Maury was trying to access the space in his mind that was once inhabited by peace. Now steeped in his meditation on inertia he sat at the kitchen table staring at the menorah, the silver plastic gleam of its rounded arms dancing capriciously with the rythmic flickering of the neon sign from the sushi joint across the street.
Last night he had destroyed a spiritual experience. His wife had told him so and the anguish in her eyes was resolute. He was the destroyer of traditions, the thoughtless defacer of metaphysical truth.
“One lightbulb, Maury!,” more misery emanating from her, this time with tears and a disconsulate glare of trauma, “All you had to do was buy one tiny light bulb and you couldn’t even remember that. You’ve ruined Channuka again, you thoughtless, insufferable moron. Don’t speak to me for the rest of the week.”
That evening, scanning the half lit rococo décor of his marital bedroom as she slept, he stared in the mirror above the budoir and wished the darkest thoughts he had ever allowed to enter his mind. A pernicious desire that he had kept from himself had suddenly been unearthed from the depths of his subconscious. In the shadows and stillness a barely audible sound, an exhalation at the back of his head changed the focus of his meditation. An enveloping cloud of something that seemed half substance, half dark energy started to emanate from the foot of the bed as he lay without movement, immersed in primal despair. First there was the aura of a sudden chill and then the swift revelation of an oppresive radiant heat encompassing him from head to toe. The formless mass solidified, gripped him for an instant and with a single inhalation pure fear entered every pore of his body.
“I usually visit Christians,” heard Maury, yet these words were without sound.
“What do you want?,” rasped Maury under his breath, his eyes scouring the room in startled wonderment.
“This is more about what you want,” said the voice without sound.
“What I want?” Maury had never let this concept enter his mind since he had married the woman sleeping beside him.
“You know what you want. That’s why you summoned me,” the the voice with crystal clarity yet no audible substance.
Maury knew what he wanted, he knew quite well. Yet it wasn’t compassion, empathy or sentimentality that kept him from elucidating it immediately. He felt fear but of a different kind, as if he had lived his life on a tightrope and had never been aware of the possiblility that he could slip.
“What I want isn’t right. It’s evil, pure evil. This feeling will pass and everything will go back to normal in the morning,” Maury muttered under his breath.
“Look, the Catholics are expecting me within an hour. I only have limited time to spend with you so make a wish and make it swift.”
Maury searched the depth of his soul to extract the definition of his feeling. He knew it was time, there was nothing else to know.
From the void of the clockwork that makes the universe move forward or unravel he found himself back in the kitchen searching for the menorah lightbulb in vain. His wife entered the room and walked to the windowsill, looking at the him in bewilderment.
“I can’t find it, the shops are closed. I’ve ruined our spiritual moment of the day,” Maury breathed with resignation.
“What are you talking about Maury?” his wife glared in bewilderment. “You know I’m an atheist.”
The darkness that had desended upon his soul was gone and he knew tomorrow would be the start of his new divinely altered days.