For those of us actively engaged in the Quest there’s an unusual euphemism that often gets used. “Looking for Jerusalem”, we call it. Sounds odd to outsiders. Where’s Jerusalem? Well, it’s at 31°47′N 35°13′E, naturally. Contested capital of the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Literalism is such an accursed, beige way of thinking.
What the grail means, what Jerusalem really means is the center of the world. A hub around which life and un-life spin and dance. It means so much more than that, but that’s the best I can put down in my limited capacities. Obie was always so much more eloquent than I am. I hope he’s dreaming peacefully of the Grail and Lamb. A vain hope, but there it is.
But enough theology, on to the record. I arrived at Grand Central a few nights ago and made contact with one Demitri Rose, a member of the underground Circle here in New York. He confirmed my prior intelligence from my correspondence partners that being an acolyte in the Big Apple is a one way ticket on the Final Death express. Next stop oblivion. He sounded Russian. If she’s any brains in that cultist head of hers Polina Rurik ought to look him up. I wish she had a bloody cell phone. It’s not that hard, people, I’ve been up and walking around since when we had to turn a crank to make them work, you can too.
Anyway, the ostiary found me within a few hours in my suite at the Doubletree. He grilled me about why I was in New York and I put on my best Ohio accent and said I was a traveling scholar from Columbus. Not strictly a lie, but obviously not the whole truth. He believed it, or chose to.
I met the Prince the next day. Firstly, anyone powerful enough to hold court in the biggest Cathedral in the Americas is not someone to be fucked with. I think I saw more Kindred gathered for midnight Mass than I’ve ever seen in my entire existence. Secondly, it’s clear that the Lance and Chapel hold absolute power here. The Movement and the Estate dance to their hymn. The Dragons seem absent but not strictly proscribed. Anyway I kissed hands with the seneschal and mingled a bit. I took a seat in the back pew after Court to think for a bit.
It’s a beautiful church, St. Patrick’s. All Tuckahoe marble and burnished Vermont oak. I prayed and looked on Him on the Cross, floating candlelit above the Gothic reredos, looking down on us Damned from his lofty perch. I wonder what He thinks of us.
Obie believes that Christ’s blood damned us when it touched Longinus’ spear, but that in that same Holy Vitae there was the essence of forgiveness. That’s what the grail is to him, and sitting there in that church, it was to me as well. Spear and Chalice. Damnation and Redemption. The wrathful Lord and the forgiving Lamb. I told him it was more than just Christ, that the Gnostic gospels show us that the Grail is much older than that. He just smiled under that ridiculous toothbrush mustache of his and asked me if that proved him wrong. I suppose it didn’t, at that.
I crossed myself and rose. Amen.
Apart from that, I conducted a little research for the quest at the Public Library (another lovely building, I’ll say this for NYC the architecture is top-notch). Set up my haven not far from there, actually.
I took a little jaunt down to Brooklyn to play Mephistopheles with a down-on-his-luck day trader, too. I figure if I’m going to make progress in this New Jerusalem, well, I’d better start to get to know the priests. Jesus wasted his time casting out the money changers; they just built their own Temple Mount.
- Pick up a new set of lockpicks and a crowbar. Left mine in previous Haven like an amateur.
- Take sob story to see his boss, negotiate a new contract for him. So I enjoy playing the Devil looking for the Grail. So sue me.
- Make contact with Rurik and see if I can’t find anyone else from previous location that came to NYC.
- Buy new clothes, furnishings for apartment.
- Patch hole in shower.
- “Grocery shopping”
- Get bank statement and lease copy for library card. Bloody Blackshirts at the NYPL.