Beholder and Scrivener
I am 4391 days sober and I see everything. I remember.
I am a Beholder and I met another one in my art class. We were drawing a male nude model and I saw his eyes slide as my eyes slid to watch the huge shadow creep across the corner of the room. We watched it, then watched each other and we knew.
A Beholder’s job is as it sounds. We do not enter The World we simply see it. When the shadows walk in the world, when the Sisters cross to eat the delicacy of men of the world, when the flame eyed Sidus peek out from their hiding places, we know and we see. Unlike Warriors, being a Beholder does not run in the blood. We have no ancestors to put iron in our spines or spells on our lips. Most of us die very young.
It is not explicitly the seeing that kills us. Many of us become drug addicts, opiates usually. Or we become alcoholics, we are frequently the homeless who walk all night with our eyes wide open and seeing. To be a Beholder is to be the eyes into The World and the keepers of its secrets. We know what lives in The Darkness.
After class while we were supposed to be packing up and socializing he came over to my easel and looked at my drawing while he spoke.
“You are a Beholder.”
I looked at his face, I wasn’t sure if I should say anything. We are mainly secretive, you can’t just walk up to people and start talking about The World without being marked as crazy. He looked down at me and I saw his light brown eyes, haunted eyes just like mine,
We stood there for a minute and he took my hand. He squeezed it lightly.
“You’re so young. What happened?”
The class was part of outpatient rehab. Court ordered of course.
“Smack. Since I was fifteen. I got picked up after taking a hot shot over on seventh. You know the spot?”
“Yeah. I could never get on with smack. First, it was booze, then it was benzos. I’m glad you made it. How are you doing?”
He let go of my hand and helped me put away my charcoals and while I thought about it, we walked to his station and packed his things.
“Okay, I guess. I remember everything. Before, like even before the junk I remembered everything. All of them. Would you like to have a coffee with me?”
Reggie and I started having coffee two or three times a week. We went to NA meetings together and people smiled at him for being my sponsor, that always made me laugh because they were so innocent. All of those long time junkies swilling shitty coffee and telling their stories, collecting their chips and falling off of the wagon were so innocent.
We talked in depth about our lives. He did not remember like I did. He had impressions, he beheld, and forgot. He explained that it was that way for most of us. He had a few precious books that were who knows how old, books that to the world were the rumblings of madmen and to me are holy books.
I learned that I am not just a Beholder. I am a Scrivener. It is not just my job to see, to behold, but my job to record it all. Reggie explained that when it became known in The World that a Scrivener had been born, the Warriors would come to me for guidance.
I held Reggie’s hands as he lay dying in a hospice. His liver a ruin, his face yellow and so thin I could see everything. I did what he told me. I drew what I saw, all of it.
The day he died, he smiled up at me and then we watched the shadows gather in the corner of his room to say goodbye.
“Stay clean. Remember. I’m going home to The World. I love you.”
By the time I could say I love you too, Reggie was gone and it was time for the work to begin.
Today I am 4391 days sober and I see everything. I remember.