Phil opened the box at a coffee house. In it were 100 cards of parchment.
Real parchment. Lamb skin parchment – cut note card size.
They were expertly gilded in gold leaf with enough space in the middle for a simple phrase. The design on the back was a 3/4 inch X within a circle illumined in gold leaf. It’s the Phoenician symbol for “Teth,” and also the Egyptian symbol for the soul.
It’s essentially a zero – negated twice.
Phil took from a briefcase a bottle of ink, a blotter and a quill pen. On the front of each, he wrote a phrase in Gothic script. The calligraphy showed promise, but no real talent. They forty something woman to his right was on her iPad and looked strangely at Phil. It took him over three hours since this method of writing is laborious, and the expertly gilded parchment didn’t come cheap. But he got it done before 9:00 AM.
They were beautiful.
Throughout the next two days, he gave them away in various ways. Handing them out to strangers. Giving some to friends and loved ones Putting them in strange places. People raved at their quality and wondered at the unusual texture of the paper. At the end, he kept one for framing and after framing it put it by his office desk.
He gave it a gassho gesture after hanging it.
“I have no soul, and it’s fucking existence is more me than I can ever be.”