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On a walk through the woods with a friend he wishes was more, the conversations turns toward their pasts. She asks where he was born. With his answer, a look of confusion washes across her face. An unsettled laugh escapes her lips, and she asks if he’s joking. For the first time, he begins to understand the importance of his answer... “I was born in Bethlehem.”
Down playing the realization as mere coincidence, his thoughts return to the moment. A lyric by his favorite musician repeats in mind as he tries to flush the thought from his consciousness.
The soundtrack of his life seemingly set on random, coincidences about his existence slowly reveal to him the truth about his purpose. Unable to concentrate on his schoolwork, his thoughts turn back to that afternoon and the look on her face. He remembers telling her about an idea he’d read...an idea he plans to make his own. He begins to hatch out a plan in his notebook. The numbers add up. No longer just tools for calculation, they appear to him as symbols, life directives given by God that provide meaning and insight into his existence. They appear at seemingly random moments, drawing attention to what is important. The numbers 9 and 7 hold supreme significance. Combinations of the two reveal divine inspiration. It’s late, but he’s still awake. He lights a blunt then pulls slowly on it, pursing his lips as he inhales. As the smoke intrudes his lungs, his mind clears. He puts on his headphones, and music invades his mind. The music was made for him to understand. He repeats the chorus over in his mind, slowly as understands its true meaning. The musician’s voice is a cry for salvation. He knows. He has to be this salvation.
He opens his notebook, to the rough sketches he’d made days before. His mission, his message becomes clear. Their design is divine; his words, their words must be heard. He sorts through his notebook the next day, trying to make sense of the previous night’s revelations. It all makes sense to him. His purpose on earth revealed, he understands what he must do. He sorts through the facts, their meanings no longer coincidence. He stands in the mirror, and repeats to himself...”I am born of a Jewish mother, in Bethlehem. I weighed 9.7 pounds at birth.” He’s convinced. His words are religion, his message of biblical significance. He must spread his gospel. He knows he needs a plan. He grabs his notebook, and slowly, carefully tailors his message. He’ll need assistance from important people. He compiles of list of those he needs to involve. He must meet them. He must tell them this plan.
He seeks inspiration for this endeavor from music. A song echoes through his headphones and into his consciousness. He knows the words—they’ve sought him out. They ask him to continue. He obliges.
He organizes his life around the need to spread his message, to see his plan into existence. He speaks with intent. He formulates a plan to reach those who need to hear his message, and sets out to spread it.
His intended accomplices live and work far from his home, in different parts of the country. No matter. He’ll reach them. He has to. They already know he’s coming. And they must know what he knows. It’s the summer. He begins to map out his journey. He’ll use the train, he decides, citing it as both cost effective and efficient. Within weeks, the world will know what he knows. About his identity. About his purpose. And about his plan for the future.
Boarding the train near his home, he knows he will be away for several weeks. He travels light: a bookbag packed with just the necessities...his notebook and computer, headphones and a train ticket. Time is pressing. He sets a date for the completion of this project. Consistent with his understanding of numerals, the world will be changed by his plan on September 7th.
He spends the summer touring the Northeast and Deep South. Boston. Maine. New York. Philadelphia. Durham. Raleigh. Atlanta. Florida. He knocks on doors. He meets with dignitaries. Councilmen. Mayors. Celebrities. Activists. Some are skeptical. Some pay no mind. He shakes it off as naivete on their part, knowing that divine influence will see his plan into action.
No one seems to know, or understand his purpose. They defy his intent. They ignore him. They lack understanding of his vision. His mission is compromised. Feeling defeat and questioning his revelation, he boards the train home. September 7 comes and goes. Nothing happens. His mission compromised, his vision shattered. He’s confused by the lack of action of the part of his supposed apostles. Music seems to mock him. He’s failed. Voices in his head, once benevolent, now mock him. He’s no longer Christ ; he’s Hitler. The notion repeats itself to him, over and over.
He collapses. No longer able to control his emotions, he sees his mission as lost. His life meaning destroyed, he falls into a tailspin. He can’t sleep. He can’t eat. He questions himself. The answers he finds will haunt him forever.
In failing health, he seeks out a doctor who questions him about his current condition. Unable to hide himself any longer, he reveals his failed mission, his purpose and his identity to the doctor. Shocked, the doctor asks him if he’s ever heard a word before. Schizophrenia.