She tells him what he doesn’t want to hear. He filters through all the criticisms and advice unaccepting of the compassion she offers. She chooses to bring to light his ignorance– his close-mindedness– and she tries to change his air. Gaining warmth from within the void she confirms his belief that he isn’t alone. Her words go into the portal of the phone, but never reach home. He vacated long ago. Her voice, although ineffective, helps him to remember where he came from.
He accepts his shadow blindly. His shadow stalks him and protects him. It is his only means of filtration. The shadow begins growing in her as well. He doesn’t filter his projector and her script is disassembled. After enough time, he has finally convinced her that his essence has seeped far down below. She grabs a shovel and begins digging. She hopes she can douse him in order to save him, but he is nowhere to be found. He vaporized himself in his dreams.
He has no filter. He whines, complains, bitches, and moans. He struggles to let go of his past. His identification with his sweet Manami bitters his ability to ripen her heart. She continues digging. She now looks above to the moon which illuminates this man-made well. She realizes she has no way out and is now alone in this moist, dismal tunnel. She sees him with Manami and continues digging. She digs so she doesn’t have to see, but she can’t escape her tunnel.
Its been one month since he’s heard from her. He now has a new Manami. He calls her, but her receiver is no longer functioning. Her line has been disconnected. He wanders aimlessly through public parks, from dusk until dawn. He quits his job and peacefully accepts all that no longer is. His nomadic existence gives him a sense of tranquility and eliminates any expectation from anyone else. Solitude is irreplaceable when its pro-found.
He approaches a giant mountain of dirt. He strides up the muddy earth to see another mountain jetting downwards a few feet away. The wind fiercely blows. He must regain balance because he was not prepared for the push. A stone lightly rolls down the dune. Both mounds surround a man-made-well. He looks up at the moon and sees no reason to look anywhere else even though the wind is stabbing him like a katana. An unfiltered shriek howls upwards from unknown depths.
“Help me!! Somebody help me!! I’ve been digging into my friends heart for so long. I was hoping I could chisel away anything that doesn’t belong, to see the sweet boy inside. I forgot where I am. I’m so far below, and I know I can’t get out by myself. Somebody please help me!!”
Pharaoh immediately hears the most distorted version of an angel’s voice he hadn’t heard in a month.
“Suzy!! I recognize your voice, but you don’t sound the same. I’ve missed you so much. Is that you Suzy?”
“Pharaoh! Yes it’s me. I’m freezing here and haven’t eaten in about a month. I’m unsure how I’m still surviving. Why do you care about me, though? All you care about is manami, or whoever you use to temporarily forget about Manami. You’ll never get over Manami.”
“You’re right Suzy. I’ll never get over Manami. I loved Manami. She was my guardian angel just like you are. You’ve fulfilled her role in a different form. She was the one that got away. I truly wanted to marry her. I love you in a different way. You are my best friend, and no girl will ever take your role. I will always love Manami and I will always love you. Even if we never talk again– even if you say cruel things you don’t mean to me– I know that that is not the person you are. You have been the kindest person to me I’ve ever known. You’ve so positively impacted my life for the last 12 years. No, thats not true, you’ve made every effort within your capacity to try to impact my life for the better. I’m sorry I rendered all your time useless. Even though we never made love, you accessed love in me. I will never forget you Suzy.”
“I honestly don’t care about you anymore Pharaoh. I’m down in Hades because of you, you moronic douchebag. You never loved Manami, and you certainly don’t love me. I know you don’t. You can only love someone as much as you love yourself.”
“Suzy, I understand that you’re angry at me right now. I can’t imagine how obnoxious it must’ve been listening to me whine about girls for the last 8 years. I really wish I had loved myself so their rejection didn’t obliterate me. Maybe the ability to let things go and not identify with them would’ve created a different Pharaoh. Maybe it would have improved our relationship and transcended it to a different level. What might be doesn’t matter, though. I can’t change the past. However, you’re stuck in a well and I won’t be able to forgive myself if I leave you down there. You deserve better than that.”
“After you get me out of here I’ll never talk to you again Pharaoh. I’ve heard more or less the same thing out of you over and over again. You’d call me and I’d give you advice on whatever girl you were obsessing over at the time. Its not healthy Pharaoh. Don’t think about girls as much as you do if you’re not seriously dating them. What sort of Pharaoh do you want to be? Do you really think King Tut or Ramses would’ve been a baby back bitch like you were?”
“In all honesty Suzy, the Pharaoh idea was because I felt out of synch with my Egyptian heritage. I’m only half Egyptian, I haven’t been back to Egypt since I was 10, and can’t allow my father to infect me or my mom ever again, so unfortunately the rest of my Egyptian family won’t speak to me. I enjoyed putting on my Pharaoh costume and going to all sorts of different raves because it made me feel more like an Egyptian instead of a white-washed Egyptian. When I went to raves and danced without any goal it allowed me to be the Pharaoh I wanted to be. Its a metaphysical concept I use similar to Tyler Durden or God. I believe that you are the Pharaoh as well. Whatever you want do define it as, or label, you have an inner powerhouse waiting to be tapped into.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah Pharaoh. I don’t care what you have to say right now. It sounds like you just keep making excuses. Just get me out of here, or Ill sink this shovel into our skull.”
“Alright suzy. Close your eyes. Imagine the moon shining down a beam into where you are. You are paralyzed because you’ve been in the dark for so long. Once you overcome the initial shock of the light, a ladder appears on the side of the well. You climb the latter, but you are the ladder. Each rung is symbolic of the limitless altitude you can reach each new day. You look within to find an escape out of here, but you truly love the climb. You are a reacher. You are a climber. You can scale any mountain you choose. You’re now standing beside me. You let go of all the anger I caused you because you know it was never my intention. You give me a hug and say thank you to me for rescuing you, but you realize you rescued your-self, and you walk away. You don’t need me anymore. Just like I don’t need you.”
Suzy climbed out of the well. She had the grace of a nimble cat as she effortlessly freed herself from the shackles she successfully excavated. The wind was so powerful. It was as powerfully penetrating whistle. It shrieked and howled, but eventually returned to its tranquil state. Suzy and Pharaoh stared at one another for a long time. Maybe, it was a long time. Maybe it was for a second of the eternally extending present. Pharaoh never realized how important Suzy’s presence was to him. He wished he had a better filter over the years, and that he hadn’t subjected Suzy to all of his insanity.
“Pharaoh, I can’t trust you right now. You sound like you’ve changed, but I need to see it to believe it.”
“Then close your eyes, Suzy. You can see anything you want when you do that.”