I woke up that morning, feeling sixty-five and I needed a walk. I needed to breathe in the fresh air. Now I lived on the outskirts of the city and there’s a Jacaranda Park very close to my house. The violet-blue flowers dancing to the rhythm of the morning breeze invigorated me and filled me with confidence. I sat on a stone bench for a while and lost myself to nostalgic reverie. Years spent following the rules and standing up for what I believed in, years spent being a conservative, years spent devoted to one women, and I felt pride swelling up within me and teary-eyed, I returned to my cottage.

The carpenter Bill came home that day because the cupboards needed repairs. I looked at the size of the nails he used and wondered how painful crucifixion is. Those big, slender but powerful nails. I imagined it piercing skin and splitting bone and shivered at the thought. We fortunately didn’t carry out crucifixion at the city. In fact, we outlawed death sentence, but we had Lot constantly criticizing us for doing so and campaigning for it. He really acted like a judge of sorts. Maybe it was sexual tension. I don’t know but he considered himself ‘righteous’ and preached at every quarter of the city. ‘The day of the Lord is near!’ He barked, the spittle falling on faces.

I had a wedding to attend that day. My distant relative was marrying this beautiful woman called Maria. And so, I walked to town and saw Lot barking in a corner. ‘Sodomy! You’re guilty of sodomy!’ He yelled vehemently. I ignored him and went to the town house. The ceremony was beautiful. The man was a young conservative like me, but not radical like Lot. It was beautiful seeing two people in love waltzing and enjoying themselves. The wine flowed, and I drank to my heart’s content. Soon it was dusk and time to go home.

As I walked home I saw two men descending the hill with Lot. They were headed to his house. The men looked angelic and there was a commotion outside Lot’s house. And so, I rushed there, hoping to solve the dispute. And then I got a closer look at the men and dropped my pants. I rushed to the door and screamed with my walking stick in hand, ‘Bring them out! So that I may know them intimately!’ My loins were on fire and even Viagra didn’t compare to this tension, this excitement. I needed those men and it was strange because I was a straight, conservative man. What is happening to me? I thought but brushed the thought away. What about my wife? I thought but screamed at that thought. I needed those men. ‘Sirs, my daughters are virgins, you can have them and do as you please,’ Lot said, but all of us shouted, ‘No!’ In unison. It was then that I realized that I wasn’t alone in my heat and would have to fight others with my walking stick if necessary. But I was ready. ‘You’re always Judging us Lot. Now bring out those men!’ I screamed.

But then the men did something, and I couldn’t see. I stumbled into the others gathered and they all screamed of blindness. It was black and that terrified me. Soon, I thought of my beautiful wife and I decided to go back home. I ran, slipping, stumbling and falling. I hurt myself and I was naked waist down! I don’t know how I got home but I pounded the door and shouted, ‘Jeanie! Jeanie! Open! It’s me!’

‘What happened?’ she cried and took me in and my sight suddenly returned. ‘That bastard Lot!’ I yelled, but she put a hand on my shoulder and then bandaged me and fetched me new clothes. We then ate kebabs, and chicken biryani with some Kingfisher. And then the fire and brimstone struck.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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        1. What do you mean, where did I find it? Do you mean did I read that somewhere? No. But I can use my mind and see that it is inferred. Salt represents wisdom. Then I put two and two together. The ancient people’s were very careful to leave monuments and remembrances, much like a cross on a grave. They piled stones, made statues of sorts, etc. The writer of the story is calling out that point, as a way to remember. It’s a striking point. Ingrains in the brain. See this and remember. No one can remember the city because it was removed from the earth through the destruction, but Lot’s wife remained for many years beyond.

        2. Ohh ok I only asked because I had been lookin and was hoping to have somewhere to reference. I didn’t mean to come of as if you were wrong. I think its a valid point. That makes sense. I just have never heard of salt standing for wisdom. I definitely am interested and will be looking into it more. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned.

        3. No worries. I’ve just studied symbolism in both the Bible as well as dreams extensively because I am a Significant Dreamer. So take what I say with a “grain of salt” LOL (just had to put that in there!)

  1. Nitin,
    this is truly prestigious writing.
    Caught between Lot, and a pillar
    of angry salt, I could hear Ry Cooder
    singin, “Little sister don’t you do what your big sister done”.
    And the prophet Ezekiel declaring, “Now this was the sin of your sister
    Sodom: She and her daughters were
    arrogant, overfed and unconcerned,
    they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me”.
    Good God almighty, keep us all
    from getting haughty … and naughty.

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