Wordcarpenter Books

Chapter Thirty-five

The Tonsure Warning


Thomas was happy to arrive in Hong Kong with the sacred tablet but he knew his days in Asia were numbered when he showed up for work a few days late. During the first week back at the office his lethargy was noticed by his boss. He told him that he lacked a certain urgency in his work. By the end of the first week back from Burma, he was spending more time drinking coffee in the pantry instead of rushing to finish the textbook. He just didn't care as much as he had before.

Knowing the actual artifact existed made him look at the world differently. Nihilism flourished and he abandoned any false idols he might have had in a culture of mistrust. But this wasn't all. The city that once moved like a symphony of parts now appeared as an aggregate incongruity of subways and buses and honking taxis. Crowds of peoples regarded each other with suspicion and unjust blame, spewing out a vibe of resentment making it a contagion even to the purest fortified heart. People's faces showed the poison of the tap water and wore the gray eye rings from the sedentary life of office work, busy comparing what others had with what they didn't have. The philosopher needs his space, his view, and his sounds of nature to feel a sense of belonging to the environment. He needs his hue and visual texture and freedom to smile at the rising sun. To keep the stew from oxidizing into an inedible crust, the stir stick must jostle the dormant powers of creation inherent his character. He needed to be able to retreat to the sanctity of the forest with winds fleecing tree branches creating songs from nature. The sacred knowledge Thomas had gained had produced a narcotic effect on his person.

One cannot experience such a profound event without being affected in ways that at the time remain unclear. So much of one's actions are dictated by an overpowering strength of character that one always thinks he is master of, but most times his character will hold sway over even the strongest will.

That first week back he received a letter from Josh. All it said was: "Your twin brother needs you, please come home." He booked a flight to Canada for the end of the August, three weeks hence. He would be returning with the stone tablet and reunite with Josh.

On the ferry coming home from work that Friday night at the end of the first week back, he bumped into Our Man Chaffey.

"Thomas! You coming to the Full Moon Party tomorrow night?" His usual reply wasn't forthcoming. Instead he found himself enamored with the girl standing beside Our Man Chaffey. He saw the same look of irony in her eyes.

"Will you be there too?" he asked her.

"I'm not used to this heat and I don't have air-conditioning right now in my place, so yes: I'll be spending Saturday and Sunday on the beach."

"I think I'll be there." He winked at her. That' was when she introduced herself as Claire.

"I'll see you tomorrow night."

That night he had another vivid dream. He was out on a soccer pitch but instead of playing he was watching the game. For some reason he knew when there was going to be a goal. When he saw a long-haired player place the ball for the corner kick and watched the header go in, everyone else was surprised but Thomas. Then after the game he found himself again on the pitch. He had a soccer jersey and went to trade it but the long-haired player saw that he wasn't a player so he wanted the jersey from him without barter so Thomas gave it to him. He was there empty-handed on the pitch but the long-haired player came back and completed the trade by giving Thomas his jersey, which ended up being his old Green Hornets #11 hockey jersey. He then found himself trying to find the way from the soccer field. He was in this underground labyrinth of concrete where he couldn't find the way out. The gray concrete had no way out except staircases and dust. There were no signs. But after he led the way, many others followed him down stairs to the dusty hallway to a door that opened up to an old stone house - his father's house. They all gathered there but Thomas was concerned that his father will be angry with so many people there. Just then his mother opened the front door and approached him. He could see that she was beside herself with fear at how his father will be furious. He explained the situation to her - that there were no directions of how to exit the soccer stadium so they ended up here. He then slipped out of the house as if no one had seen him and was relieved that he won't be yelled at. He stood in what he thought were nearby woods where the remainder of the soccer fans and players soon emerged from the old stone mansion where they crossed a bridge over a valley and then stood in line waiting for Thomas. But when he looked at them across the bridge, he saw they were all men who had really short hair - tonsures - and were wearing brown monk robes. So from where he stood in the woods he watched the men all with very short hair and thick brown friar outfits line up waiting for him to show them the way. As he looked at them he could see his breath because it was so cold.

In the morning when he awoke, he was baffled. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing when affected by life's events.



Part One - Canada
1.      The Twin From the East Returns  
2.      The Sundancer  
3.      Waxing Gibbous 
4.      The Second Coming of the Messiah 
5.      The Sacred Twin Story 
6.      The Sign of the Pahana 
7.      Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya 
8.      Rainbow Thunderbird and Red Phoenix 
9.      The True White Brother 
10.    The Lost Louis Riel Notebooks 
Part Two - Hong Kong
11.    A Mixture of Revulsion and Pity 
12.    A Classroom of Scallywags 
13.    Illegitimati non Carborundum 
14.    The Distant Fire of Empyrean
Part Three - Burma
15.    The Monastery of Sacred Tablets 
16.    The Outpost of Tyranny 
17.    When the 12th Moon Comes 
18.    The Pigeon Left & the Crow Took His Place 
19.    Go North and Find Your People 
20.    Finding Orwell 
21.    Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Tree Branch is Not 
22.    The Castle at God's Toes 
23.    The General and Sergeant Betel Nut 
24.    The Tattooed Station Master 
25.    Reverend Crow's Life's Work 
26.    Yield Not to Adversity, But Press on More Bravely 
27.    A Bitter Cuppa Tea 
28.    The Thirteenth Tribe 
29.    When a Lamp is Lit You Must Expect Insects 
30.    John the Christian 
31.    A Guardian Angel Named Hanna 
32.    The Bar Car & Betel Nut 
33.    The Son of Light  
34.    Slipping the Karmic Knot
Part Four - Hong Kong
35.    The Tonsure Warning  
36.    The Phoenix Reborn  
37.    Touching the Empyrean  
38.    Joshua the Gatekeeper  
Part Five - Canada
39.    Lapsit Exillis  
40.    Thunderstones  
41.    The Time of Great Purification  

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