Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Stone Box (or, The Devil's Wish)

The Stone Box
(An Egyptian Sorcerer’s Magic Coffer)

When I was in Egypt, back in 1998, I bought a stone box in the backroom of a gallery, it had come out of a tomb, where a mummy lay for some 4700—years, —a sorceress’ magic coffer was taken from the tomb, and it was amongst the treasurers there within, it almost appeared to be alive. I’m not sure why I purchased it, perhaps because it sat tucked away in a corner on a shelf, with dust and cobwebs all over it, alone and mysterious, and plus the clue to its mystery interested me—seemingly, buying it was more of an adventure, than the magic it held, was supposed to embrace, only to find out later on it became addicting, and the legend was true.
I jumped at the buy with determination, of something to do, to buy before I left Egypt, a token you might say, memorabilia, something of that nature. Perhaps part of it was that I simply wanted to break the boredom of those long sleepless nights in Cairo. When you look back at things, everything’s a little burred (rough and prickly), conjecture.
Amir, was the sale’s person, said: “There are allusions as you gaze into the stone box,” he hesitated to see if I was paying attention, “I’ve never tested the reality of it myself, but the box is said to radiate as if on fire – if indeed you gaze into it long enough to activate it—a ruby redness appears—thus, when you sleep, your dreams will come true.” He mentioned this a second time—this time he emphasized, and I thought how preposterous—from a glare of some light, I presupposed, a disposition of light—perchance because of the lights—ordinary lights of the room, this most likely caused the glowing effect within the box—consequently, I’d test its actuality.
Well, to be frank, it was a beautiful color of stone and no more, with a simple lid to it. I paid something like $425-dollars for it; it was as heavy as a meteorite of its same size, which was the size of a normal postcard, or a little larger than a three by five card. And that very night I’d discover its realities—with a certain sense of conviction.

I looked into the box before I went to bed, I dare say I must have stared into that box for forty-five minutes or so… found it quite tedious, and I can’t explain it, so that you can fully understand, all to this point, but the fire sought me, me alone, I was or the box was as if on fire, no heat of course, just an aluminous ruby-redness that glowed out of it, nearly numbing. I had turned off all the wall lights in the room, closed the window shades, and curtains, turned off the lamps, not one ray of light, no ordinary lights, nothing. No candles lit—nothing. The stone box looked exquisite. The glow of the box was likened to the glow of polished gold, or silver, gems. There afterwards, I pulled over the sheets on the bed and they were cool and refreshing, and laid back and fell into a light sleep, a REM sleep at first, seemingly for perhaps sixty to ninety minutes, and then into a solid deep dead sleep.
The following morning I received a phone call in my room, it was from my daughter, she said, “My husband had a bad accident this morning,” and I thought of my dream last night. Asked myself ‘Why would I dream such a thing’ The dream being exactly what the accident was: his lawnmower had picked up some rocks while cutting the grass, threw them back at him, hit him square in the face, broke his nose, punctured his eye, and cut open his front lip, breaking his two front upper teeth!”
We hadn’t been getting along all that well, and for some special reasons of his own, he was smearing my name to the not so good folks of the neighborhood (he lived across the street from me, in one of my apartment buildings I owned), that he had an ogre for father-in-law, and didn’t want me to see my two grandchildren. I had never thought of harming him—that I know of—in my conscious or unconscious mind before, why now? Possibly, it was the devil’s wish that found its way into my mind, and used the exception of the box to turn my half-sleeping mind by various devices as you now know—into his scheme.
In any case, that following night, again I re-opened the box, it is addicting, and the same thing happened, a ruby like fire created an orb around it and within it, absorbing me along with it.
I remember the Egyptian, Amir, reading the hieroglyphic writings on the box to me, the stone box—as I had shut out all the lights to the room, and gazed into the box again, as if looking through a window, into the imperceptible eruption of a volcano, 4700-years old. Instantly the box had lit up—no longer the long tedious stare and wait. Then the light died away, and I went to sleep, forgetting the box and everything else in life.
In my dream, I was tripping over wires and lamps, it took me sometime to get out of my bed, out of my room, and crawl into the hallway, the room was on fire. I could get no further.

All at once I came to—I was here, here in the hospital, then it dawned on me, I lit the room on fire—I mean, somehow I was the cause of the fire…I must have been?
“The stone box…!” I cried. I tried going back into my dream, and the conviction grew on me, “What about my box?” I asked the nurse.
“We didn’t discover a box in your presence,” she explained to me. Then I noticed thirty percent of my body had 3rd degree burns on it.
“They didn’t find a sign of anything left in your room, it was an electrical fire, it was like an empty burnet out room,” she made clear.
While I was listening to the nurse, I saw on the television the fire at the hotel, I was the only one who got hurt, and “Do you remember crawling out into the hallway?” questioned the nurse.
“Yes and no,” I said, “I thought I was dreaming it!”
“I don’t understand,” she exclaimed with a wary look.
“I can’t explain it,” I remarked. I had come to the conclusion that I’d not search for the box, forever let it be where it lay, lest they put me in the nut house if I carry on and try to explain. It had its own special significance, and ritual, should someone else find it, God be with him or her, it’s too tempting not to probe its external confines. The nurse smiled grimly at me, said, “Do you need anything?” And I nodded no, said a prayer, and went back to sleep.

No: 734 (2-13-2011)