After reading Reload volume 2, I couldn't help but shove my hands into Saiyuki again, for however long the inspiration would last. This is a totally anal retentive and purely speculative fic which has exactly 100 words per paragraph and exactly 10 paragraphs; therefore, exactly 1000 words. Go me, I can math-er-cise. In any case; Ukoku and Koumyou, and the relevance of their roles, perhaps not as characters but as figures representive of some greater struggle. Or perhaps just as men. ( I don't know anything about what I'm saying, is what I'm saying. ) R&R anyway.

Karma

This is the true simplicity of distillation. This is the true haiku in 3-D. This is what the sun intends when it sets. This is cricket poetry. This is the real grandeur of the gods, and their only temple. This is the karmic circle. This is the song of beer cans popped open on a summer night. This is the comfort of travelers far from home. This is the one home we all return to. This is the beginning and the end of the road. This is an even number multiplied by an even, or an odd by an odd.

This is not the first night and not the last. It is not the first blade of grass to stir in the wind nor is it the last, nor is it incense hung in the air, nor is it a firefly in a hot palm, nor is it a statement of allegorical beauty, nor is it true worship though it is pure worship, nor is it the East, nor is it the West, nor is it the South, nor is it the North, but rather a convergence of all things into a one night, which is a one thing itself.

This is in the belly of the Buddha. This is in the laughter of the Buddha. This is found within one man's smile alone. This is clapped within the sound of one hand clapping. This is the tree which falls in an empty forest, so long forgotten and overgrown with moss that even the animals have left. This is the journey which is not begun with the feet and the dust but in one's own room. This is the night which will never eclipse all other nights. This is in the straight-backed life a moment of reclining. This is whole.

This is singular. This is only. This is completion. This is satisfaction. This is lingering. This is grasslands. This is no-hunger. This is coition. This is religion. This is karma. This is servitude. This is versiloquy. This is tender. This is singular. This is solitary. This is singular. This is circular. This is singular again. This is the many parts of the whole which comprise the whole, sinew knotting ligament, flesh binding muscle, muscle binding body and body binding soul. This could be one minute from the end, or fifty years. This could be the moment of the end ending.

Tomorrow, it will not be so. Tomorrow, the moon will be a little fuller as it waxes, and the cycle will upset this perfect balance between the two now-equal halves. The moon will eat away at its darker half, until for one night it will encompass all the sky's power. Then, the darker half will eat away at the visible moon. Never will the eclipse be total. Never will it last. Just as the moon is a true circle the darkness is a true circle, too. Koumyou once said, This is the relevance of karma. The moon and the sky.

The wood is solid beneath Ukoku's thighs. Summer approaches with karmic intent. His smile is sleepy, sneaky. It is an expression that wears his face, not the other way around. The crickets slip their creaking body sounds into the night. There are no revelations. There is no sudden understanding. Koumyou's smile is beatific and at peace, and Ukoku has never been a truly religious man. He takes no pleasure from the night and the nighttime secrets. He understands them, he learns them. But this is just a beer, just a cigarette, just one night. To him, this present matters not.

They exchange their pleasantries and indulge in pretend vices together. It is Koumyou's affectation of humility. It is Ukoku's affectation of liking beer and a smoke. It is not Koumyou's affectation of humility. But it is still Ukoku's affectation of just liking beer and a smoke. It is Koumyou's affectation of understanding. It is Ukoku's affectation of the crow hating the crickets. It is Koumyou's affectation of sheer satisfaction. It is Ukoku's affectation of boredom born of simple uncaring, perhaps resentment. None of these are affectations at all. Their positions reveal how much they know, their intelligence and their comprehension.

For the two of them, intelligence ties in with personal dogma. Comprehension is for Koumyou a spiritual release, cutting all ties from the tangible and embracing the weightlessness of the heaven. His comprehension Ukoku would not presume to label vacant, but he would call it empty. He would call it pale. Ukoku's mind grapples with the mechanisms of the earth, with the tastes and the feels and the smells. Ukoku's mind comprehends possession. The Buddha will shun him one day because of his nature and because he understands his nature it is he who will chose first to shun religion.

Koumyou is the moon. Koumyou is the light in the darkness. His hair is pale silver and his eyes are faint, shadowed faintly by faint lashes. He is a pale man. He is a palely colored man. He is only a man but he is benevolent and all-smiles, all-air. It does not for the record make Ukoku sick: it simply makes him angry. Ukoku is all-darkness. Ukoku is all-metal. Ukoku is all-fire fanning an all-smoke. There is drive. There is earthly purpose. There is intent. There are dark expressions. There are dark means to meet a dark end. So dark.

This is the true altar at which they worship. This is the true night over two beers and two packs of cigarettes. This is the middle, which circumnavigates between the beginning (small, dark-mannered boy, a younger, light-mannered man) and the end (an ecplise of white on black, black on white). This is representative of everything and nothing. This is the boy with dark eyes and light hair watching through the slats in the wood, seeing nothing and everything slip between too men on either side of a schism. Until youth fades, and he will have grown away, will have forgotten.