Hi. I’m B.T. Lowry. Welcome to this week’s scene of the week, Bouncing off Borders.
I shuffled up to the immigration desk.
“Papers,” said a brawler of a man with a thick black mustache.
I furnished him with my passport.
He scanned it, said without making eye contact. “Why do you want to go to the USA?”
It’s a free world and this land belongs to no man, and to everyone. You people stole it from the Indians and they didn’t own it either. We’re all coming and going.
“Visiting friends,” I replied.
He frowned. “Don’t you have any friends in your country?”
No one belongs to any country or family. We’re all citizens of the Earth, and even more than that we’re citizens of the universe and children of God.
“I do,” I said. “I have friends here too.”
He looked over whatever information was on his screen about me. “It says here that you’ve been to the USA before. You’ve been to many countries. Why would you want to leave your own country, stay there with your family?”
I have no country. I just happened to be born in some piece of land recently designated by a name.
“I like traveling.”
He made a mark on some sort of checklist, then looked back at the screen. “You said you’re a writer.”
“Are you a journalist?”
He looked me in the eye for the first time. “Well what do you write?”
The whole world is an allegory. You just shift it left or right like transposing a song, or the down indicates the up, earth points to heaven. There’s no fiction. Every idea indicates something real.
“Well, I filled out the landing card.”
He nodded, apparently satisfied. “Do you plan on writing when you’re in the USA?”
“No, Sir. I only write in my own country.”
“While in your own country, do you intend to write about experiences that you had while in the USA?”
“Ah, no Sir. I only write in my own country about experiences that I have in my own country, Sir.”
“Can I go in?”
“No. Policy dictates that every man should live in his own country.”
“So there should be no travelers?”
“Only on business.”
I closed my eyes, told myself not to yell at this man, not to attack.
I opened them and raised my hand above my head. “Charge!”
From the back of the immigration room, a force of war-horses five hundred strong sprung from hiding. Their riders, clad in exotic, angular armor, raised hooked blades over their heads as they charged into the USA.
This scene was inspired by my recent visit to the Los Angeles airport. I was welcomed by men who had a keen interest in me as a person, who wanted to know all the details of my life. They were kind enough to escort me around the airport, and even gave me my own space in a locked room with other guests. I got to see the inside of a police van, and was able to return to my home country much more quickly than I’d hoped.
This experience left me with an appreciation for the human conceptions of countries, borders, and also money, because it is largely the glow of money which keeps these constructs intact. How amazing it is that a country not five hundred years old, in its current incarnation, and which was largely stolen from the older inhabitants, now keeps people who were born in other places out! It is indeed a testament to mind over matter that these ideas govern our lives and activities. In this spirit, I have decided to name a constellation of stars after myself, and should anyone ever make it to that area of the universe, I will question them thoroughly and charge them an entrance fee.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to see this scene expanded into a story, then tell me in the comments that this is the one you want. You can also grab my novel here, Fire from the Overworld. It is the story of two young mystics who fight to restore balance in their desert village, when war erupts among its spirit rulers. Feel free to sign up for the new scenes in your mailbox each week, along with guest posts, and my thoughts about living, loving, investigation and creation.
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