At the present, I'm editing some short stories, columns, poems etc. for an
proposed anthology.  I thought some of you may enjoy this short piece,
relevant somewhat to our discussions today.

By RB Scott
©2003, 1986

        Cee's love for her Manhattan was not unlike Jedís for his Salt Lake. As a
youngster he lived near enough to walk to the center of the city after
school and on weekends. Often, he would sequester himself in the back of the
vast oval Tabernacle on Temple Square while Alexander Schreiner's fingers
worked their magic over the five keyboards on the console of the massive
pipe organ. At times it seemed as if the performance was intended
specifically for Jed, hiding out, alone with his imagination in the upper
balcony. There was something positively uplifting, calming about the
haunting tones and accompanying reverberations that emanated from those
towering Sequoia-like pipes.

        On occasion, he slipped up the tight circular stairs that led to the choir
seats, which spread out like a hillside meadow between the forest of massive
pipes and a furrowed valley of wooden pews, each one planed and sanded by
the callused hands of Jedís ancestors and their brethren. Sitting on those
benches, as he regularly had for general conference in April and October
and, later, for concerts by the Utah Symphony Orchestra, he imagined
Paradise, communing face-to-face with one departed ancestor or another, that
God lived up the hillside, there in the hollows of those majestic,
euphonious trunks of native pine.

        Four blocks from home, he played out a different, if equally fulfilling
fantasy. On the gridiron in the stadium at the University of Utah: five
seconds left in his mind, he would race down the field, cut left across the
grain, dive as his outstretched arms crossed the goal line, snaring the pass
with his fingertips. The fans would be going crazy as his teammates hoisted
him onto their shoulders; he had lived righteously, fought the good fight,
and now God, being just, had blessed him with a winning touchdown catch --
against BYU!

        Deeper into the sprawling campus he'd roam the university's old cavernous
library, pulling books with strange-sounding titles from the shelves,
selecting one or two of them to take to the his hideout in carrels
sequestered, entombed deep in the stacks, reading for hours as if he was a
diligent graduate student gathering research for a Master's thesis.

        It was there he read that babies need not be cut-out of their mother's
bellies; that Benjamin Franklin had been an incorrigible womanizer; that his
church's original prophet, Joseph Smith, opened a tavern in his family's
manse in Nauvoo, Illinois, and that his successor, Brigham Young, and
members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles once made regular use of spittoons,
stationed like sentries at doorways leading to the holiest sections of the
temple. And, that many actually thought New York City was a quite wonderful
place, not at all the horrific den of thieves and murderers and hookers his
parents and the local newspapers made it out to be.

        Right then and there he learned that perceptions often bear no resemblance
to reality and that reality has everything to do with how one beholds it.


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