Ice Cream: A Fable

…And so the atheist passed by a group of believers sitting down together on the grass. They were praying, and as they prayed, inside he mocked and laughed with fury, thinking: “Such ignorant fools! Praying to a superstition…”
Meanwhile the believers prayed for his wellbeing.
One of them opened his eyes and smiled to the atheist. The atheist was left without words, then. But he consoled himself:
“Their stubbornness to believe in folly is repugnant!”
But still he couldn’t get them off his mind.
“They’re animals, responding to chance and suffering with religion. It is the most obvious, simple, and easy response.”
Telling himself such things, etcetera, he slept quietly that night.

The next day he saw them again.
And this time another one of the believers, a young lady, lifted her head and smiled. But the atheist, fearful as he is, looked the other way, and consoled himself again: “I can’t tolerate them. Such, such ignorant fools!”
Later that evening while he was drinking with his friends, he retold them the two episodes, mocking all the way. And so it was that he slept quietly that night, too.

The next day he decided to take another route. But it so happened that he crossed paths with one of the believers – precisely, the young lady who had smiled at him the day before. She carried a notebook, he observed, and about her a smiling air.
And so it was that, among observations such as these, he stepped quite accidentally on her foot.
“You have stepped on my right foot,” she said. “You owe me an ice cream cone.”
Not knowing how to respond to such a comment, he simply didn’t.
“Come on, silly! There is a kiosk just around the corner. I’ll walk with you. I like vanilla.”
And then two letters stumbled their way out of his mouth: “O,” and “K.”
So they went to said kiosk, which really wasn’t too far, and he bought her vanilla ice cream. She was young, he observed, but her smile was wise. Something about her was elusive – and it was then, in a rush of brilliance and insight, that he thought up a metaphor, like the many rhymes he had thought up in younger days when he still thought poetry was beautiful: “She,” he thought, “is like a firefly in the forest.” And even though it wasn’t a grand thought, certainly not the greatest line to be written, he thought it quite beautiful then – that orange evening, as he watched the young lady eat her ice cream, there beside him. He thought of words like Beautiful, Young, Alive.
“Thanks,” she said.
The atheist gave a pathetic smile, and she laughed, like a woman laughing at the misdeed of a small child.
That night, tucked away in his bed, he couldn’t sleep quietly.
Even though he didn’t know it, and would only know it only till much later, he had fallen in love that evening, at a very precise moment. This moment occurred when he heard her last words after he said “goodbye.” She said “goodbye,” too and then added:
“I’ll keep you in my prayers.”


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Welcome to my blog. Feel free to read, feel free to comment, and feel free, period.

Someone once said…

"Every questioning is a seeking. Every seeking takes its direction beforehand from what is sought." -Martin Heidegger
August 2009
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