Continued from here:
It had been so wonderful for William over the recent weeks. All having been made clear, it just had to happen. That meant planning and understanding further about his great new role, and all else could be ignored.
Yes, even family. Even Cathy and Percy now, cruel as this was on the face of it. Still, Cathy had seemed less tearful of late, and there always now seemed to be something to eat where some nights things had been fairly scanty, something that would have troubled him more in previous months but now seemed as if from another lifetime. He looked past her now in their encounters, but he remembered nodding his head every so often in response to things that were said, agreements that seemed to be of importance to her, and possibly Percy as well. He spoke more clearly now than ever, which thrilled him, for even at so young an age he would have carry a fair amount of knowledge from him. That would yet be passed on.
Still, their words did not truly mean anything in the larger scheme of things, though he was pleased to see that their wants had been addressed, and at one point Cathy apparently had noted that there would be a chance to move soon. Wonderful indeed! This was all apparently to do with more money that his mother had been sending along, which was a blessing. She knew that they were all wanting and had shown her true generosity at last. It had been such a strange time, when she had been so accusatory! Her letters still seemed to have some air of reproof around them, as if he had not done all he should, but since all was well otherwise with Cathy and Percy, surely that meant all he had needed to provide was his presence.
He understood this best of all. They clearly felt, without saying it, that he had truly become an important figure, one who would yet give the world its best sense of what it meant to be alive, and after the encounter on the street, the vision in the sky, he knew this more than before. The pattern! Revealed there so clearly, suddenly pure and perfect, and more than that, it did not come from the sky, he realized, but reflected up from the ground, somehow, in an indescribable way. Oh, to look from the heights down below and see the true pattern there…but no, that way could not be done, even by balloon – mere mortals could not behold it, he had come as close as he would be allowed. He felt grateful for that, it was a rare privilege.
He required more return trips to Chinatown to fully meditate on this, but it seemed that work had become more of a problem of late than he had realized. Why, the last time he was there at his workplace, the building had closed, the locks were changed! Some foolish mistake, but when he spoke to the landlord, he only received abuse and threats from him about material left unclaimed after the eviction. Eviction! He pitied the ranting man, almost frothing at the mouth, who had never been one of the kindest people William had ever encountered. For some minutes he wondered at the idea that he would be bringing enlightenment to a person like him, then remembered that his great work would be for all to reap the benefits of, so to try and cut off even the landlord would be an unfortunate thing.
He spoke of this to Cathy upon his return, and she appeared to be pleased at the idea of his no longer working there – something to do with how he would not look or seem a certain way whenever he came back from work, something of the sort. Well that was settled, then. He had looked about him and realized that many of the books he had carefully added to over the years had only been giving his misdirection, so he felt he might as well sell them on to someone or some organization who would enjoy them more than he. Cathy seemed pleased by this as well, and he wondered at how simple it had been for her to come around to these points of view. Bless her heart! She had made these days a pleasure, and at night he had blushed to realize how much she had clung to him and more. It was as if he had been away! At least she fully understood his role now, and felt glad he need not spell out certain upcoming steps.
He took the books to a bookseller he knew and had often frequented, and the man expressed surprise at the quality and kind of books he was returning. Flattering of course but William would have thought that the man had known better; after all, he was not dedicated to the kind of cheap penny-dreadfuls that had been churned out by the tens of thousands in these times. Let others wallow with such garbage! He aimed for higher and had been given it. The bookseller gave him a fair amount and William realized that part of it could be given to Cathy and Percy for various things – how grand that it had reached this state!
Most of it, of course, had to be used for the next stage of his researches in Chinatown. He spoke urgently to the attendant upon his next visit, bearing the money and explaining his need. Happily there had been just what he needed for his use, something apparently that normally was kept for use by the people who maintained the building, or at least their interiors. He would not turn down such an offer, and soon he had found his way back into where he so had loved to be before the great revelation, and which surely now would provide him with something to consider that he had previously missed.
It was interesting, though, to see that things once unclear in his researches now came all the clearer – it likely had to be because of the quality he had asked for. He marveled at how the murky dreams now had a razor sharp quality, how the landscapes he wandered and the phantasmic figures he saw there had a resolution and color that almost beggared description. Truly, he had once been seeing through a glass darkly, but no more. He asked questions, saw striking sights, explored.
And the pattern! Everywhere he saw evidence of the pattern. The crude appearance of the pattern in the moving walls of the room was as nothing now, it had only been the strangest, poorest of representations to an unfamiliar audience, and yes he had initially been mistaken in it. He could have berated himself for his delays in this understanding, but now, better to celebrate and glory in it all now. This would be something that could only be answered for in another existence, maybe, but not this one, not when he could revel in having learned so much, to have seen through to another side.
He had stumbled back home two days later, hungry and tired, feeling suddenly the privations of the body much more readily than in the past. It was disconcerting, but could perhaps be seen as part of the larger lesson, to look beyond the needs of the flesh and to consider the greater world that lay beyond. Striking! He would have to make a note of it.
He did so as well – he had finally made sure to purchase that blank collection of pages where his thoughts and conclusions could be detailed, and upon his return home and having had some food he began to set them all out, a huge rush of ideas. He found himself having to go back and rewrite many things, and he noted idly that many of the pages themselves almost verged on the unreadable, even for him, who had written them. It was of no matter, though, since those words would yet be graven on the hearts of those after him, people like Percy, for whom it would be more important than bedside stories, than the Bible, than anything. He would be the first learner of the new education, to declaim to the heavens that in the beginning was not the Word, but the Pattern, and that he himself, William, was its Prophet – well, more accurately interpreter, but the sense was the same, regardless of the choice of words.
The days passed by, the notebook filled up and there was a sense of contentment in the household. Cathy made mention of having settled bills and debts which William caught on the fly and nodded at approvingly. Good, good, less trouble for later on. She did, however, add that there still lay a need for a job, which William found extremely material and inappropriate. He had thought she had learned! Still, he promised her he would do some searching, and thought that something temporary could be engaged in to provide care, something that he could turn away from his notebook and testatment to engage with others as need be. He could almost see himself working in a business where others could come to him for compelling reasons, much as they had come to that previous job – well, he never liked it anyway.
Still, he had services he could sell, and another place of business had need of someone like him. He found his clothing, his equipment and joined in, and had to admit that as opposed to when he had worked in a location on his own, it was less troubling to do so in a place where there were others around to ensure no problems with troublesome landlords. They offered better facilities for cleaning up at the end of the day as well, a distinct improvement.
It was strange, however – he suddenly felt terribly sad for all the creatures he had worked with over the years, their carcasses and skins, their guts and their chops. He had always been clearly efficient, now he wondered if he had been disrupting their own place in the great pattern. Had he done nothing but commit sins all these years?
Well well, what to be said. He received no great sense that the pattern would tell him one thing or another.
He did, however, realize that he needed to see Richard again, perhaps look into clearing things up with him, maybe try and do the necessary work at convincing him he needed to see what he, William, had found, to embrace it fully and work on helping to spread this good word. He resolved to visit when he next had a chance, and some days later he found himself in the low place where Richard lived.
He always wondered at Richard’s choice of domicile, felt that it was beneath his dignity. Yet Richard seemed content with it, for god knows what reason. He was not in his rooms, and William after waiting a while felt ready to leave.
In doing so, however, he noticed something that surprised him. An old coat of his! Where had that been? Had he left it here on that day when Richard had been so rude and violent to him?
Well, he would send Richard a note for his reference, but in the meantime he felt he would claim the coat for himself again, and smiled at the sense that the pattern supported this. He sensed no objection.
The pattern was set and he, William, sensed its desires and impulses. He knew when the pattern considered his actions now, directed his energies, urged him to greater effort here and less there. It was of the utmost interest to fully understand and obey the pattern, rather than trying to reject it or move against it.
As he walked home with his reclaimed coat, William could not help the huge grin on his face – he had once more put something to right, and if Richard had not been there, well, that too could be part of the pattern.