Hand of God (Installment #6)
Installment #6: Darkness, Reign O’er Me
Ode to the Young Man
He enters like the darkness in an unlit room
Bringing only things that lead to his doom.
There may have been a time when he had tried
To stop all those harms that led him to die.
But there was no one calling from the other side
To reach up for the light.
So nothing could prevent him
From taking this hellish flight.
Each plan was made, the traps set well
There was no better way to enter hell.
His cry was heard at the very end
Sadly, his parents’ pain may never mend.
He would yell out…
Hate me, oh please, hate me some more,
I never want to find the way to open up this door.
Hate me, oh please, I need to feel the pain.
I made a deal with the devil
Now I live under his reign.
Lost in the world of consequences for bad decisions, our young man becomes a sympathetic character. The poem above is an attempt to perceive his turmoil.
It is less complicated to understand the reason “Apple of Sodom” was used as the backdrop in this episode when we juxtapose the journey of the young man with some of the lyrics of the song. It’s all familiar…temptation, wrongdoing, coveting things you cannot have, feeding the fire…selling your soul! Never a happy ending when dealing or bargaining with evil…no matter what precious form it takes… “a beautiful but rotten fruit.” One bite provides the poison that is the key to eternal despair and doom. (Good Grief! Or should it be, Bad Grief?)
The next scene opens with Paul blankly staring ahead while the hospital doctor cleans his facial wounds. The doctor explains that the iron that was used to hit him and Mr. Webster was made of graphite, thus being at least three pounds lighter than the irons of yesteryear. Paul, concerned about Mr. Webster, asks how he is doing. He finds out that Mr. Webster is in intensive care and is alive because of him.
On his way out, Paul decides to check in on Mr. Webster. As he stands in the doorway, he looks as if he is pondering something. His hand covers his mouth; then suddenly, he walks over to the snoring Kenneth Webster, briskly whips out a pillow from behind his back, and begins to suffocate him! Mr. Webster struggles the best he can to fight him off, but to no avail. Paul eagerly watches the vital stats on the monitor as they weaken and whispers to him, “Let go…”
Just as the flat lines appear on the monitor, the attending doctor storms into the room to stop Paul from killing Mr. Webster.
Then the scene switches back to Paul standing in the doorway with his hand over his mouth. (Whew! We knew he didn’t have it in him!)
Next, we’re taken to the office of Sodalitas Quaerito. Alva is sitting on the steps reading when he hears the door open. He lifts his head to find Paul entering the room and walking toward him. After telling Paul that it was healthy he had taken a few days off, he comments about the young man’s suicide. He asks if there was any conversation between them before he killed himself. (A little self-conscious here? Or just curious?)
When Paul tells him there was some conversation between them, Alva immediately asks what was said. But, Paul, obviously not willing to reveal the details, tells Alva, “Nothing. He was out of his mind.” (Suspicious minds here.)
The question now is whether Paul wishes to remain with Sodalitas Quaerito. Paul tells Alva straightforward that he hasn’t made the decision to stay. Then, he asks Alva…”So what have you got?”
The episode ends with the two men discussing the details of a Roshi from Rhode Island who levitates.
Journeys. Paul Callan has certainly been on a roller coaster ride that is even longer, faster, and more frightening than Millennium Force at Cedar Point Amusement Park.
I find it truly amazing how resilient he is throughout this episode. There seems to be so much pain in so many forms for all of the characters. Yet, like a true hero, Paul is on a journey to find meaning in his life; and, along the way faces many challenges that test his willingness to question, to conquer, or to just accept things the way they are.
· Other than the fact that Paul may not trust Alva, why would he withhold the details of the conversation he had with Chad Goodwell?
· Why doesn’t Alva have the names of the three other people who are “out there?”
· This episode is very “Paul” centered. What are your thoughts about Skeet’s portrayal of his character? How does one prepare for something like this?