Nowhere Man

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All these years of walking on this planet, and not once did he ever feel so alien as he did at this moment. He was at a loss with nowhere to turn. No spouse to go home to, no children to visit, no memory to look back on. He is a Nowhere Man.

He didn’t know much about religion, and before this moment, he didn’t care to. He thought it was ironic and funny at the same time, how people only come to church when they need something. He knew he was no different. No, he didn’t need a miracle. He didn’t need saving or a heavenly light to open up and bestow upon him the answers to the universe. Hell, he didn’t even know how he got here.

As the Nowhere Man entered, he noticed a rusted tin box nailed to the wall with a faded label so called ‘Donations’. The Nowhere Man didn’t know what kind of etiquette was expected of him inside a church so he dug through his pocket with a trembling hand and fed the donation tin some spare change. Satisfied with the clunk of the coins, he proceeded to the Sanctuary.

When he entered, Nowhere Man didn’t anticipate how underwhelming stepping into his first church would be. He always thought churches had jewel-toned stained windows, the sickly sweet scent of incense fogging the senses and a choir of monks chanting somewhere in the hidden recesses of the church. He guessed he was wrong. There was no stained glass, no smells of any kind, and the only sound inside the sanctuary was silence. Even though he was alone, he didn’t dare utter a single word inside the holy place. He sat close to the back, in fear of who may be watching him from the front. That was normal, wasn’t it? He was behaving like a good Christian, in awe and fear of the Creator. With a quiet exhale he sat at the end of a wooden pew, not knowing what made a good or bad Christian.

Nowhere Man looked around, careful in his movements. Everything about this place was monotone; grey skies, grey brick, plain windows…the only thing that stood out was the simple cross that hung at the front of the room. His eyes laid upon it for who knows how long.

‘Is anyone there?’ he thought.

He wasn’t expecting a reply, even if he was, he wouldn’t know who would be responding back to him. He suspected he was in a nondenominational church. Did he know what ‘denominational’ meant? He supposed he didn’t. So why was he here?

The prayer candles flickered in his peripheral vision which distracted him for a moment, causing him to gaze at the tiny flames from afar. He sighed and looked down between his legs, his hands draped over his lap and meeting in a mess of tangled fingers. He was nervous, but why? He was here all alone. Alone in this church, alone in the world. He had no one to turn to.

So why was he here?

The Nowhere Man looked up at the white cross yet again, that question now prevalent in his mind, before he forgot it again.

Why am I here?

It was quiet. Nothing stirred, only silence. If there was an answer, the Nowhere Man didn’t hear it.


In response to Writing 101 Day 4, we had to write something inspired by a photo. I wanted to write another narrative and so here it is. I just wrote what came to mind when I saw this picture. Thank you very much for reading.

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About ClarissaG

I write what I'm passionate about. I believe in the therapeutic process of writing because it keeps me sane and motivated.
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4 Responses to Nowhere Man

  1. clcouch123 says:

    Such engaging detail in your narrative responding to the photo. Reminds me of a poem by Philip Larkin called “Church-Going.” I think the last paragraph represents a contemporary spiritual situation. We go to a church or other special place and, there, ask the biggest questions we have. Are there answers? Who knows? Our experience is left unresolved, as is the situation in your work. Thank you! Really, the detail is so wonderfully well-chosen. All the neutral tones with only a small white cross set against the greyness. Yes, it’s in the photo. But you chose how to craft that out. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ClarissaG says:

      Thank you so much, I am really trying to get used to writing original narratives and so far this course is helping a lot. I’m so grateful for this type of medium. I’ll have to look up that poem, it sounds interesting!
      And yes, I meant to add some of that speculation and questioning like how today’s younger people feel toward religion and a belief in a greater being. I found it ironic and decided to go along with it, seeing as the man is older and seemingly well versed in the ways of the church, of course for all that is not the case. I appreciate your feedback. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • clcouch123 says:

        Well, your narrative is wondrous. I imagine you can search “Church-Going” to find the Larkin poem. I’ve liked Larkin’s work for a while now. He solemnifies contemporary issues and struggles, as you’ve done here. So does Seamus Heaney. And Adrienne Rich. And Nikki Giovanni. Thanks again for your work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fico says:

    Wow. You built an entire story, just from looking at a picture. I definitely got the feeling when I was trying to do mine, but I think I wanted to experiment with other possibilities. You wrote an entire narrative on it! Very detailed and well done. I definitely want to know more about the Nowhere Man. What was he before he got there? Who is he? And why he can’t recall much, if not, at all? Very nicely done 🙂

    Like

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