Advent: In This Age of Uncertainty…(December 23, 2008)

…comes the eighth installment of the story of the Little Boy who had no gifts.

   Perhaps the worst thing about being without gifts is that harrowing moment when even one someone bereft of giftedness suddenly comes face to face with his utter lack of charm, of talent, of hope, even. One may go years without ever recognizing he cannot until, finally, in a crushing moment of absolute karmic catastrophe, the sufferer discovers he was not and is not and is very unlikely ever to be.

   Sadly, this never happened for the Little Boy with no gifts. He was so totally without ability that, even when confronted with his ineptitude, he could not see it.

   The Little Boy who had no gifts was not more wise because he was simple, nor more worthy because he could not run or throw or catch or sing or dance or lift heavy loads. He was, after all, just someone who had no gifts and was so replete with nothingness he could not see it before him.

   "You are really just a big bunch of nothing," Wilbur told him.

   "Ah can see that," he said.

   "Well, I don't know if you can see it. Even the ability to see you have no ability would hint at ability, or at least consciousness or sentience or something that could be trained," Wilbur moaned at him.

   The Little Boy with no gifts was not someone for whom others showed great sympathy or sensitivity. He was the kind of person you wished was not a person at all, so you could deny him his basic constitutional rights, or any claim to Christian charity. The Muslims would have been glad to withhold any of the pillars from him and, in fact, never gave him alms or even prayed for him, as much and as often as they prayed. The Jews disliked him because he seemed to fly in the face of their theory of human perfectionism. They could not see why his annoying presence would bring Messiah.

   "Perhaps Elijah would come to Sedar," the rabbis thought, "if the Little Boy with no gifts would just look the other way."

   Evolutionists at first thought he might represent the missing link. When this proved untrue they despaired of finding any value in him. In fact, they began to deny his existence when possible, for he seemed to be an incarnational refutation of Darwinian theory; the race was not evolving. At least, the race did not seem to  be going forward in evolution.

   Was Darwin wrong? Were the weak destined to rule?

   Fortunately, no one around them could define truly the substance of an incarnational refutation, so Darwin's beagle sailed along with ears flapping in the ocean breeze.

   "You just mess up everybody's Christmas, don't you?" Wilbur asked one day, in late July, a day so thick with heat the flies could not fly and the sweat could not sweat.

   "It ain't Christmas, is it, Wilbur?" the Little Boy asked.

   "Wha, ah still got burns on my thumbs from them bottle rahckets momma give me for July fourth," he added and held up his burnt thumbs for Wilbur's inspection, once again.

   "It is a figure of speech," Wilbur told him. "It just means you are so messed up you could mess up Christmas."

   "Wahl, ah shore don't want to mess up Christmas," the Little Boy said.

   "Ah like Christmas," he added and his eyes rolled up in to the top of their respective sockets. He trembled slightly, then roared into convulsions for a solid minute. He closed his eyes, gulped and opened them, one after the other, opening and closing them repeatedly.

   "What is the matter with you now?" Wilbur stammered.

   "My sad estate scarcely matters," the Little Boy told him, "except as I represent the tendency of man to hate the weak and fear the mad."

   "I am, in fact," he added, "the most human of creatures, for we all enter this vale of tears naked, impotent, destined for a long dependency and suited for extreme sorrows."

   "Who are you?" Wilbur demanded.

   "I am no one and everyone. I am the least of these, the brothers of Christ. I am the intellectual's acquistion of knowledge, his beloved goal and total frustration, knowledge to be recorded during his life and lost to him forever at his death. I am the Psalmist's song, the atheist's stubborn narcissism, the last of my kind and the first of my species," the Little Boy of no talents, the obstacle of Delphis, told him.

   "Well, you should be careful about scaring people," Wilbur told him.

   "At that point, gentle friend, you are entirely correct," the Little Boy finished. "I should take care of how I frighten others. Providence protect them from being me and any like me."

   "Well, you said a mouthful there," Wilbur told him and went off to look for his pipe. He had given up smoking and hidden his pipe from himself so well that, when he would have relapsed, he could not for he could never find his pipe and would not smoke a rolled weed.

   "Yes, a mouthful, to be sure," the Little Boy said to himself. Then he shuddered again.  

  

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