Jon drove his Saturn Vue 3.6 miles to scale, on foot, Lone Mountain’s 600 feet to seek refuge in the wise council of Lone Mt. Roshi.
Lone Mt. Roshi’s face looked like cracked bronze leather that melted a little and dripped drippy wise leather. His long white hair and beard called to mind Santa Claus and/or Walt Whitman. His old robe looked like an old robe; he was exactly as he was and the other things, too. He was complicated, though simply and straightforward like an old man stirring a pot of gruel.
Lone Mt. Roshi stirred a pot of gruel and, grimacing, shook his head. “What do you want with this thing that you call the what…?”
“My Original Nature! My face before my parents were born! The Treasure House! The 10,000 foot Palace of Rubies and—”
“Yes, that. Your Ruby Treasure Face. To what end do you seek such a string of frustrating enigmas?”
“Duh, Lone Mt. Roshi! So I can be freed from the tyranny of selfhood and publish a self-help book and do book signings and speaking engagements and receive the financial backing of several eco-friendly sponsors.”
THWAPPP… Jon’s chin snapped behind his shoulder. Lone Mt. Roshi had enormous slapping hands.
“Ha ha ha! There! There, Jon, is your Ruby Treasure Face!”
“What the hell, Lone Mt. Roshi?!?” Jon held his stinging cheek. “What in the EVER LOVING hell?!?”
“Oh, but don’t mourn your stingless face. Gods are born and die. Empires are crumbling. Kingdoms are under construction. My friend, Derek, got a new dog. And yet there you sit like a little boy wishing only for sweets in his mouth. Here. Stay for dinner. Find your nature later.”
Jon ate the old man’s gruel, thinking of his face.