"Look here" I said
"it says god judges fairly"
"correct" replied Pastor Lee
"So god judges everyone fairly?" I asked
"Even the gays, the transvestites, the rapists, the murderers, the Satanists, the boys in black who rob and steal?" "He judges them all fairly?" I asked
"Yes son" The pastor replied
"But look here" I said
"On this page it says god judges equally"
"yes, he does"
"He cant judge equally if he judges fairly" I said
"theres no way -"
"He judges both fairly and equally boy" The pastor interrupted me. His forhead began to grow red and oily,
"Theres no way that that's possible. Are you saying he judges a vegetated man just as he judges a blessed man. You cant say that that's fair Pastor. You just cant"
"He makes exceptions boy" His forehead grew redder and oilier "He would take into account the vegetated man's condition."
"so your saying he would judge the vegetated man differently" I asked
"Yes" he replied
"But then he's not judging them equally. He may be judging fairly but not equally" I said
"The bible contradicts itself right there" I added
"You cant truly say god judges fairly if he would judge a disabled man just as he would an able man. That would be unfair. And you cant say he takes the disabled man's restrictions into account because he wouldn't be judging equally then. It is impossible for your god to judge fairly and equally"
The Pastors face became a blend of blue and red, almost maroon and the oil almost began to sizzle "Boy, who are you to say what is fair and what isn't" He said while he gritted his teeth. Oppressing his rage.
"Who am I to say whats fair and isn't? Im no one to say whats fair and isn't! Im just using common fucking sense. All im saying is god cant judge fairly and equally because its impossible. You are getting mad because you are wrong. Your whole religion is wrong. Everything you have based your life on is wrong. You job is wrong, your marriage is wrong, your parenting is wrong. It is all wrong."
"Get out of my establishment" said the pastor "and never come back"
I walked along the grey carpet of the church floor towards the door. The walls were as pale and smooth as warm cream and the roof was cracked a peeling just like a crunchy bread loaf "Just because you're wrong theres no need to get angry" I said as I slipped past the glass doors.
"Theres no rest for the wicked" yelled the pastor
"Theres no rest for the wicked…"
I ran away from the church and into the moonlight…
I walked along the cracked downtown footpath. The yellow tinged street lights projected my shadow. I saw a slim figure, perhaps too slim. A large head of hair and athletic long legs. Despite the fact I was never good at sports, in fact I was "hopeless" according to my coach. Hopeless. This is what I was to my family, my pastor, my friends. A hopeless little shit.
"Your not good at anything" I said to myself as I walked down the street
"You suck, at school, you suck at sports, your have no skills. You suck" I mumbled
"You suck" I repeated
"You suck!" I shouted at the top of my lungs, breaking the quiet, almost silent midnight atmosphere, like a stone thrown into a relaxed, flat pond.
A silhouetted figure of a man in the window of a nearby apartment got up from his armchair and walked towards a window.
"Maybe this is my break, maybe this guy will throw me some money, help me, support me, tell me something reassuring" I thought to myself
He opened up the window and stared at me. He had a slim build, and a rather large head. I could barely make out his face in the darkness.
"shutup kid!" he exclaimed, them swiftly slammed the window shut
I sighed. There really was no hope for me.
As I continued to walk what the man said ate away at me.
"Is that how the whole world feels about me" I thought
"Am I just a nuisance, a past, an annoyance?"
I clenched my fists.
"fuck him" I said to myself
"Fuck the boys in white who sing the carols and praise the lord" I added
"Fuck the pastors who brainwash them and brainwash all. Fuck my parents, the controlling freaks, branding my ass with the cattle prod of god before I could say the word "religion". Fuck my brother the goody-goody fuckhead, the Christian, the good child. Fuck my grandparents for brainwashing my parents. Fuck their parents. Fuck my ancestors. Fuck old England for brainwashing the Australian colonials. Fuck. Just fuck.
I sat on the damp sidewalk and stared into a muddy puddle. My reflection was as dirty as my existence. A car zoomed by, nicking the tip of an empty beer bottle. The bottle spun like a blade eventually slowing to a stop. Its reflection was visible on the partially wet road. Something caught my eye. A small note lay in the bottle. Dampened by the day-old booze. I walked towards the bottle without caution
"Maybe this was it" I thought to myself
"Maybe this note contained salvation. Freedom. Refuge."
"Maybe it was left by a kind stranger, maybe it was the directions to a treasure or even a warm meal. Perhaps it would just be a letter of assurance from a secret guardian."
One thing was for sure. I was certain it would change my life. I pulled the note out of the bottle, it smelled like dry beer. It was barely readable in the moon light and musky yellow street lights. I felt a strange calm enter the air as I opened the letter. I cautiously looked around, no one in site. Just a boy standing in the middle of a downtown road. I opened it.
"Fuck" I shouted again
It was a receipt for the bottle.
"There is no rest for the wicked" I mumbled
Just as I looked up two large yellow lights broke the quiet, midnight atmosphere. Next there was a large "Honk". Then there was a screech. And lastly, a large thud.
There really was no rest for the wicked.
By Daniel Pahor