“Fuck the pretense, because it’s over…The house of cards is falling down.” -Roman Wyden
Three Wise Men
Fiction. Based on True Friendships with Three Arabian Men.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Batman and Joker
Bat and Man
Batman is Bruce by day and Bat by night. Bruce is the man who wears the persona to blend in with society, and Bat is the Shadow that manifests power sourcing from the Dream World.
Somewhere between Bruce and the Bat is the soul that chooses.
Bruce wears a tight suit and a tight smile to put up with appearances in polite society as a high profile and high society elite, but when the city sleeps, he is most in his element when he is fighting, chasing, and in action.
His Shadow powers his ability to incite fear in the villains of Gotham City.
Batman is light and dark, and he crosses both worlds between Reality and the Dream.
On the other hand, the Joker, Batman’s arch nemesis, is unable to cross boundaries of the two worlds—the ordinary world and the world of dream.
The Joker and the Joke
The Joker is the schizoid who is completely dissociated in the dream world, unable to come back to the day. Joker has lost touch with his own humanity — completely rejecting it – and has taken it upon himself to “cleanse” the world of its stupidity and hypocrisy.
The world is indeed stupid and in need of cleansing in Gotham city, except the way Joker is going about “cleaning” the world is no different than producing the same thing of that which he secretly hates, just packaged differently, because the means by which he goes about exercising his “justice” is the same way that makes the world more stupid and hypocritical.
The is the conundrum of the Schizoid—wanting and thinking he is playing the hero while he is actually playing out the perpetrator.
What makes Joker the Schizoid and Batman the Artist?
The difference is in the power of Good to contain the Shadow.
Somewhere along the timeline, the boy rejected good.
That’s why the Joker is obsessed with unmasking and “flipping” the Batman to evil, aiming to kill and yet secretly wanting the Batman alive at the same time, because the existence of the Batman is the ideal that the Joker’s hidden desire secretly wants to become.
This is the juxtaposition of the Cain and Abel sacrifices, respectively.
Joker has given up hope on humanity, and instead seeks to make it worse—he wants to speed up the chaos so that all this simulation called “reality” will end sooner than later.
The Joker has experienced severe childhood abuse and trauma. He seeks to recreate that trauma for the world, a true desire for the world to have compassion for those who are silently suffering and helpless. Perhaps, he wants to “unmask” the pretension of people who act “normal” but in the dark corners become monsters, like the way he witnessed his dad abuse his mother as a child.
The Disassociated Child
The alchemized shadow began in childhood when he witnessed his alcoholic father cut his mother’s face up. Before the Joker cuts up his victim’s face, he shares the origin story of the inspiration—an abusive drunk violent father and a helpless child.
Joker was once the helpless child who, now growing up, seeks power, to never have to be put in that helpless position again… except this power he wields is devoid of meaning. He associates love with weakness, and completely rejects love altogether, perhaps secretly blaming his mother’s love for his dad to have stayed long enough for such abuses to continue. The child becomes the Joker, but the alchemized shadow soon consumes the boy rather than the boy being able to contain it.
Joker’s father abuses his mother.
Joker’s wife is abused by mafia debt collectors.
Joker scars himself to match his wife’s scar, but his wife can’t stand the sight of him because it is a reminder of who she has become, so she leaves him.
The Joker believes that stripped down to the core, people are evil.
“When the chips are down, they’ll eat each other,” he tells Batman.
And this is true.
Not all the time.
There are exceptions, and this is why Batman chooses to still retain his human-ness, because Batman has hope in the Goodness of people—he foolishly believes in the silver lining, a chance in the exception to the rule.
On the other hand, the Joker sees the joke in the cosmic dichotomy of the human condition and he is bent on the complete destruction of a less than perfect being—in the bare naked duality of the human condition, he wants to rid the hypocrisy even at the expense of Good. He justifies his bad behavior based on the premise that at least he is fully authentic in his ugliness and chaos. He realizes just how sick the world really is. How sick human beings really are. That’s why he doesn’t understand why Batman would want to risk his life to protect and defend humans. He reminds Batman that the same people are fighting with him would also easily dispose of him when his use is over.
He has chosen the conclusion that the value of a life is worthless. In the end, it is but dust (and it is), so the Joker has no guilt, no feelings of any kind when he takes a life. It has becomes his sport. He looks at the life he lives as a virtual simulation game and the name of the game is to get away with as many kills as possible.
Money isn’t his priority—it is the cleansing of the world—of two faced people.
People like his father.
He noticed the hypocrisy when his wife left him after he cut his face up for her.
Joker’s True Desire
Joker doesn’t want to kill Batman;
Joker wants Batman to lose hope, lose faith in good, lose love altogether.
This is the Joker’s true desire.
That is why the Joker is good at setting up all the characters to fail.
Killing humans is easy, but killing hope in humans is the Joker’s challenge.
The Joker’s true desire is to turn good people like Batman and Harvey into monsters like him, bringing them down to his dystopian perception of reality—He desires them to reject good entirely by focusing on the seemingly overwhelming power of evil.
So the Joker doesn’t have to be alone in his un-integrated Shadow state.
The Joker is stuck in a pit stop thinking that it is the destination and he wants those who are ahead of the race in Shadow Integration to regress.
That is the true desire of the villain—to strip all hope, all faith, all love from the soul.
The One Rule
“I have one rule,” Batman says.
“Then that’s the rule you’ll have to break to know the truth,” Joker replies.
Joker thinks the entire truth is the void. The absence of everything as everything. He only sees the black dot in the white tadpole of the yin and yang circle. He cannot see the light even though it is still there.
Joker wants Batman to step completely into the world of chaos. He knows that if he can get the Bat to dispose of the man, they would be no different from one another.
The Joker does not care about his own life.
He has fully embraced the chaos.
“You have nothing to threaten me with,” the Joker tells Batman.
The Joker is very wise.
He knows the insanity of the human condition.
“If a ‘gangbanger’ is shot or if soldiers are killed, ‘nobody panics because it’s all part of the plan.’
But if the mayor dies, everybody loses their minds,” he tells Batman later.
Showing humanity to a person who have completely lost their own humanity is the cosmic dance that an Integrated Shadow like Batman has to learn.
The One Phone Call
The Joker wants his one phone call. It is part of the protocol.
“How many of your friends have I killed?” the Joker taunts the cop who is detaining the Joker. He says this to get a rise out of the man who stands there maintaining his imprisonment, keeping him away from his one phone call.
The Joker delights in evil.
He savors the pain, the suffering, the end of life, the existential crisis moments of a human being because there is finally rawness, authenticity, and he wants his fellow soul brethrens to see what he sees—the revelation of how little, how weak, how transient life really is.
“In their last moments, people show you who they really are,” The Joker says to the cop.
The Joker likes to setup zero-sum games to reveal the inadequacies of the human condition. To bring people to acknowledge their own evil, quicker.
The Joker believes that “who they really are” is evil.
Joker, like Holden in Catcher in the Rye, believes everybody is a phony.
And both Joker and Holden are right.
All people are phony in some way, shape, or form.
However, what Joker and Holden failed to recognize is that they were only fixated on the black dot on the white tadpole of the Yang.
What the Joker had forgotten is that there is a white dot in the black tadpole that aligns with the black dot in the white tadpole—that part is made manifest in the realization of Batman.
“Madness is like gravity, all it takes is a little push,” Joker says.
The cop is triggered, loses his cool, and begins beating on the Joker, setting off an alarm from the Deputy.
They know the Joker deserves the beating, but realize that they are slipping into his level of barbarity.
James Gordan feels bad and this is the Joker’s opportunity:
“I just want my one phone call,” the Joker explains to Gordan.
That was how the Joker escaped.
The Joker’s Hidden Desire— “The Boat Scene”
This is the hidden desire of the Joker—to become like Batman.
Who is Batman?
A man who is fully aware of the hypocrisy, the duality, the fallen state of mankind, yet he is able to embrace both the chaos and the hope— the foolish faith, the impossible task of loving mankind even in its seemingly hopeless state.
Like a moth to a flame, the Joker is fascinated with Batman, highly attracted to him…
Because it is the Joker’s hidden desire to become the Batman.
Little is the Joker aware that he is only in the middle of his journey—like a caterpillar still incubating in its cocoon, the shadow integration process is still in process, yet the Joker thought he has arrived.
That’s why the punchline always falls on the Joker.
That is why the first definition of love is love is patient.
It is not just a definition, but a command for the playbook of Love’s spiritual aim to pierce the heart of darkness.
Batman has fully integrated his Shadow.
He has managed to balance the two dots inside the tadpoles, and, while fully aware and in acceptance of the duality, he exercises his Divine Will and chooses the white dot in the black circle.
What the Joker covets is Batman’s fully integrated Shadow, and he aims to take the white dot from the Batman, not realizing that the Joker has his own white dot to discover. The Joker sees it in Batman—the ideal—and that is the treasure he truly wants, not realizing that he has it within himself all along.
In the Boat Scene, there were multiple boats all rigged with dynamite. The game is set up where everybody has a detonator to blow up the other boats to save their own. If nobody pushes the detonator button, all the boats blow up, but the first boat to push the detonator button is saved while the rest dies.
In the end, nobody pulled the trigger and played into the Joker’s games.
And a miracle happened as a result.
Batman came before all the boats were blown up.
They would rather all die together then become evil to save themselves in the temporary.
Nobody pulled the trigger.
If they all die, then good wins.
But they didn’t die.
A miracle happened.
Batman believes in Good.
This is the power of a human being walking with a fully integrated shadow.
Good wins today.
The Joker is baffled.
You may say even shocked.
While the Joker has good reasons to destroy humanity (for the world is made up of fools indeed), the way by which he goes about bringing in a new world order is by way of malice, apathy, and rejection of weakness. He does not tolerate anything less than perfect. He believes in art to its highest aesthetic, even at the price of the aesthetic that makes up the art. He hates the container that sets the boundaries for the Shadow, perhaps because he has not yet quite fully understood the true essence of the container’s power. The container is indeed a mystery.
To the Joker, the Shadow is the apex, the thing worth dying for. Like Prometheus, it is the Joker’s desire to set free the Shadow so fire can speed up the catalyzation of humanity’s “evolution.”
The Joker is called the joker because he is the punchline of his own joke.
The Man in Jerusalem
You met a real estate broker from NY who came to visit family. He said his family is Jewish, Arabic, and Christian, and owns property inside the various quarters of Old City Jerusalem. His brother is in commercial real estate and they have a family legacy of brokering deals for land, then building upon that land.
It seems like it’s a cigar and high society big boy’s club type of thing, yet he is walking and talking like LL Cool J with a thick Brooklyn accent.
He shows you where Dolorosa Road is. He walks you towards Mother Mary’s tomb, though your intention is to go towards Lover Mary’s golden shrine that the Russian Orthodox church built for her.
That afternoon the doors are closed. You missed it. You hint that you’re hungry. He takes you to the Arabic market in front of Damascus Gate.
The discussion got deep after you told him about what you are up to.
He tells you that the Zionists are in control of the world and this is their stomping ground.
“They just want judgement day to come quicker,” he tells you.
You’ve heard this before. It was the magician you met in the heart of Hollywood who first revealed to you the agenda of those who serve Satan, the workers of the Talmud, the Cabal, and ancient black magic, that their intent is to bring Satan in flesh from on earth to reign with the promise that they get to retain their power.
“The chosen ones believe that the rest of the population aims to serve them. Those who are not chosen are the slaves.”
“Do you know that God called them the chosen ones because they are the ones in most need of redemption, grace, and salvation?”
Then you wonder if this entire version of reality you’ve been playing out has been a cosplay for the chosen ones. Perhaps you are plugged into this virtual reality knowing that you do not belong in this world, and that those who are “chosen” are pretty much God’s targets for the rest of his heavenly angels to do a rescue operation for.
“This world is purgatory,” you tell him. “I believe that the ‘slaves’ are the servants of God that volunteered to come down to heaven to bring divine healing, blessing, and redemption for those who are still lost wandering in the desert. These lost folks are God’s chosen, because they are still asleep and the rest of the non-chosen ones are tasked to wake them up in spiritual transcendence. I think God has a one for all and all for one mentality.”
“I believe we are living in a simulation…” you begin when he interrupts.
The man from Jerusalem sits in contemplation.
“They don’t refrigerate their eggs,” he tells you, “I find that kind of strange.”
He has light brown eyes. When he says that you look into them and realize he is giving you an affirmation. You realize that you are just fine with eggs that are not refrigerated. The eggs at Zuwaden you’ve been buying were not in the refrigerator.
That’s an anomaly.
“It was the Zionists who started World War II and funded Hiter’s Nazis campaign,” he tells you.
You realize he is part of the 1%, an insider, and this was not a coincidence. You want to ask him, Why are you telling me this. You remember Joseph Campbell’s practicality in this. Always listen for why people are talking.
This bump in the road.
You jumped into a white van when it was supposed to be a bus that you were waiting to hop onto from the Film Festival to the Old City. And the both of you got out together. That’s how you two met. Now he is paying for your shawarma and dropping truth bombs in front of Damascus Gate.
He’s either trying to impress you because he has a desire to fuck you later or he is bringing you into an elite club of white hate sheep in wolves’ clothing to bring this to the surface.
You pray for the Holy Spirit to come through.
Please give me the words to give him the next download.
“The devil posed a true/false test to me,” you to him, “ ‘God is love,’ and that was the last question before I decided to take my life. Now why would the accuser ask me that question above all questions? He didn’t ask me, ‘why do you want to leave?’ N,o it was all in relation to God.”
“Because it was the only question that mattered.”
“Bingo,” you reply.
The Man of Saba
“The men hate the women,” he tells you.
You believe this is a projection of his but you say nothing because you are riding in his car and you are in the middle of the desert. For all intents and purposes, you are his captive audience.
“Who?” you ask.
He points to Saba Monastery.
The men who live inside, on the edge of the high desert cliffs in the Judean desert.
In the next moment, a flock of wild ducks fly across the horizon of the high desert, just slightly above eyeline.
The birds are white with full plume.
“I always wanted to be a bird,” you tell him.
And perhaps that’s why you’re still single, you think to yourself.
You don’t want any man to try and clip your wings.
But you don’t say any of this to him.
“You would make a beautiful bird,” he says.
He carries your backpack.
He has strong arms, cut abs, and a tight body.
You have wild thoughts of what you could be doing with him in the middle of this desert.
Sex in the middle of the Judaen desert, in front of the monastery where the men inside are fighting lust.
But today, you are fighting lust as well.
You’ve sworn off casual sex since the triangulation love affair fiasco in Los Angeles.
And you’ve been doing just fine, despite a close slip in Croatia.
He tells you that he fears you.
You want to tell him that his instincts are right.
You are a monster.
But your silence immediately after his declaration convicts you and affirms his instincts.
You give him a mischievous smile.
He carries you, like a groom carries his bride to the bedroom, except he is walking the two of you down the steps on ancient rocks only a few feet away from the edge of the cliff and if he slipped and the two of you fell down the stairs, you two would continue falling down, plummeting down the high cliffs into the ravine with cracked backs and it’s the next realm you two go.
But that’s not what happened.
Or you wouldn’t have lived long enough to tell this story.
Instead, he gently brings you down to a path, a narrow one, and he walks a few feet ahead of you to scout for a through passage miles past the Mar Saba monastery.
Instead, he does find a through way and you eventually find yourself seeing Mar Saba in rearview, now as a miniature figure from a bird’s eye view, now that you and him are deep in the mountains, past several caves and beneath the big cave that remains a mystery of what inhabitants and for what purposes.
Nobody is here.
It’s as if the two of you were Adam and Eve, wearing costumes and playing a character, clothed in different color skins, cultures, and socioeconomic classes, but together the two of you are here to commune before the awesome glory of God’s created earth.
The Man in Hebron and Jericho
10,000 year old city.
The lowest city in the world.
The place where Jesus resisted all three temptations of the devil and successfully fasted 40 days and 40 nights.
But while the man in Hebron and Jericho tells you that this is the place where Mt. Temptation is, where the oldest city in the world has been destroyed seven times and rebuilt seven times, you were tempted not to make any moves or give any hints of sexual interest even though you were drawn to him like a moth to a flame.
All it takes is for him to kiss you and you would be hooked.
He has that kind of toxic seduction that you are so familiar with.
His voice is gentle, he has a dry and dark sense of humor, and he is overly sensitive, though he will never admit or show it.
He is every guy you’ve ever fallen for and obsessed over, except now stripped down to the guise of an unofficial friend here to “show you a good time,” you do and say nothing but keep your propriety like you did with the first guy friend.
You assess that his shadow is not of the wife-beating type, unlike the other man you met, but this shadow is one of sloth, of lust, of the two-timing kind. You feel this dark energy and it is so familiar. He will never abuse you, but he will lie to you and gaslight the shit out of you to avoid drama. He’ll want you to believe he is god, or at least good, when in secret he knows he is a coward. But you don’t say any of this, because this is his curse to contend with not yours.
You were driving.
He was ordering you around.
You played along, like it was a video game.
Go fast, left, right, honk!
Ishamel and Yameen and Dobra!
You acted as if the two of you were already an old couple. You find this quite amusing. You play the part of what it would be like to be his woman.
You’d get bossed around, tossed around, and most likely cheated on.
He tells you 100 shekels for the rental car, but when you got there it was 150 shekels. It wasn’t his fault. He just wasn’t paying attention.
He was late and told you to be on time.
It wasn’t his fault. He has a family history of alcoholism.
He drinks to drown out the dreams deferred.
You don’t bother telling him about Langston Hughes because you don’t want to come off as arrogant and preachy.
You’ve learned your lesson from how it went down between you and Rylie.
You can’t fix a man who is not willing to change—ever.
He wanted you to hide his weed in your bag and he smoked like a chimney.
All red flags.
Still, you play along because he speaks Arabic and the locals give you a pass in the heart of Hebron Old City Market, as your head is now “covered” in the majority Muslim community. He is your escort for the day, though you are at the driver’s seat. You believe he wants a foreign woman – someone who is not submissive, someone with sass and class, but at the same time someone who can show him face. What man doesn’t want a woman like that? It is every man’s dream to find a woman who can kick his ass, discipline him enough to want to discipline himself. A man wants order. And if a woman can stabilize him without ‘nagging,’ if he is mature enough, he’d want her to inspire him when he does things right and recognize his struggle with compassion and grace. Only then is there a hope. Hope is not a guarantee, but hope is still hope.
A man wants a woman to challenge him, to inspire him, to make him better, but the secret that you’ve been discovering through your own spiritual practice is that only a woman grounded in God can truly be the source of that inspiration—the muse. Because where else is she going to source her own validation of her own self-worth? From men? God no. They are so flawed, just as much as you are.
And another secret is that even then, with spiritual grace, with karmic transcendence, you can’t fix him because the law of individual sovereignty is fixed.
You must take a man as he is or reject him altogether.
That’s what you did to Rylie.
You rejected him.
That’s what you did to Aaron.
You rejected him.
And that’s what you will be doing with the three men you met in Israel and Palestine.
You will reject all of them.
Because you are still working on your emotional sobriety.
If a woman makes her man her god, then she will be thoroughly disappointed, never satisfied, and, most of the time, in fear and worry mode. But a Godly woman is sure that she is secure wherever she goes and thus is not afraid of letting a man go and following God on the adventure of her lifetime. You found out through women, young and old, that a woman’s freedom is her attraction to true power—the true love within.
Her feathers must reign independent.
Only a flying phoenix can co-opt a dragon.
The winged Serv/pent Playbook.
The Love Story Playbook.
When you pass through Hebron, the man tells you that this place is currently occupied by Israeli “defense” soldiers for the forced occupation of Israeli Zionists who want to settle there. There’s a clever marketing campaign going on, of the Jewish nation entitled to their land because of what happened to them in the past, but that life-lie is becoming ever the more transparent when you live through the contrast in standards of living, lifestyle, and privilege. The narrative of “victim” is dispelled when you arrive through the Hebron streets. There is almost no tourists through this city. The “war on terrorism” against the Arabic people, through the actions of extreme Islamic jihadis and perhaps through the amplification of media made it starkly apparent that there were mostly locals that trafficked through this area.
In this moment, you are grateful because the man beside you guides you. He tells you not to pay attention to any merchants who just want to sell you something. You understand he says this because of the game setup—maximize the opportunity that a foreigner comes because they have the money and the locals are poor.
On the other hand, it is better than begging. At least they have made the effort to make something, to sell something for their family coffers, to gather together to fight for a real cause, breaking out of their own isolation as the territories by which they live get smaller and smaller like the Native American lands in America.
You told this man that you wanted to visit Abraham’s tomb, but instead you were able to see Sarah’s tomb.
It was green.
You were covered in white by a sarong the mosque provided.
Prior to coming in, you had to pass through Israeli checkpoint. You showed them your US passport and they let you immediately through. As an American, you are Israel’s ally. Yet, your friend got the pat-down. This reminded you of the difference between being Asian-American and being Black-American. You’ve never gotten a pat down by a cop on a traffic stop. Black people in America experience more stop and frisk.
Is it because only Black people carry weapons and drugs in their cars and not Asians?
Is it because only Arabic men blow themselves up through jihad rather than Israeli men?
You don’t know.
All you know is that you went through without any problems and your Arabic friend wearing the black Eco shirt gets the thorough frisk with hands raised.
All you know was that his friend later came to explain to you that there was a bloody massacre that happened in 1994 at the Cave of the Patriarchs and it was a Zionist who did it.
After your friend got his pat-down, the silence between you and your friend walking up the stairs of the mosque became deafening. He was righteously angry and embarrassed in front of you, and you had no clue what to say to him to make things better in that moment, so you said nothing. The silence carried through until you were inside the mosque, and it became you who had to adjust—you had to cover and your Arabic friend went in unharassed.
It’s a strange world.
At least the deafening silence was broken into humorous irony.
You were not able to see Abraham’s tomb because it is Saturday, and Saturdays are reserved for Jewish people who pray. There are allocated days for Muslims, for Christians, and for Jews, and, among those days, tourists can come on Muslim and Christian days. At least, that is what your Arabic friend tells you.
You only saw Abraham’s tomb through a small metal filter, and you filmed it through your iPhone, which focused through one of the holes of this metal filter.
“We are above Abraham’s tomb,” he tells you.
You, the Christian Chinese-American and him, the Christian Arabic Palestinian, are standing above Abraham’s tomb.
The father among all nations.
The two of you are standing over Abraham’s tomb, both highly attracted to one another.
The two of you leave. You do feel safer with your Arabic Christian friend by your side.
His friend greets the two of you after a boy approaches you with a green bracelet and asks for money. You don’t want the bracelet, but you can see the desperation on his face, like many faces here. You give him the money you have and he comes back to try and sell you a second one. You say no. You wonder if this is predatorial or just streetwise. Whatever the case, you buying makes you more of a target.
His friend is a tour guide, a local. He tells the boy who approaches you to give you a third one for free. The bracelet has the colors of the Palestinian flag—Green, Red, Black, and White—on each bracelet, with the base color as those choices as well. First you choose red, then black, then green. You gave away the black to your friend and you kept the red and green, but you later gave away the red to another friend, and so now you have the green.
You are driving at 160 km when the two of you head to Jericho. He is nervous because he has not been in a car with a woman driving this fast. At least that is your assumption. You don’t feel your ears pop descending down to the lowest place in the entire world. This time, his brother, his wife, and their son is ahead, and you are just following. You all take the cable car up to the only restaurant in Jericho, next to the Mt. of Temptation Monastery. In the middle of the ride up, the cable car stops, and then his wife is petrified.
She begins to cry. You are completely calm. Perhaps you are used to cable cars from snowboarding all this time, or perhaps you are just blasé about dying, or perhaps just confident that Jesus will be with you when you pass on. Whatever the case, you find yourself thinking that her tears remind you of the tears in the movie Get Out, when the city artist becomes hypnotized into a smiling and pleasant suburban servant and he cries through his mask of smiles.
Her tears were more than fright from the cable car suspended thousands of feet above ground. Something tells you they were tears of feeling stuck. It is the kind of tears that perhaps many young brides and newly wedded wives experience after having their first child. The sinking feeling that they are with this man for better or for worse, knowing many times that it is for the worse. Don’t let the facade fool you.
Or perhaps you are still projecting since she is a wife and mother and you are single and with a dog for a child.
You eat, and your Arabic friend treats the entire party. You and the wive do not talk other than when you offer to take a picture of her, her son, and her husband. You are for the most part uncomfortable and disassociated. You drink Arabic coffee and it soothes you. They tell you they are looking to do business with the Chinese. You think of your uncle who does manufacturing. You hit up your cousin whom you have not seen in a long time. He has two sons now, and you are surprised by this fact when he sends you a picture of his kids. He tells you via Facebook messenger that he is moving from NY back to China to help his father with the factory and also his parents want to help raise his two sons.
You tell him that you are in Jericho and that you just met two Arabic men who are interested in doing import and export business in Palestine.
Your Arabic friend has thought of a way to kill chickens more effectively. You think it dark but, then again, you also think perhaps he has come up with some way to make it less painful for chickens to die.
Your uncle makes tools to sell to Home Depot and other places.
Your friend is interested in buying expensive shoes like Airones and Yeezy.
You ask your cousin if he wants anybody to work for him on this.
He says no.
This is one of those businesses that needs no more competitors because people will copy and leave.
You understand this.
But yours is a bit different.
Yours is a non-profit.
And yours is designed for people to copy and replicate.
Because the point is not making money gains, but soul gains.
A man prays towards Mecca as you pass through checkpoint, the wall that separates Israeli border from Palestinian border. It is filled with art, graffiti, and anger—lots of frustrated, resentful type of anger, and a tinge of sardonic humor.
Concrete jungle and quite understandable. It’s all the elements that raise an inner city—neglect, entrapment, setting up a group of people to fail, to perpetuate low self-esteem, ripe for exploitation.
Anybody in that position would be frustrated.
It is the apathy that most insiders who are walled up are feeling.
It is the same evil that the Jews and other prisoners of Nazi concentration camps experienced from the Nazis and the Capos—apathy.
But you feel safe here because you are among men who answer to God, and your head is covered by and through the Holy Spirit, among men who do not have sex until they are married with hormones that rage much harder than yours who see you as the prey not realizing that you are the predator who prowls through these streets.
The man from Herod and Jericho tells you that he spotted you while he was leaving checkpoint.
“I’m not hard to miss,” you text back, with a Crazy face emoji as your reply and he laughs.
This morning you woke up to the sound of lots of cars honking and the sound of firepower.
You believe it is fireworks but it can also be an insurrection.
You text the man from Hebron and Jericho about the noise.
“They are celebrating high school graduation,” he responds.
The sense of community—a village celebrating the spirit of a new chapter in someone’s life– has arisen.
He buys you $18 worth of fruit at Hebron.
You think you are falling in love with him.
In another life, you would have been his wife.
Your last week in Palestine, he invites you to his cousin’s wedding.
He gives you his nephew to hold, and you feel like Jane Smith from the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, holding a baby for her first time in a long time—awkward and surprised, but grateful.
The wedding begins at the bride’s home, and all family, cousins, and friends with cars gather in front of the apartment, creating a local traffic gridlock.
You are seated next to two beautiful twin girls dressed in glittery white dresses.
You remember the man in Hebron telling you about the fountain of Elisha Spring Fountain, that dipping into the waters will heal your body and help you bring forth twins.
The next destination was the wedding inside an orthodox church. The bible was all in Arabic except for one passage that was in English. It was about Thomas, the disciple who felt scammed, who felt that this entire time he had been deceived after Jesus died. “I’ll have to put my finger through his wound to believe it!” he tells the rest of the disciples. He leaves to do his own thing while the rest of the disciples gather together for a meeting. When Jesus appeared, Thomas was not there.
Alas, Jesus appears before Thomas and tells him to stick his finger through his pierced wound.
You thought this strange that every single page in this Bible was in Arabic except for this passage.
You wonder if marrying a man of your dreams, having a full wedding like this, then having twins with him is possible.
Is this a message?
When the bride and groom were blessed and declared husband and wife, they stepped outside to where your friend, his brother, and the two-year-old boy were staying in wait.
It was time for the bride and groom to release the doves.
Your friend tells his cousin to move out of the way so you can witness the doves being released.
A pair of doves.
You got to witness an Arabic Christian wedding in his village called Beit Jala, a place where you printed the first 10 colored copies of The Producer’s Playbook, and the place where he took you to see his family—meet his father, his brother, and his place with the chick and dove coup.
You saw him holding his nephew, the same nephew that hours earlier he had given you to hold. In that moment when he was holding his nephew at the wedding, after the two doves were released, and he was just smiling and making his nephew smile, you had a moment.
An elderly man passed by and spoke to you in English.
“When a man is ready to fly across the ocean to meet the woman in her home, he is worthy of becoming her husband.”
You thought about the idea of marrying Rylie in a family setting like this, among friends and family to witness in faith.
You wanted Rylie to give you twin boys.
You feel yourself wanting to cry.
Hebrewing Coffee Shop
Viviany asks you, “what’s the worst that can happen?” when you open up to her about going back to LA and showing up randomly at Rylie’s door to say hi.
“The worst is he rejects you. No change in your situation than if you didn’t.”
You heart gets heavy at the thought.
Palms sweaty just at the thought.
Instead, the Jewish celebration is open.
They are celebrating or commemorating 200 years of something at the Mount of Olives.
Fireworks go off.
This is the second set of fireworks today, this time on the Israeli side.
You ask a woman from the group and she attempts to tell you but you don’t remember the Hebrew name.
13 and 31
Blue and Green fill your G-mail screen display.
You realize there are so many beautiful people both in Palestine and in Israel, and that is because you are not attached to the war, nor are you attached to the impending civil war in America—alternative right and alternative left.
The polarity is but a symptom of alchemized shadows that are unintegrated on both sides. And the way you look at the Arab men and the way they look back at your brings a level of curious charm—especially the ones with bright eyes.
Arab men have powerful and potent eyes.
It pierces right through you and you wonder what it would be like to make love to one of them.
You had texted your American friend, who is Arabic, “I think I am attracted to Arabic men in Palestine. They are kind, gentle, and chivalrous.”
“That’s pretty much what makes Palestine great,” he jokes.
You write down everyone’s name at the Western Wall and there was a special spot to put your prayer paper in but an elderly woman was sitting right by it. Next to her in flank and file are two other older women. Their faces are planted right inside the Torah and some are crying into it like the book was their handkerchief. Others close their eyes and begin praising God in sync, harmonizing with the men who call out God in Hebrew hymns emanating from the left side of the wall and the women answer in harmony on the right side of the wall.
You put your phone away and cupped the prayer slip in your palms and begin asking God, “ Please bless everyone with a true love story inside The Love Story.”
Love, Family, Health, and Career
Knowing God in all facets of their lives through gains and losses, for better or for worse, in all circumstances.
You feel the weight of grief, the pain, the fear together all falling off, falling off, falling in tune when you place your palms on the Western Wall, and the women are bowing, closing their eyes, a small few crying, and all reading and praying. You know this is sending spiritual blessings into the world. Things unseen in another realm transforming for the better with every blessing.
You called Aaron and you two talked.
“It’s you,” Aaron says.
You don’t want to throw any more stones at him.
“I thought phone is better than email. Better for communication.”
He tells you how much you hurt him and you tell him how much he hurt you.
Both yell when speaking.
At the climax, in the heat of the argument, he tells you to shut the fuck up and you do.
You realize this is still part of the insanity.
You’re still around to fix him in exchange for financial security.
“What do you want from me?” you ask him.
“Nothing,” he replies.
“Well then there is nothing to talk about.”
If he doesn’t want anything from you it means he doesn’t want what you have to offer him. He is still not ready.
You told him both of you met during a time of crisis.
But you don’t tell him that part where you were attracted to him for his money. He represents financial security rather than some aesthetic attraction. It is a practical choice rather than a spiritual one and that’s why you know it’s a trap. Choosing a man for his money who has lots of it but is losing his way and you, who have no money with a lot of soul, but no place to channel all that love and leverage money to continue this fantasy of work and travel…with a secret fear that all your efforts may render you seemingly broke and your labors fruitless…that thought is all fear-based illusions.
“Do you know how long I’ve had to work to even get to that point where you and I could lay in my bed and make love next to the beach?” Aaron asks you.
Do you know how long I’ve had to work to even get to the point where I could truly love myself?
But you refrain from saying this to him.
“I have a special set of skills,” he tells you.
Well so do I, but you refrain.
After the phone call, you cried. You cried because you are surprised at how much you still care about Aaron. You cried because you know it is inappropriate—not at the expense of another woman’s broken heart, you tell yourself.
You are surprised because you know it’s not just about his money.
It’s something deeper that the two of you shared.
But as with everything, you must go about it the right way.
You must refrain.
Love is patient.
The Misery of Adam
The default is misery—all around the world, you can see people with worried and strategizing faces.
You walked into a chicken store that sells pre-marinated chicken and the young man there asks about your dog. He says he has two huskies and two German Shepherds. You think each one could kill your dog easily. You want to disengage but he offers you both chicken and his time as a riding companion to Hebron if you ever need an escort.
You wonder what his angle is.
Citizenship to escape this purgatory they find themselves in?
It’s all purgatory everywhere you go, you want to tell him, even and especially the hottest clubs in LA and NY.
When people arrive they have to get drunk at the bar and pretend that they are having the time of their lives because the reality is we are all trying to look like we’ve made it in a world where this isn’t our destination, but a pit stop. That’s the ultimate punchline to the joke we are all part of.
The Third Original Sin of Adam
You’ve been writing the story of how Adam cursed himself when he made the effort to suffer with Eve.
The third original sin of Adam is, “…I hid because I am naked…”
You wonder if that’s the reason why Rylie has blocked you.
Why all the men you chase eventually block you.
“…because I am naked…”
To the Magic Man:
You do tell him that prayers are like grants for college and magic is like student loans for college.
Magic collects interest and creates debt slaves, miracles don’t.
In a miracle, you don’t have to pay it back with interest.