>  
 

The atheist and the believer walked together on the path that followed the highway, looking for light.

Everything visible was dampened gray, as if some colossal waterlogged blanket was thrown on top of their sky and hung there, dripping. Incessant raindrops had been pricking their faces for over two hours, and the cutting wind foretold the road ahead without visible end. The others had gone ahead, and they couldn’t see anything except for the highway to their right, the miry path directly in front and the snow-quilted fields to the left that were melting reluctantly in the cold rain.

The panorama was muddy, leaden, soppy.

“That’s the thing,” the believer explained, whose face was hidden behind his poncho, “Of all the religions in the world, even though they say different things, you know, in the details, the principal belief –what everyone believes– it’s the same.”

“Really?” the atheist questioned. “Didya know that of the twelve official world religions currently in the world, one doesn’t agree.”

“Which one?”

“Jainism.” The atheist looked at the believer, who kept looking ahead. “From India,” he continued, “it’s the only religion that’s completely atheistic,” he detailed. “They don’t believe a God exists, nor do they believe in life after death. And in order to obtain salvation, instead of amassing wealth to guarantee a comfortable ending, they give up all their worldly possessions and go on ascetic pilgrimages. They wear surgical masks over their mouths and towels are their only clothes. They hold a little broom and carry a bowl to beg with. They sweep, walk and beg. The surgical mask is so they don’t swallow insects when they breathe and they use the broom to keep their paths clear of insects so they don’t step on ‘em as they walk. They have complete respect for all sentient life, as if it were a part ‘uh their own redemption. In fact, they believe that every soul’s the architect of his own salvation.

A long silence passed. The only sound heard was their plastic ponchos crinkling in the cold wind, constant and indifferent. The wide face of the atheist fully protruded from the hood. His white skin foregrounded the wrinkles that had been ridging around his eyes and his constantly contorted brow, as if he were perpetually aghast of everything around him. His enormous round head almost buried his moist face, and his unkempt beard gave him an air of indifference. He raised his walking stick and, looking at the believer, asked, “Whaddya think?”

The believer, whose friends called him B, did not meet his look and kept walking.

Interesting,” he responded, looking straight ahead.

Together they walked on without more words. The wind intensified. Suddenly a monotonic whistle resonated.

The atheist, whose friends called him A, tensed his brow and focused on B.

B looked at A; A extended his hand and tugged on B’s poncho softly.

The whistling stopped.

“You know,” B spoke, “ever since we got out here and started walkin’, I’ve spent a lot of time alone. And when I’m walkin’ through all this nature –even when it’s rainin’ like this— and I hear nothing but my own footsteps, and the breeze, and the birds chirpin’, or cows mooin’, and I’m surrounded by all this incredible beauty, all I can think of’s how much everything—even the silence—is God. There’s nothing in any of this experience that isn’t.”

B looked at the A and added, “God is everywhere.”

The atheist just walked, his head cocked upward.

After a long pause J asked, “What do you think?”

B looked a little to his left and caught A a few yards behind him in his periphery.

“Interestin’.”

Further down the path A had to stop to readjust his boots, and before he bent down to do so he told B that he didn’t have to wait for him.

“No, man,” B replied.

From time to time they drew a waft of pollution from the cars; apart from that, they only breathed  the cold, the absence of scent. They kept walking together at a labored pace.

B asked A when the rain was going to stop, and B said he had no idea.

A asked B how far they were to final town for the day’s walk, and A said he really had no idea but would guess around 8 kilometers, which meant 2 or 3 more hours depending on the stops.

Without realizing they arrived upon a simple, lonely village adorned with a only few houses that was completely deserted.

The rain had diminished to a drizzle. B said he had to stop to attend to something.

“You can go on, if you want,” he offered.

“Naw, man,” A declined, shaking his head and reaching into his pocket, “I’ll wait for you.” A pulled out a pouch, grabbed some tobacco and rolled it into a piece of paper.

Both stopped in front of the only bench in the village. J removed his poncho, unhooked the straps of his backpack and threw it on the bench. Standing without the mass of gear and adornments he looked like a pallid cartoon rabbit. He took out a black kit, undid the zipper and, with a machine inside, pricked himself on his index finger and squeezed quickly with his other hand’s index finger and thumb. He sucked the blood dot that formed. He lowered his eyes on the apparatus and squinted.

To A, B always seemed like he was on the verge of smiling even when he wasn’t. Around his mouth, with the twenty-few years he had, wrinkles were setting in early from too much near-smiling. Concrete lines of happiness at which A looked with distant curiosity.

A scruffy dog emerged from behind the opened slit of a barn door and slowly approached the pair. A lit his cigarette, reached into his pocket, pulled out a plastic sack and dropped down to his knees like a catcher. “C’mere boy,” he said smiling, the cigarette perched unlit between his lips.

The dog approached A, sniffed the dried fruits that were proffered and turned away trotting down the path from where the travelers came from. A threw the nuts toward the dog, who looked back in feigned interest and then kept moving on.

Suddenly the rain picked up again. B put away the kit, strapped on the backpack and, with the help of A, the green poncho. He pulled out a candy bar from his pocket and unwrapped it.

The backpacks under the ponchos gave them hunchback appearances, like a pair of erect human-sized turtles.

They returned to their heavy pace, still looking for light.


Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
The recipe
markets
Motor car
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
Street fashion
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
health
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight
A bad girl
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
Motor car
Real estate
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
The recipe
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
video
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
business
fashion
fitness
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
health
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight
A bad girl
catering
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
Street fashion
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex

business
fashion
fitness
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine </a
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news </a
Science and technology
tutorial
business
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
technique
transact
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight
A bad girl
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
Motor car
Real estate </a
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
The recipe
Motor car
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools </a
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food </a
routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight
A bad girl
Reduce weight
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight </a
A bad girl
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
Motor car
Real estate
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
The recipe
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
tutorial
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
rendezvous
catering
catering
Reduce weight
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
business
fashion
fitness
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data </a
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
hygiene
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
animation
Motor car
Science and technology
tutorial
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
business
fashion
fitness </a
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
Motor car
Real estate
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
hygiene
Motor car
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl <
Reduce weight
Street fashion
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial

TAGS:

KIP TOBIN's real name is Stephen Christopher Tobin, but no one really calls him that, not even his mom. His favorite letter is "i", which is also one his least favorite words; his favorite words tend to include euphonious consonants like Ls and Rs and Ss, such as surly luscious allure. He relocated to middle America last year. He writes fiction and nonfiction but will not tweet. He's currently working on his doctorate in Latin American Literatures and Cultures, studying the intersection of the body, vision and media in contemporary Hispanic Science Fiction . If asked, he will tell you that S. Gautauma pretty much summed 'er all up when he said: All things are transient. Work out your own salvation. He's constantly in that latter process, all the while trying to become as present and aware as he possibly can in this world of simulacra and simulations. You can leave a message on the board here and he will try to get to back with you. His alter ego sometimes posts music mixes on Tip Robin's Mega Maxi Music Mix Mash (tiprobin.blogspot.com), which is unsearchable on the internet and something of a micro, gotta-be-in-the-know phenomenon. He's no longer a part of the social networking revolution. The revolution, it seems, will not be televised but rather streamed, and he hopes he's not watching it. He wishes everyone good luck whenever he can. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *