The Future Of Secularism: Chapter 24


I looked up from my soda (which was getting boring and doing no more than inspiring ruminations on the state of aesthetics), and my gaze fell upon Sophia again, more beautiful than any art because she was much more directly from God.

I wished I could be Sophia’s eyes and see what she saw in my own.  

Maybe Sophia had someone else. Her laughter slid around the courtyard; it made it seem like nothing else mattered. That kind of confidence only came with someone who found someone to love.

Maybe she had a boyfriend, a guy who’d put me to shame. Not a man who writes about revolutions, but a man who makes them1. But they’re not real; I’d imagine myself telling her. Can’t you see -- this is what I’d tell her - can’t you see I could be the someone you found? I could devote the world to you, and yet not break my back? I could start revolutions, too.

Revolutionaries want the world to be like them so they go out and do it. Writers sit back and wish the same, but they cannot do the same. So they write, so that others might change what they cannot (could not) change themselves. I hated feeling like Gandhi.

She had to know I was a real Muslim. If only, if only, I would have had the chance to sit her down and pour my heart out to her, she’d know how deep I really was. She’d drown within me, as I wanted to drown in her. I knew what was behind her eyes even when I wasn’t looking at them. I could feel her soul inside me2. Would this scare her? Writers are normal people, too, except we hurt so bad that we never let it go. So we tell the world. But alas, at most, people read what we have to say -- people don’t listen.

After all, what sounds do letters make?

Writers don’t bring symbols to life. That’s the job of the mouth.

I missed feeling her lips against mine.


1..Some men do both.

2. This has to be the wrong side of spirituality.

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