tom and suri cruise, manhattan
November 2, 2008
protect the child, hold her tight, keep her close. that’s his job, that’s his goal, that’s the task that’s been set out for him. it’s all told in the writings, in the sacred pages, it’s laid down in the words carried on the last breath of the dying prophet. the future is her – she is his objective, she is his mission, she is his everything.
he holds her tight and covers his eyes with dark filters because there are enemies all around, even here on the sidewalk, in front of the theater, they are always present, waiting for him to slip. the enemies are cloaked in skin and teeth and hair, they blend into the woolen crowds and he cannot see them yet, not their true selves, he cannot, not until the next level or perhaps the one after, but all the same he knows they are coming for her, the child, they are coming, always, and he must protect her. at all costs he must protect the child.
sometimes at night he sees one of the old stories on television and he wishes they could be real, he dreams of it. how easy it was to save the world then, how simple, how true. he wishes that he could win the battle by hanging on wires from ceilings and shooting guns and wearing thick rubber masks. he dreams night after night of his jet dancing through clear blue skies and him pulling a trigger and launching a missile and things explode, kaboom, and he wins, it’s over, he wins, and everybody claps and cheers and stands up in their seats. that’s what he wishes, too, that the people would be with him again, the audience, that they would love him again, that they would understand why he was doing what he was doing and instead of joking and mocking and ridiculing, instead of all the toxic negative energy they were creating inside and out, he wishes they would join him, that they would learn the tech and use it to clear themselves and save the world. he wishes that in the war he was fighting every second of every day he could have their support, their eyes and hands and help. he wished he didn’t have to do it without them.
but he did have to do it and he could and he would and would continue to do, until the end, would protect her with everything he had, at all costs would follow the mission. he had become selfless, it was so long ago, he had sat in the room and they had connected the wires and the electrodes and then had turned on the current, the hum, the shock, it burned like love. he had forced the self out of him and down a wire and into a box, a small iron box, the blinking screen of the meter registering that it had finally passed out of him. that night, after he had recovered, they had driven into the desert with the box, they had attached it to a rocket and shot it into the sky and he had seen it disappear into the stars, gone forever. his body was simply a shell now, inside there was none of the meat of self and being and none of the evil of those things, the way they weighed you down. now there was only space and energy and clarity.
and now he is standing on the sidewalk, carrying her to the car, all the time keeping watch for threats, and he is a shell. these arms he has, he doesn’t need them except to hold her and touch her and make her feel his energy, to let if flow into her like milk into tea. his legs are dumb and slow and their only worth is to bring her away from danger, from them, the enemies. his face, how he had loved his face when he was young, the hours in front of mirrors flexing his jaw and winking and smiling, the expressions, the looks, he had finally understood that his face is not important, that it’s just a mask that he wears because she and the world aren’t yet ready to experience his pure energy.
they had told him the mission in pieces, in levels, one chapter after the other. at first, when he was young and stupid, he had wanted it all at once, he had demanded it, he had jumped up in the auditing room and said he had to know everything, now, or he would quit, he would leave, he would show them he wasn’t afraid anymore, he didn’t care what they thought they knew about him. how stupid he was. if he had learned then what he knew now, if he had learned it when he still had all of those souls burning inside him, filling his body, if he had learned the weight of his task, it would have crushed him, he would’ve died and with him would’ve died all the chances for her and the world.
after the rocket had disappeared into the sky with the iron box, it seemed like so long ago now, they had given him a new level, the next part of the story, his mission. david and the others had climbed into the first limo and left him alone in the second, they knew that he liked to advance alone, they had learned this about him as they had learned so many things. at first, they had given him the levels on paper, like all the others, but reading was so hard for him and they had understood this and in their wisdom now they gave him videos, words and sound and picture all helping him to understand better. in the back of the car that night, his heart beating fast, he had pressed play and the screen had filled with light and the mark of the organization had shown, had fixed on the screen and held, reassuring him, comforting. it had been replaced with a beautiful young girl, brown haired, dancing around in golden light and nature, running through trees, paddling a canoe, all in smooth slow motion like underwater. it was old video, it had that texture, maybe from some television show, he thought, he wasn’t sure, but he knew that she was perfect, that she was almost naturally clear, he could see inside her shell and feel that, this was his power now, at this level. while he continued to watch her, she in overalls and innocent clothes, the voice from the screen said that his new mission was to meet this woman and take her to the top of the tall steel tower in the old world, the very top, that there they would create a union, a bond, that their energy would coalesce in the steel and send a signal from its summit strong enough to reach ten million light years away
and he had done this, it felt so long ago, centuries, he had done it, he had taken her to the top of the tower and given her the ring, the ring with the crystal from the capsule they had found at the bottom of the ocean. they had given him the next level and he had learned of the child, that they would come together and make her and he would give her the name of the rose. and he had done this, he had laid down with katie and injected the promise into her, he had done it, and nine months later she had released the formed child into the world, screaming, sweating, and while david and the others watched he had quieted the two of them with touches, giving them strong, firm touches more powerful than the drugs she screamed and begged for. he had touched the two of them, first katie and then the child, touched them on the cheeks and the breasts and hips, had pressed into them with his fingertips, passing his energy through their hot, wet skin, sending the good in and expelling the bad. he had done it, he had done it all, he had advanced up the staircase, level after level, rung after rung. he had done it and he could do it and he would do it and he is doing it, he’s fighting the war, completing the mission, every second of every minute of every day. and now he’s on the street in the fall air, holding the girl in his arms, and she’s warm and breathing and makes soft noises. the living promise, the golden key, the beginning and the end. he holds her closer as the flashes go off at his left and his right and across the street. he wears the filters as protection, so that his eyes will never be blinded and he can always keep watch, can always protect her. at all costs he must protect the child. the future is her, she is his everything.