This is a guest post by B.T. Newberg.
And then he was gone. Just gone. Vanished without a trace.
It was on a humid evening, the thirty-first of August, on his thirtieth birthday, at precisely 8:41 p.m. that it happened. An un-average man disappeared in a decidedly un-average way.
Friends and associates of the illustrious Drew Jacob, gathered in the shadows of the Old Arizona Theater in downtown Minneapolis, bent their ears upon the parting words of their host.
With great regret, but also great hope, Drew said goodbye to the assembly. With great regret because he had come to love Minneapolis and its people; with great hope because he was embarking upon a dream—a dream to traverse two continents by the power of his own two feet.
In his speech he could not fail to mention two things, both quite characteristic of Drew:
The first was the merit of the party’s venue, the Old Arizona Theater. Readers of Rogue Priest might not know it, but its author is a venerable powerhouse in the non-profit sector, and it is classic Drew that he should pick a location such as the Old Arizona.
“It’s one of my favorite non-profits in the Twin Cities,” he said. “One hundred percent of the proceeds of the theater and cafe go to teaching business and art skills to local at-risk girls. So if you were planning to drink one beer, drink two!”
The other thing mentioned was his devotion to his gods. Specifically, his devotion to one god: Lugh.
“He’s the Irish god of heroes and heroism,” said Drew.
As readers of Rogue Priest well know, the Heroic Life has become Drew’s religion. So it was only fitting that on the eve of his departure from Minneapolis, the eve that sets in motion what will with any luck culminate in a heroic adventure worthy of remembrance, he prepared to devote himself to the god Lugh.
The fateful moment
There was something in his hand as he spoke, something he thumbed and contemplated with great interest.
“As a priest in our tradition,” he said, “when somebody chooses to devote themselves completely to one god, it’s customary to wear a ring signifying that dedication.”
The small metal band, though hard to see from our place in the audience, glinted between his fingers.
“So with that my friends, I say goodbye.”
He edged his finger toward the ring, placed the tip within its sparkling band…
Suddenly there was a loud crash! from the other side of the stage.
Someone had knocked over a stack of metal folding chairs. We turned our eyes from our host for but a second.
And when we looked back, he was gone.
Laughter and applause rose up as we realized the ruse. With a bit of cunning misdirection, he had managed to disappear into thin air. His exit was not just dramatic, it was the like of legend.
We should have expected no less.
And that was how Drew Jacob left Minneapolis to begin a dream. He bicycled out under cover of darkness that night, past the inner and outer ring suburbs, all the way to Stillwater, Minnesota – forty-five minutes by car; I wonder how many by bicycle?
Aiding and abetting his disappearance was Urban Haas, Vodou priest, friend, and co-conspirator in the recent ebook Encounters in Nature. Urban was the jester “clumsy” enough to blunder into the folding chairs at precisely the pinnacle moment.
On to adventure
So, what does the future hold for the mysterious, disappearing Drew?
Well, assuming he has not been carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire, captured by Ringwraiths, or rafted off to the Isle of Avalon, he’ll be here posting regular updates on his adventures.
As a fan, fellow dreamer, and friend, I know Drew. And after his performance that night, one thing can be said with confidence:
We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
B.T. Newberg is the editor of Humanistic Paganism. Humanistic Paganism is a nontheistic way of life rooted equally in science and myth.