Where do we all go when we commit suicide?” he asked his Christian Professor, at the Christian University, in Alabama, “is it the unpardonable sin?” he added, making it his second question.
Then the old professor, pushed his papers aside laying on his desk, stood up, erect and left his desk area, looked out the window, up into the stars, or so it seemed to the Professor’s student, Gene, but it was really more toward the upper part of a huge tree outside his window.
There the professor gazed, stoned faced almost, concentrating on the shapes and the shadows that seemed to drift about. It was only a first floor office, a window you could jump out of, and if you fell, you’d only get a headache-if even that, I mean it was but four-feet down, a short fall at best, safe to leave open for the suicide student, had anyone been there but those two, and there was nobody but those two.
Then the old man, the professor brought his Alabama-eyes down from up high, as if he was following a bird down the torso of the big tree, he was actually staring at the solid, huge oak, outside the window, with its snake like, thick anaconda branches, and its trunk, outwardly as big as the pillars at the Lincoln Monument, in Washington D.C.
At the same time, from the corner of his eye, the long part of his eye, he watched the wrapping on the student’s wrist, soak up with blood, saw it drip on down Gene’s pants legs.
It was dusk, and he had worked late, and like out of the blue, Gene had just stopped in, Gene Furbelow; just like that he showed up at the professor’s office on campus, and had asked those two questions. Perhaps thinking after slicing his writs, where he was headed for, possibly had second thoughts, I don’t know but maybe he wanted the good professor to talk him out of his sudden suicide attempt, to save him mentally and then physically, whatever the long course of action was, he was there and waiting for his questions to be answered.
The old professor pointed up into the thick branches of the tree, full of green life, dark green life with black charcoal branches, lit up by the street lights nearby, as if the tree itself was hooked-electrically plugged into some nearby socket, and the leaves were liken to lit up Christmas bulbs; it was as if the tree was alive, had some kind of human like existence circling around it, an existence the professor personified or perchance the professor gave his living substance to, so it would enhance the tree to give such an impression, it would seem he was almost part of the tree himself.
Then after another moment, it was all darkened with the blackish-blue evening of the atmosphere, another transition had taken place-or so it appeared, a transition more on the order of, a sudden deadly virus was creeping in, with this at hand, something else was mysterious, or brought to light:
“What do you think it is?” asked the old man, pointing at the tree, the shadows in the tree, their shapes.
“Is this a trick question, are you trying to imply something?” Gene asked the professor.