to feed on.

My searching yielded stock very quickly. Although the by-product, which was their lives, wasn't at all plentiful, there were enough of them out there grazing the streets to keep me fixed forever. I had found my prey in such abundance that I had to stop myself from just prowling the streets immediately and "conversing" with them, like some fervent pushy preacher. I did not want to thrust myself upon them—that had no power, no real sense of control, and I ached for the manipulation and seduction almost as much as the drug itself. To accomplish this I needed some type of projection. So I focused backward to my tenebrous savior, the one who first tasted me. Through the aching hunger, I methodically systemized a plan of incursion based on her method. First, I would approach my people when they were alone. Interestingly enough, people are much more defensive and closed when an ally is near. Secondly, I spent my days studying my prey from a distance. Using the observational techniques I gained during my days as a recluse, I learned what they liked and why. This proved very useful. The knowledge gave me the tools to know when and where to just "appear;" it gave me a certain mystical quality. All I needed to do was sit back and let my aura of intrigue seduce their curiosity. With my days completely spent, my nights were the setting of the exchange. I used numerous types of social functions to gather my victims. In most cases I would sit across from my prey, nod through their banal statements, copy their posture, listen intently, give morsels of my life, and give advice to their insignificant problems until I bored into their eyes. Instantly after I pulled this warm blanket of compassion and understanding over them, they would open up and lower their guard. Every time this occurred, the space between us seemed to dissipate, to melt away as we let each other in. One aspect of the exchange that for some reason I didn't notice at first was that in the act of exchange we would merge together, become one. As they would guide me deep inside their lives, in and out and in and out, deep inside their experiences and emotions, I could not help but be reminded of how sex was such a pale imitation. In sex God only gave us a taste of what I believe She really intended us to devour through two people in union. My empathy gave me the ability to take their souls and graft them to mine, if only for a short moment. In those moments I felt their pleasure and sadness as if it ran up and down my own spine. I had everything that made them human right in my grasp. I manipulated them into handing me their souls. And I gave them mine, in hopes that I could change them somehow. But in giving it, a small part of me was always mistakenly attached to whatever I deemed fit for them to keep, a part I never intend ed giving, yet was never not included in the exchange.

The unstoppable attachment was God. She (God) lived inside me, mostly residing in my "moment," not really doing much other than giving me something in common with the billions of religious sheep living today. My subjects could feel Her (God), and somehow always relate to it. I never wanted this to occur (I don't enjoy the idea of something out of my control), but nevertheless it did. Like clockwork, soon after they felt Her, the exchange for me tasted flavorless. They still wanted me around but I needed fresh product, which they just couldn't give anymore. So I left them, walking away casually as they bellowed like sobbing, blubbering children for me to stay. I didn't care. What I needed was absent, and there was just so much product out there. My prey, my victims—not my friends, not my lovers—nothing more than food for my insatiable hunger. But every once in awhile I would exchange with someone who amazingly lacked a life. Void of experience and honesty, they just saw an empty shell that was me, painted up to seem like a beautiful home that held tenancy, buying it every time. I was utterly perplexed by the boundless ignorance that these people possessed. The things they would say after I would drain them! "You're like, really understanding or something! How could you be like sooooo patient? You're just like, so giving and like so nice and stuff! Oh my God!" Praise like this caused me to do everything in my power not to double over in laughter. Not because of their lack of vocabulary or even their annoying flightiness—it was absurd! Giving! Nice! If only they knew how much I am the opposite.

I am a rapacious animal, I am evil, yet at times I feel as close to God as I ever have been. It is very confusing. I know for sure I am not a good person, but every time I feel someone else's life, I feel Her there caressing me. Every time I escape so comfortably from my flesh, I touch something celestial and it touches me back. I have never been pious, and never will be, so why find God in so many places, so many ways, and so many people? Why doesn't she touch someone naively appreciative instead?

No church for me, no religion, yet Her and Her kingdom are undeniable. That closeness with Her doesn't inspire me, doesn't evoke any lasting values—it feeds me, gives me purpose, that's all. Every day I reach Her kingdom. No matter the person, no matter the place, good or bad, she is always residing in Nature and the human condition. The world, Nature, and all those unsuspecting people are bound to each other, whether they like it or not.

Above all, God seems to be the mediating nexus that brings all of them closer together, living inside them like a stomach parasite. They can do nothing to stop it, yet it is something they cannot live without. Now that I know, the knowledge has become the nature of my existence. I live to feed and in doing so unveil this revelation to my victims. I have a purpose now, but it is still infuriating to know that now ultimately I have no control over it, I have no power, and on top of that I had to search in the dark for such a long time to find this pain.

During that search I chose to venture back through all my experiences and I upon doing so I became serenely aware of my new position in life. I am a bitter, snarling messenger, a pawn, and a slave whipped into doing some type of service by my addiction. Some may think I should feel proud to work for God. But does a crackhead feel proud stealing to pay off his debts to his drug dealer, or a prostitute working to pay off her pimp? I see it as some divine comedic punishment that I am forced to do a penance I never knew I agreed to do. Daily I am reminded of this when I reach the Kingdom. Daily I am drive n by an insatiable need. I am a serf serving my lord. I am chained to this place, my boulder, by spiritual withdrawal; forced to churn, writhe, and gnash my teeth endlessly. Only now I have been imparted with the knowledge that originally I was quite mistaken, sex is nothing more than a by-product—just screwing someone is not feeling someone. God gives us a mind, emotions—what are they for? God gives us other people. She gives us life. She gives us much more.

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