The Voice: Revisited

  Of all the unanswered questions that undoubtedly plague you as you read this, I fear most that many of you now think only ill of the Fallen, and that you have failed to ask the real "question" here, but instead of telling you the question that you should be asking at this juncture, I will try to explain myself in a different way by attempting to emphasize the fact that all Fallen are not "evil" per se, and unintentional consequences of their action, or interferences, aside, actually mean well. In fact, every voice that I hear is not always a tempting one, or evil one or even a misguiding one. Sometimes, the voice outside of my head preserves life, offers salvation, and restores confidence, but again, it is often not in the way one would suspect. In fact, I am slowly beginning to suspect that the words, "good" and "evil", have no real meaning at all, and to the extent that they do retain any significance of meaning, it is again, not in the way one would expect.

  But, returning to the point here, I offer a brief tale from my life. It was late one Tuesday, and I had worked most of the night just to catch up on a couple of files at the office (I am a lawyer). It sucked being an associate at a major law firm, because there was always something that needed to be done; someone who needed to be called; somewhere to go. Not what I had signed up for I mused to myself, as I powered down my computer and packed my laptop. Not by a long shot, I thought as I glanced out of the window and looked longingly upon the city. So much of what I wanted to do and see lied right in front of me, but I seemingly possessed so little time to do it.

  Regardless, a group of friends was expecting me uptown in about an hour, and the rather attractive woman I was supposed to be meeting had already called half a dozen times looking for me. I altered my gaze toward the highway, in hopes of spotting the best way to leave downtown. Traffic appeared to be abysmal heading north toward the cityís night life, but perfectly clear towards home. Well, that decision just became quite simple. I was going home, the yuppie restuarants and clubs would be there tomorrow night, and as for the woman, well, it was not terribly difficult to "buy" my way back a womanís good graces. A couple hundred bucks on a singing telegram expressing my undying devotion and tonightís snub would be forgotten, as she bragged to her friends about how much I obviously loved her. Silly woman, I was not even sure if I was capable of "love", but it wasn't that I didn't genuinely care for her, it was her predictability that annoyed me, and how that characteristic allowed me to not just predict her behavoir but control it. And I was in no mood to play tonight, I just wanted to go home, cook me something to eat and go to bed.

  Without a second thought, I grabbed my trench coat and headed down the hall. No one was there except for me, the cleaning staff and security. I spoke to each as I made my way out of the building. Luckily, the main elevator bay was still active, and so getting down 50 floors went rather smoothly and quickly. In about 10 minutes, I was through the parking garage and on my way home.

  And here is where things get interesting. My favorite past time, at that particular moment in time, was to ride around town in my Maserati, all the windows down and blaring the most offensive rap music that I could find, and at that moment, the Ying Yang Twins were the "villains" of the hour. So while most black people would never dare to ride around in the revamped and gentrified downtown area blasting offensive rap music, I, clad in my custom made Italian suit and fancy car, clearly relished in the activity, simply because there was nothing anyone could do about it. No police officer would dare accost me without really good reason, as I was clearly "above" the nuisance laws that plagued so many of my lesser brethren. I know, this is all rather petty of me, but when I was younger, I often took pleasure in offending the wealthy and powerful in small, subtle ways. It was my way of telling them that I did not truly want to be a part of their world, that I was obviously a fraud, and not only did I know that the emperor had no clothes on, I openly mocked him.

  But my puerile behavoir aside, as I flew out of the parking garage and weaved through traffic toward to the clover intersection by the entrance to the highway, I caught the red light, and came to an abrupt stop. And immediately to my left, another vehicle also came to a stop at the light, and for a brief moment we locked eyes. Just some white guy in a regular American made car, coming home from a long day at some crappy job, who was clearly offended by my blasting of the Ying Yang Twins and their repeated insistence on drinking alone, having sex with women alone, and smoking drugs alone. I smiled ever so slightly and looked back to the light, waiting for it to change. True to my petty anger issues of the time, I figured that I would further infuriate this white guy by taking off when the light changed and leaving his crappy car in the dust. I was such a bastard. But as I revved my engine in anticipation of the light changing, a strange thing happened just as the light was about to change. WAIT. No seriously, I distinctly heard a voice, no, a command to WAIT. And for reasons that escape me to this day, that is exactly what I did, despite my opposite intentions of racing the white guy.

  And it turned out to be a life altering decision for me, because as the light turned green and the white guy took off in hopes of beating me, the driver of another vehicle, exiting the highway at high speed, decided to run our red light, and the two vehicles met in the intersection in nothing short of a fantastic collision that hurled both vehicles about 200 feet from the intersection and into the concrete underpass. Then, another command, GO. And again, I obeyed and went. But as I drove, I found my mind blank and I was unable to form a thought or even process what had just happened. I mean, I literally drove away, watching the two vehicles beginning to smoke and burn in my rear view window. But I could not go back, yet I kept waiting for the voice to tell me to HELP. But it never did. And so I just drove home and left those people at the accident scene. I didnít call 911, I didnít stop to check to see if everyone was ok, I just drove away. Not the good samaratian response I would have expected from myself, but the voice had been quite insistent, I was to GO, and not look back. I felt an overwhelming compulsion to LEAVE.

  By the time I got home, my stupor had faded away, and I ran into my loft and turned on the television, hoping to lose myself in the rambling of some dim witted MTV show, but the more I tried to stare at the television, and the heavier my heart grew.

  After an hour or so, I gave up on trying to ignore the obvious, and began to rationalize the situation. Maybe the cars blew up in a fiery ball, and if I had gone back, I would have died with the other drivers. Obviously, there was nothing I could have done, I said to myself as I stood in front of the large bay windows of my loft, and fiercely resisted the urge to open the blinds on my bay windows overlooking the city. Yeah, that sounded pretty good, or at least it was good enough for me to drift off into sleep. Unfortunately, my answer came on the 5 AM news broadcast. Two people were found dead in their vehicles following a horrific crash. There were no survivors or witnesses according to the news report. And it seemed that the two men languished for sometime before they died. In fact, the state trooper was sure that if they could have gotten there just a few minutes sooner, both men could have been saved. "If someone had seen and reported the accident, we could have saved these men, but because no one reported the accident, by the time we got here, the cars had already burst into flames, killing the two men trapped inside the wreckage" droned the television.

  Damn reporter and her thoroughness. Damn state trooper, what did he know. Morons.

  The voice, the voice unequivocally saved my life. But it also clearly told me to GO, and to keep going. And because I obeyed that voice, I was alive, but two men had died horrific deaths as a result. This voice was clearly not the Creator, or at least, no Creator that I cared to worship. This was my limited understanding of things at the time.

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