T.B. has no gender, no age and no appearance. Therefore I will use the gender neutral pronoun, although it belongs to the human race. T.B. is basically thoughts moving around a restless nail. Thoughts looking forward to be translated into words.
This is why I perform my daily good deed and spend some time listening to T.B. before I am sucked down by the thousand worthless occupations that so far have deprived me of the time needed to plan my suicide. T.B. moves slowly around the town, it has undoubtedly a precise itinerary in mind, maybe it has drawn a sort of map. It is easy to find it day after day, it never moves too far. You only need to go where it was the day before and look around. Sometimes you may need to walk a bit. It happened once that I didn’t go to see T.B. for three days because I got the flu and it took me five minutes to find it.
It never takes care of more than a small portion of wall each day, it is always very accurate. This is a community service. But people don’t understand it and this is why at the end of each day there are just a few coins in the tin box that you can see at T.B’s feet all the time. T.B. doesn’t complain, picks them up and does what it can with them. It makes them suffice. After all, it eats just one meal per day because it has too much work to do and can’t stop for a lunch break. So it just has dinner, then it slips under its patched blankets and sleeps there, under the wall it is working on. It was forced to leave many times and once it was also taken to the police station. But basically nobody knows where to put it. So, most of the time the police turns a blind eye and T.B. sleeps at its workplace.
As I said, T.B. has just one meal, dinner. Sometimes it has enough money for a felafel or a kebab, sometimes it makes do with bread or stale brioches. When it is lucky it has a slice of pizza, when it is very lucky a whole pizza, a proper one. And maybe a coke. No beer because T.B. doesn’t drink alcohol. I have told it many times, T.B., people don’t understand you, approach them, talk to them, hand them out the tin box. But it has no intention whatsoever to do it. It is not going to annoy anyone, it is working, not begging for charity. It does a fundamental service. All passers-by should pay for it because it keeps the walls of the town clean.
Sixteen hours a day, it scrapes with its nail. But how can it, I wonder, and always with the same nail. The index finger of its right hand. The noblest finger, the one you use to point at, to choose, to threaten. It is going to wear it out, by scratching all day. It must be in a pitiful state. T.B. usually clings to the wall and its shoulders prevent me from seeing the condition of its finger without seeming nosey. While it is talking I attempt some bypassing operations and cast a few sidelong glances. The finger looks fine, just like the others. But I am not sure.
T.B. wants to write a book. This is what it told me yesterday. But it can’t do it now because there’s too much work to do. It can’t stop, find pen and paper and write it down. But it is developing in its head and as soon as it definitively leaves its job the book will be revised and ready and it won’t take long to write it down. Everybody wants to write a book, I tell T.B., but I feel ashamed of having said that because it is offended by my words, its book is not about its life, as everybody else’s books, it is not self-referential egocentric presumptuous, as the book everybody writes sooner or later, its book is not about its author, it is a gospel, four people have already written one, I tell T.B., but they didn’t tell the truth, it answers, Saramago has written one too, from Jesus Christ’s perspective, I add, but he didn’t tell the truth either, says T.B., and I am surprised that it knows Saramago, not the four evangelists, everybody knows them, even the most ignorant people, sacred books are actually known especially by ignorant people, and however everybody knows who Luke, Mark, Matthew and John were, I am not sure this is the right order, I haven’t been reading the gospels for a long time, since I used to go to church, no less than thirty years ago, in order to receive my first Communion, therefore I don’t remember them clearly, but I remember Saramago’s gospel very well because I am reading it these days and I can boast about it with T.B., but it isn’t impressed at all whereas I was flabbergasted as I discovered that it had read it as well.
But why do you want to write a gospel, I ask, and without turning around, its eyes still chained up to its Stakhanovite nail, it answers me, it’s simple, because there is a great need for it, and who needs it, I ask, you, me, everybody, it replies without hesitation, we need somebody whose words we can rely on, and this person can only be the Messiah, come on he has already tried once, I say, and it didn’t work at all, I know I am teasing it this way, I am afraid my way of treating religious themes is annoying it, but I need to understand.
So? I insist, but it has already folded up its blanket, put aside the tin box, crossed its legs and placed its open hands on its knees. What the hell are you doing now? It doesn’t answer. It meditates. It has already opened its third eye and doesn’t see me anymore. Maybe it is revising the pages of the book written in its head, who knows how far it has got on. Ajna, it once told me, is the chakra of the third eye, the one that allows you to look inside yourself.