Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Resist Temptation

Make a fist.  A firm muscle begets a firm resolve.  Make a fist, but do not use it.  Do not show it to anyone.  Hide it.  Keep it in your pocket or deep in the bowels of your red and black messenger bag.  Pretend you are looking for your wallet.  Or your cell phone.  Or your keys.  Bang the clenched fist around in your bag, but do not remove the ball of sinew and muscle, bone and skin until you have resisted the desire for what you desire, and you know you desire everything.  That is your burden.  That is your cross to bear.   To want what is not, or should not, be yours.  To want what you never had, or had and gave away.   Or had and lost.  To carry want inside your belly like a hard, round marble, always, even when everything you ever wanted is already yours.  

Make a fist.  Hide the fist.  Do not let anyone know your hand is balled into a fist.  Make a fist and feel the muscles tighten in your hand.  Feel your resolve harden.  Then, open your hand.  Do you not see a marble?  Or at least a polished stone?  Is it round?  Is it smooth?  If you shoot it into the middle of a circle drawn in sand will it knock all the other marbles or at least one other marble out of the ring and is the one that rolls toward you the blue marble with the silver and maroon swirls the size of a small plum that you always wanted all your life?

"How to Resist Temptation" will appear in print in the 40th anniversary issue of Oyez Review.