But when he looked back on it all he stumbled, he wasn’t sure if there were any purpose to it, there was no successful destination, no perfection gained, no light at the end, just a little wisdom, and some compassion, for flawed humanity and his own fucked-up soul as well.
Yet suicide ever looked over his left-shoulder, his trip-outs to India might even be viewed as a death wish. He could be lynched by a mob, smashed by an auto accident, emaciated by disease, blown apart by terrorists, entombed by an earthquake, trampled by a stampede, anything was possible.
He sneered at the new religion of worshiping celebrities, seeing them as fame-whores who promoted false-consciousness like ventriloquist dummies manipulated by a ruling elite. Arthur just didn’t fit in, he barely got by and, hating the modern monster of consumer capitalism, he wanted to opt out. India was the other, the out there that he could get lost in and live out his Sufi Arabian Nights fantasies, regardless of their transience, they were like garden oasis rest-stops in a tortuous travail across the limitless desert of 21st century civilization.
For three days he suffered and he was shown death, the doorway to the ‘Exit’, hovering in a white fog around him. From somewhere deep in his inflamed heart he dredged up the spirit and made the decision to live, to take life as it came; there was always potential for exhilaration, love and quintessential knowledge to be had, regardless of the pain of getting there. After all, he never had been a wimp, when adversity threatened he got brave.
He picked himself up off his sweat-wet bed and dragged himself to a doctor’s clinic. He was told that if he’d waited another day he would have surely been dead, for he’d caught the dreaded cholera bug. He was rushed to a private hospital and given inter-venous antibiotics and after three days of tender, loving care he came out of his coma, committed to having another chance at the game of life.
Prem was shaken but not too badly hurt, he had to go to hospital and get nine stitches in the back of his head, his face swelled up like a pumpkin from all the slapping but he went straight back to work and had recovered after a week, he's a strong guy who has fallen out of coconut trees many times in his life. Arthur went into post-traumatic-shock mode and was a bit of a hysterical mess for a few hours, giving his good friends a hard time as he was so full of tension.