Monday, April 02, 2012

The existential dust of David Sky

David Sky, my pet monkey, was last seen heading into the gloom of a chill winter's evening. That was over a year ago, on 14 January 2011 (see here).  Rumours of his whereabouts occasionally punctuated the numb emptiness engendered by his absence with the feeble risings of hope. But the slightest expectations of finding David Sky alive were repeatedly dashed with the casual cruelty of a wasp stinging a small child. It was obvious that Taffia Godfather, Dai Corleone wouldn't simply let Sky out of his clutches. Even if you are just a tea boy, you can't walk out on the Mob. As Corleone could often be overheard saying, "Keep your friends close, keep your tea bags closer."

Where David Sky once sat in my study, on the bookshelf just in front of Herman Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3, there is now only an empty space. Even the monkey-shaped clearing in the dust that once marked his memory has almost disappeared completely. It is as if he never existed; an existential void created by a fresh layering of study-dust. I began to wonder, was there ever such a creature as David Sky, a theological monkey?

But, the other day, after being out for an hour or so, I returned home and checked the phone for 1517 messages. On picking up the handset I heard the tell-tale beep, beep, beep tone that signalled a message had been left. On pressing 1 to listen to the message, I heard what seemed like the familiar sound of David Sky's voice. The strangely garbled message, in which not a word could be deciphered smacked of his irritating, know-all, sarcastic tone. But the message came to an abrupt end with a dull thud. Followed by silence. Could it really be him?

If it was David Sky trying desperately to leave me a message, I thought that I had heard the last of him. However, another 1571 message was left just this morning. This time I could make out a few words, but the voice, definitely Sky's, now sounded weary, haunted, with none of the customary hauteur. "Help....want...home....help....sorr...". That was it. Was he really trying to say, 'sorry'?

Desperate to speak to my old monkey friend, I tried to trace his phone number, but dialling 1417 only came up with, 'The number of this caller was withheld.' There was nothing for it but to sit tight and wait for him to call again. A couple of hours went by before the phone rang. I anxiously lunged for the handset, but it was a spoken text message from the dentist, reminding me of tomorrow's check-up appointment. It was difficult to concentrate on anything else, but I pulled Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 3 from the shelf, turned to the bookmarked page and started reading.

The door bell rang, abruptly interrupting my absorption with Bavinck's rich treatment of the covenant of grace. I made my way downstairs and opened the door. It was Bathsheba Earth. She just stood there. The girl-monkey was calm, almost icily emotionless. She handed me a note. Then walked away without a word. I came to myself. Called out after her, 'Wait a minute...'. But she had gone. I unfolded the note. It was Sky's scrawly handwriting. He apologised for not getting in touch sooner. Then he explained the reason behind his strange disappearance, over a year ago.

Unfortunately I can't divulge the contents of the note for fear of jeopardising David Sky's safety. All I can say is that he's hiding from the Taffia. Should Dai Corleone discover his whereabouts there is no doubt that my old friend would find himself 'sleeping with the fishes'. And Bathsheba Earth? Actually, she's Bathsheba Sky now. For, dear reader, the monkey married her. Apparently it isn't working out too well. Hence the second 1571 message. Ah, well. For better/for worse and all that.

But it looks like David Sky has gone for good. All that's left to prove that he once existed is his long ago abandoned blog, Sky's the Limit,  and the faint traces of existential dust.