A week past, I was constantly bombarded by the temptation to pick up the bible and read it. I did not touch that thing, I flung it out of the window in the middle of the week when I was done fighting with the very desire to flip, to open the windows to the truth imprinted in the words of Christianity.
It was the very day where the major ritual of submitting my soul to the gods. I was suited up with my dying devotion for Taoism to the temple. Being briefed again with the same old cycle of what to do, I obeyed, I followed blindly.
“Karen, now as you completely submit yourself to the hands of the gods, please rectify your trust by crawling under my feet.” he recited mechanically, and pointed to the raised foot unto the chair, the disturbing doubtful thoughts were shot against me, “and lick my shoes as I am the god that is speaking to you through this flesh, to show me your trust and devotion for us.” what!?
A slight push from my back, my father, move la, in his eyes, prompting me to move. I deftly moved to the front, a heart filled with apprehension, it was stated in the ritual books, but the pain of realisation hit me hard. this is stupid. My heart puked, a strong hand patted me to the cold hard ground, it was the shifu, he face was coloured in a sinister hue, he wanted this to be faster.
“Come on, Karen.” I obeyed once more, I crawled under his legs, disgraceful, shameful, demeaning, humiliating, my palms, my knees pressed against the stone cold truth of my conscience, I kept crawling. “Now. Lick.” Every pair of eyes were watching me, I was terrified, I was scared, my heart was doubting, my body wanted to dig a hole to cover up myself, in order to fend off myself from this honour of shame.
My tongue stuck out to the arid atmosphere tinged with the taste of burning incense, when in contact my taste receptors were firing uncanny signals to my brain, I was disgusted, feeling as if I was at the bottom most spectrum of life, a slave, an utter submission to the gods by flesh. The awry taste of abhorrence, the odious taste of the shoe was overwhelming my thoughts. I did not swallow a single drop of saliva after the ritual.
I got up frantically, surging with the thought to wash away everything that went into my mouth, me. “Well done, Karen.” applauded by my father and my shifu, I excused myself into the toilet. Locked one of the cubicles, turning on the tap to the max, plunging my tongue into the stream of water. Tears mixed with the tap water inundate my mouth.
Still feeling disgusted, I cried, I tried to put as much water as possible to wash my mouth, “it cannot be undone silly girl.” a distorted voice haunted me, I broken down into the wet floor of the toilet, letting tears be my only release from this conundrum. I had no one to vent my feelings to, I was too scared to tell anyone about my current doubt, especially my parents, and the majority of people that I have relationships with because they were Taoist.
The very scene, the stench of licking the shoe was prominent in my mouth, I was bathed in darkness, very little light was let into the toilet. I was soaked, laden with fear, uncertainty, and revulsion. As everything was about to turn me into a Taoist, a medium. A speckless, crisp voice was the light at the end of the tunnel. Karen. The voice knew my name as if it was calling his child, go home, pick up the bible, read. His words were the clearest among all of the gods that had spoken to me before.
For the previous piece: Moriah Moments #3