Hell-Fire Is Real

On the subway, going somewhere.  I don't come this far north very often.  My book is open.  I pretend to read while I consider my fellow travellers.

A man gets on and sits near me.  He's in his 70s or maybe 80s, dressed well enough.  Nice pants and collared shirt tucked neatly in.  Tasteful rimless glasses.  Somethng a little odd about that blue cap perched on the top of his head though.  I take extra care examining his clothing as if it will provide me with a revelation as to why he wears a pinny over top of them.

It's the kind you'd wear in gym class, to keep the teams sorted out.  Or maybe a dance-a-thon.

HELL-FIRE IS REAL, the pinny yells, ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOUR SINS IN JESUS' NAME.

I consider my transgressions.

I speak to God.  I say:

God, I am so sorry I forgot to turn off the air conditioning this morning.  It is a sin to waste all that energy.

I'm sorry I haven't taken the ring I gave my mother for Christmas to be sized yet.  I am a terrible daughter. 

I'm sorry I haven't been to see all the babies I should have seen by now.

I'm sorry, God, that I tempt my boyfriend into ignoring the sex out of wedlock rule of Islam.

I lied to you just now God.  I'm sorry about that.  But I'm not sorry for having sex.  Not one bit.  I know you understand.  I mean, come on.

It could go on like this but it's my stop.  It's the old man's stop too.  I check the back of his bib.  I'm disappointed it's the same message as on the front.  We disappear into the city.

3 thoughts on “Hell-Fire Is Real

  1. You are not a bad daughter and God will forgive you I’m sure.
    I had forgotten all about that ring. You should have kept that one to yourself. :o)
    Love you,
    Mom xoxoxo

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