Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Death at Golgotha-2nd part

Novel published in Serbian as “Smrt na Golgoti”, Prosveta 1965, © Borislav Pekic, English translation © by Lovett F. Edwards

for 3rd part HERE

And God had left him to pop off in his name.

Who were you, you stupid ass, to deserve his attention? Worm among worms, son among sons, the chosen among the chosen and, by Hashem, a fool among fools.

You’ve trotted through places of worship, run messages to all the crossroads of Judea from Ziklag to Dan and from Jericho to Joppa, pursuing the swift and treacherous shadow of God, which evaded you like a mirage before the thirsty wanderer; you have dropped the silver pieces earned by your sweat into Judas’s goatskin bag – that bag K. Appel-Stormwhich finally held the thirty pieces of silver - drops of the most precious sweat of death which the world has ever smelled, instead of getting thoroughly drunk and leaving Rufus to go on chasing that elusive divine shadow – and in that way to simply and painlessly achieve your place in the heavenly kingdom:

the best of all possible, since it would be yours alone, and if you got bored with it for any reason you could wash it away with a single jar of rainwater.

Clothed in rags, you knocked on every door, kept company with lepers and whores, and lived with the dead and possessed, alongside herds of swine that were ready to accept their demons from anyone willing to send them there;

they stoned you, spat on you, and chased you with sticks like a mongrel bitch with a can tied about its neck sniffing the trail of some canine divinity; you didn’t wear bells around your neck, but you rattled your rebellious truths as if you did;

you were disloyal to your own flesh and blood so that the new kingdom should come; you scorned the testament of the fathers so that this kingdom should come, you even slandered your neighbors – you who could have had anything on this earth.

The new kingdom hasn’t come and even if it had, you’d never noticed it in your frenzied rush.

What bloody new kingdom? Instead of the new kingdom, the old crucifixes are erected. As for equality before God, that amounts to dying with criminals, between the incestuous thug and a murderer, and there’s no humiliating difference in the manner of dying between them.

God slipped away into his heavenly cellar and you, my naive man, are stretched on the cross like a wild boar to be skinned in a dirty Byblos butcher shop, and Peter, who is Kiffa, and who is being chased by the godless all over Jerusalem, and the sons of Zabedee who are being beaten under the walls of Zion with wet canes, belts and reeds!

And there’s no God among us as he’d promised. He’s weaseled out and skipped, hasn’t he?

Where’s the truth announced to us on the Mount, where’s the kingdom conquered for us, where’s the open Book of Life we were invited to peep in, where’s “to the right” and “to the left” of the Father, when there’s no Father and my bloody glance crawls across the desolate Judean plane over which the ravens fall like black bolts of lightning.

What is truth when I’m dying?

Where is truth when I’m dying?

What truth can survive, honorably, and outlive my death?

Is my cross at least within the reach of heaven, which according to the prophecies awaits us with open arms? Ah, sweet-spoken whore, divine whore, did you choose me for dying? Ah, predicted whore, ah, manger-born whore – he thought bitterly – is this your heavenly bliss?

And that merciless sun which scales off yellow as if to tear his dried slough as soon as he’s dead in order to burn the survivors with his fresh, cold brilliance, those red-hot scales which cling to his wounds, that dead air which sticks in his throat like a bone, that thorn’s blossom in the eyeballs, those boiling geysers in his ears, those winged nails which tear at his testicles. God is that possible?

Everything had for him the fresh face of a shadow. Three dromedaries on the Silchem road, who were kneeling so as to allow their drivers to see what is happening at the place of execution, were three dirty spots in the sand, three insignificant humped shadows in the flood of heath.

Then the winged and living shadows of the vultures were cruising over Golgotha, always in one place like a wheel stuck in the mud.

The brittle, fragile, dusty shadow of the thorns; the slender shadow of the javelin leaning against the cross, the pointed shadow of the crosses lying on their backs stretched on the ground, and the earthen hot shadow that the scattered rocks throw around it;

the rounded shadow of the crooked helmets and the flat shadow of the jugs with vinegar, which shone below his nailed feet; the transparent, holy shadow of his garments as they passed from hand to hand, the shadow of a sigh, the bodiless windswept shadow of dying which rested between the arrows like crucifixes.

Which day is it today?

Is it Friday? The last day of suffering before the Sabbath rest, the last day of life before the eternal Sabbath. Black Friday before White Saturday.
fot the 3rd part HERE

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