A Drink By The Bar

Reads: 364  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a philosophical dialogue with a Catholic Priest conversing with a poor man in a drink. They discuss matters of evil and suffering and come out of the exchange with a mind firmly tested and rigorously battered by the arguments thrown back and forth at one another.

The day was extra cold and the leaves were still as the wind blew through the town. The people of the town congregated inside their homes to shield themselves against the piercing cold and not a soul was left outside to inure the stings of the excruciating winter. The streets were now filled with homes that were illumined in bright whitish-yellowish lights just in time when the darkness of night descended upon the town. The descending darkness fully covered the town by 7:30 p.m., the illumined homes of the town resembled glowing lanterns shining against the thick darkness of the lonely summer night, and all the denizens of the sleepy town were secured in warms blankets with a sufficiently lit fire to combat themselves against the intruding cold coming from the outside icy winds that snuck in through the exposed door cracks of every home. O’Hara was the bar that inhabited all of the weary whom would journey to migrate there to rest from their days of toil. The bar proffered fresh drinks to attenuate their minds from ruminating over the long hours of endless work, where the rounds upon rounds of drinks would deaden their work-duty barometer and lay siege the worries therein within their minds in order for the travel into the milieu of drunkenness to be one latched in unmitigated success. Father Landry entered into the bar as he always did to inquire about a man he had been seeing frequently who sat at the far left corner of the bar, sipping the fresh brew of the beer, gulping glass after glass till his reins of cognition were weaken by the inebriation that intoxicated him. Father Landry was concerned about this poor man that he saw in his own solitude drinking alone and growing fat in drunkenness. The Man was ogre looking, he had a disheveled disposition and grotesque odor that was repulsive for onlookers to see and smell. He had a horrid look on his face, a menacing look that emitted a scary feeling to all who witnessed its appearance. He had a long gray beard with whiskers of black hairs forging out the last remnants of his youth. His yellow teeth were visible from a considerable distance, and the yellow plank from his teeth gripped onto his glass when his teeth rubbed against the clear glass, causing disgust to spread among those who saw its imprint hued on the glass. His ragged long brown-coat had white and yellow stains from the birds that frolicked outside of his place of living in the back alley of the bar, pooping on his dirty blanket. And most notably, his terribly wore-out green pants were ripping off slowly and severely on its outer corners, showing his hairy legs and sockless feet to all perceivers of its disorienting condition. Such an appearance was abhorrent, and he knew of this fact and resided on the far corner of the bar to escape the silent calumny from the people at the other end. However, Father Landry saw something different in the man; he was a potential soul to be reared in by the atoning blood of Christ and to be saved from the eternal fires of hell and the insidious realities of the world. He examined this man with great attentiveness, seeing his demeanor, posture, attitude, walk, gaunt, and interactions with other people and concluded through his pseudo-case-studies of the man that he was competent for discipleship. One day, Father Landry, preparing his cameo appearance, initiated the conversation with him under the low lights of the far corner of the bar.  

 

Father Landry: Excuse sir, may I join you for a moment.

 

The Man: What’s serves you coming here Pastor?

 

Father Landry: It is Father to be correct.

 

The Man: Same thing you hack! I know you promoters like to give each other fancy names.

 

Father Landry: It’s ok call me whatever pleases you; may I sit down with you however?

 

The Man: If you may. What brings you here to my humble vicinities?

 

Father Landry: I usually come down to invite people in our church down on Walnut Street by the over pass of the freeway

 

The Man: Oh yeah, that big building, I pass by there sometimes.

 

Father Landry: Yes I see you know the place

 

The Man: Somewhat, so what’s on your mind about me coming?

 

Father Landry: Well we are trying to start an outreach to the community to find more members for our church.

 

The Man: Huh, interesting, and you would like for me to come attend your church since I do not look or sound like you all. You want to “reform” me do you?

 

Father Landry: Certainly not. Through your own choice you can decide to come, I just want to extend a welcome to you in person.

 

The Man: Ok fine, why do you come to me instead of the rest of these people at the bar?

 

Father Landry: Because the Lord put it upon my heart to come to you. I know that you are not in a great place in your life

 

The Man immediately cuts him off

 

The Man: Who says I’m not in a great place in my life?!

 

Father Landry: I’m sorry I would suppose that you are seeing your condition.

 

At this point The Man gets angry and starts to raise his voice against Father Landry

 

The Man: Here I am drinking my beer and I have an amateur salesman trying to sell me his religion! Go sell it to someone more vulnerable than me.

 

Father Landry: I am not selling anything…..

 

The Man: Yes you are with your lying tongue. You sell me your religious ideals and I am not willing to buy them. And then you throw in the threat to send me to a burning fire if I refuse, and people are dumb enough to fall for the trick, ingenuous salesman tactics.

 

Father Landry: So I take it that you are not a believer:

 

The Man smiles curiously and responded with calculated languidness

 

The Man: That is correct

 

Father Landry: Have you ever thought about why we are in this world?

 

The Man: Plenty. We are here to tend to our primordial instincts and die when nature finds us useless.

 

Father Landry: Quite an ominous view of the world

 

The Man: You say so, but I see no other indication otherwise

 

Father Landry: You seem like a thinker, do you ever read books or journals.

 

The Man: I tried the school thing back in my 20s, but I figured it was a waste of cash to spend on a piece of paper, so I joined the army back when Nam erupted; I lost a couple of buddies in the jungles of that fucking desolation of a country, but nothing war wouldn’t do. But to answer your question, sure I read books.

 

Father Landry: I am sure you would figure that I represent a branch of religion that counters your analysis.

 

The Man: Yes Catholicism and your sweet virgins.

 

Father Landry: Partly, but yes I am apart of the Catholic Church. I want to have a dialogue with you about religion since you seem like a man with a developed mind. Do you wish to conversant with me?

 

The Man folded his arms and grinned at the Father with his gray beard covering over his thin lips and responded sarcastically.

 

The Man: Sure, I don’t see why not, nothing else to do in this night except drink a few gin and lounge until sunrise.

 

Father Landry looked nervously at his picture of his saints; his estimations of this man were not as accurate as he hoped, for the man displayed a modicum of intellect to combat his points with syllogisms of his own. Nonetheless, he prayed a soft prayer to himself and examined his watch to keep the time implanted in his memory to measure their conversation.

 

Father Landry: Now I do not want to directly bring up my religion or bible verses in this conversation but just reason, but if I find a point needed for more illustration I will bring up some points from my faith for explanation, is that fine with you?

 

The Man: Huh, sure, I guess you can bring your crucifix when needed to finally secure me for your sadistic religion. It ain’t happening by the way.  

 

Father Landry: Well, ok. First, I would like to say that the world is a complex organ that is too intricate to describe with just pure natural processes. When you see the plants, trees, flowers, stars, and animals, they are directed for a purpose, a purpose wired by someone outside of them. Do you believe that there is a purpose to things?

 

The Man: Why should I? I see things screwed up all the time, does mean they had a purpose to anything? I can fix a motorcycle into being used for something else other myself riding it as a motorcycle and if that does work, then I can fix it to something else. That’s the way I see it.

 

Father Landry: Fascinating point! I like the way you think but how about this fact to consider. If you change the motorcycle into something else, it is not a motorcycle anymore, it is a different object.  

 

The Man: That’s bullshit. I can use a knife to kill people instead of cutting things and it is still a knife. What’s your point?

 

Father Landry: Interesting. I am saying essentially that things are made for a purpose by the thing that they created them. If I were to make a knife, then I establish the purpose of the knife, not someone else. A person can use a knife to kill people, but the knife was intended to be use for cutting things. Do you see the point?

 

The Man: No not really. It still smells like bullshit to me.

 

Father Landry: Why?

 

The Man: Who gives a fuck that I or anyone else made the knife? I establish a purpose to something. Just because someone made the knife to cut things, doesn’t mean I should listen to their asses when I feel like killing people with it.

 

Father Landry: You killed before with a knife?

 

The Man: In Nam, what’s the big deal those yellow swine were easy to kill anyway, they died peacefully.

 

Father Landry: Huh, I see. Ok, let me move to my major point, I want to tell you this, that we all have a purpose in our lives. I know we may disagree but hear me on the fact. We all long for something in our lives, something grand and beautiful. We all try to save money to buy the latest cars and trucks for ourselves and for others to be fulfilled. But we never are. This is proof that we are made for something, and if we are made for something, then there was a being that placed this longing inside ourselves because nature is not personal like us, it is like a machine, and I would say that we are not machines and I hope you would agree. This being is good and merciful, one who cares about us and loves us unconditionally. What I am saying here is this, that we desire love and if we desire love, then this being must itself be our desire or have the desire since we find our origin in this being. So it is easy, we have a purpose and this being gives us a purpose to live the right way.

 

The Man: Such a big jump to this being of yours. Why should I believe that this being of yours exist when I see people here out on the streets that desire drugs and sex rather than love as you call it? What do you say to that?

 

Father Landry: Well we have a moral compass that is innate within us to guide us to the right actions. We would all agree that raping someone is wrong, and when we do it, we feel deeply hurt and bothered inside for either being apart or witnessing the act. Maybe those people that you see are not listening to their moral compass but it is surely inside of them innately.

 

 

The Man looked a little troubled by Father Landry’s reply and responded rapidly to counteract his point.

 

The Man: As you say Father. Judge us with your biblical text. Why don’t you ever come out and witness some of these people for yourself and see if your facts are correct? They do not live by a moral code that you hang over yourself, but just the blind and wild throngings of nature, and they act in the manner that their environment permits them.

 

Father Landry: I see that. But it does not excuse my point. These people are not living the right way because we all know right from wrong.

 

The Man: Really and why should I be good when I need to eat? No man in these streets will give me food without either a condition or just pity for a slouch like me. My stomach tells me what is right or wrong, not some ancient book.

 

Father Landry: I know, but if you do not follow what is right, you will fall into more trouble and the world could not change, would you like to live in a chaotic world?

 

The Man: I am living in one right now. Come to my residence and I will show you the rats and bugs that steal my food or the young punks that give me soar looks and try to attack me in my sleep. Why should I act correctly when these idiots aren’t willing to?

 

Father Landry: I understand your concern. But to act correctly is to be bigger than your surroundings. What do you think the meaning of life is?

 

The Man: Ha-ha! the meaning of life, there is no meaning! All is permitted under this crazy world as far as I can tell. You have mothers killing their daughters and daughters killing their mothers, the rich taking greedily from the poor, the poor killing the rich on their own whim of anger. And all the while we the poor are the spectators of the well-to-do and blessed; we watch with jaundice eyes their opulent lifestyle and wish mightily that we had their items. I should know all of this; I participate in this nonsensical world every day of my life, many times against my will. But the rage of hunger, sex, and death compel me to continue on, without any good reason to continue, but like a fool I participate in this world, though wounded and brutally hungry all the days of my life, and yet I have no idea why I do what I do nor do I care to know anymore. I just act and let nature stir me as she does. Tell me philosopher, where is the meaning of all of this? I find none.

 

Father Landry: You may feel this is the way the world is, but there is another way, a way that is not tied to this world, that aims to establish order and not disorder.

 

The Man: Tell that to the Egyptians and the Romans. They did crazy shit to their people and fought in wars where people died and suffered. In the books that I have read from those ancient historians, there were wars going on all of the time and massive slaughter of their enemies should they provoke them into battle. And you expect me to believe your idea? Don’t bullshit me Father.

 

Father Landry: Yes I see. Well there is an explanation of that and I hate to bring it up but the Christian worldview has one it is……

 

The Man: Yeah that original sin stuff you all preach.

 

Father Landry: Why yes, you must know about it then.

 

The Man: I learned it when I was in Catholic school, I never believed it but I thought it was a nice try.

 

Father Landry: May I ask why you don’t believe it?

 

The Man: Well first of all, it is bullshit. You say that we all inherited this sin business then why aren’t we all in hell? Aren’t we all supposed to suffer instead of a few lucky fellows who escape the wrath of God?

 

Father Landry: That is an extremely interesting point. The famous problem of evil, it is the problem that sought to disprove God.

 

The Man: What’s so famous about it?

 

Father Landry: It is a problem that tries to explain away the impossibility of God, who is the creator of the world and is all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful and evil in the world together.

 

The Man: Oh ok, that seems interesting; no wonder it’s a famous problem. I see no solution.

 

Father Landry: Really? You have not even examined the argument, how do you know there is no solution?

 

The Man: Well it is easy. You say that your God is all loving but there is evil in the world. And I take it that God controls everything in the world. Why can’t he do something to change the world? He has the power but he does nothing.

 

Father Landry: It goes back to the Original Sin doctrine. According to Christianity, man fell away from God when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. And through their sin, mankind fell into sin and became deprived of God’s grace. So it is precisely through man’s free will that causes suffering and not God.

 

The Man: That’s funny. Blame it on man. So that is your grand reason why there is suffering in the world?

 

Father Landry: Yes it is.

 

The Man: I don’t buy it. Why are some people healthy and others unhealthy? We all sinned; everyone should be suffering the same.

 

Father Landry: But you see, God is not the ruler of this world, sin rules the world. We need not point the blame to God but to sin itself.

 

The Man: Ok philosopher. What about babies? Do babies sin?

 

Father Landry: No because they have no knowledge of sin.

 

The Man: Then why do babies deserve to die? I saw a new-born baby die just three days ago when her mother threw her from the fifth story window for crying too much. Did that baby have it coming?

 

Father Landry: Of course not! God can try to intervene but some people are stubborn enough to not take heed to God’s will. And it is not surprising to hear of this since we live in a fallen world.

 

The Man: I think you are full of shit. You just said that people that sin causes suffering but babies do not sin. Why should babies suffer if they don’t sin?

 

Father Landry: I said that God cannot control the will of people. If he stops someone from not sinning, he debasing their free will and no one could ever commit a moral act or be subject to moral responsibility. So free will must be there to ensure that man is accountable for sin.

 

The Man: I see your point. But there is still one thing I want to share with you. When I walk across town, I see families that have it all, rich cars, nice homes, and all the joy and happiness in the world. But when I go back to my side of town, I see crime, pain, violence all around me. Why it is that these rich families have a good time in life while we losers subsist along in this miserable existence?

 

Father Landry: Well I would tell you that you all are not losers, but are precious human beings with intrinsic worth. To answer your question, the best answer that I can give is that God recognizes this disparity. Jesus many times in the Gospels mentioned this fact and told his disciples that he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Rich people are no better than the poor but all are equal in God’s eyes. The world may say otherwise but the holy scriptures teach differently.

 

The Man: What do you want me to do with that? You know I had a buddy who used to sleep a couple of feet over from my place and he tried the God thing. He became a Christian and started to attend church. He would tell me all of the things he was going to do to change his life. He was going to stop smoking, drinking and even cursing. But after a while, he started to get frustrated because he would pray at night and nothing would happen. He prayed to get out of the streets and get an education, but it never happened. Six months he tried it and he realized it was a waste. He started stealing from stores and people, and he saw that using his hands was more useful than using his knees. And ever since then, he has been stealing to survive in these streets.

 

Father Landry: All I can tell you is that I am very sorry your friend did not receive what he was looking for. But I want to stress one virtue that needs to be addressed: patience. I do not wish to judge him, but if he just held on long enough, then God would have broke through. Saint Paul wrote in the Bible of that the moments that seemed impossible when God came through. When he least expected God to show up in his life. We cannot set expectations on God; we must conform to God’s ways. If I were to meet your friend, I would tell him to just hold on long enough and God will see you through.

 

The Man: Well that still doesn’t satisfy me. I know many religious folks like him that lost their faith when they prayed long enough and saw no results. I am not going to take my chances on a God like that who comes whenever he damn wants when I need to survive on these streets. Times get hard and stealing and robbing becomes the only real option. When your God can give us Manna from the sky like he did the Jews, we wouldn’t need to steal or rob for food.

 

Father Landry: But God does work miracles but in mysterious ways. As I said, we cannot expect God to do something for us when we expect it. We must be patient.

 

The Man: Be patient huh. I remember back in the eighties there was the famines in East Africa, and they are some of the most religious people in the world. I saw images of babies dying on the dried up breast of their mothers. I saw human skeletons looking into the cameras with their large eyeballs piercing through the picture of the photographs on the front page of the Huffington newspaper. And all of this time God does not send down food from heaven or stop the famines on its track. What about these natural disasters? What does God have to say to that?

 

Father Landry: All I have to say is it goes to show that God has his ways and we cannot know them. But there is always a greater good in everything that we do. If we trust God, he will show us the greater good every time.

 

The Man: What greater good? Babies dying? Families losing their lives from a hurricane? People dying from tornadoes? Where is the greater good in that?
 

Father Landry: As I said I do not know why God allows for this evil to go on. But I know that he has his ways and we must follow his ways since they are greater than our ways.

 

The Man: That is bullshit. You mean to tell me that you don’t know what the greater good is in these famines? Why the fuck should I believe in your God if he believes that killing babies and families would bring a greater good? Is this a joke or what?

 

Father Landry: God has his sovereignty and he has his ways. Now you can scoff at this point, but I believe this fact because I have experienced God myself.

 

The Man: And I am supposed to believe your story? How much bullshit are you feeding me? If there are less people to experience the greater good, does not that make the greater good less valuable?

 

Father Landry: What do you mean?

 

The Man: If a million people die from a flood in India and God had it as a greater good for something, this means he uses people’s lives for the greater good and that means their lives are arbitrary to God’s wishes. And that immediately makes the greater good less valuable because there are less people to experience it since those people are dead as well as others.

 

Father Landry: No, he does not cause the evil but merely permits it. Man does evil, but God uses it in spite of man for man. The people dying in India spells out the fact that God can use this pain for a good that transcends man’s minds.

 

The Man: How can a man cause a hurricane? That happens in nature and nature is not man.

 

Father Landry: Yes that is true. But I said that this followed from God not controlling the world, sin controls the world. So sometimes these things come as a result of circumstances foreign to God.

 

The Man: Well these Africans prayed for God to come save them but he didn’t, he let them die in disappointment. If they used their free will to allow God to change the circumstances of their situation then why did he allow for them to die?

 

Father Landry: The only thing that I can say is that there is a meaning to why everything happens to us. And God had a plan for them in his own way.

 

The Man: Bullshit Bullshit Bullshit! You have no answer. You think there is a meaning but there isn’t. How can you explain the natural killing of a people who believed in this God and prayed for him to save them and he did nothing? And you mean to tell me that he has a “plan” for them? No, he has a plan for the people who live comfortable lives and have perfect health, not the ones who live in agony and pain all their lives from a disease that prematurely kills them and robs them of their life. You cannot convince me that your God exist when I see all of this pain in the world and no justice.

 

Father Landry: It is only by God that we have justice! Man cannot save himself, he needs a savior. Don’t you see my friend? All of the terrible things that go on in the world, the treachery that people devise to steal, loot, rob, kill, and destroy, all of the things they deem worth partaking in? They are without a moral compass to reprove them of their woeful actions. And man needs to be directed towards good and not evil. We all need to be saved from ourselves, not man running away from God.

 

The Man: Tell that to the person with a birth defect or a person sick with a terminal illness. Tell that to a mother who lost their new-born child and mourns incessantly to their memory. Tell that to a person who is starving in Asia and Africa and has no other option for their lives but to die hungry and tired of their putrid existence. We sufferers suffer alone because that is exactly how the world treats us, as objects that do not exist. You try to look over our pain by suggesting that there is a way out when there is not. I have searched and tried to find this way but I found absolutely nothing.

 

Father Landry: All you have to do is wait on God and all will be amended.

 

The Man: No I don’t think so. People who suffer premature deaths or death by terminal illness caused by genetics are things they cannot wait to be cured of because they are dead. These people end up dying in the end. So God answers the prayers of dead people?

 

Father Landry: Look, all I can say is that there is a greater good and that God can cure all things to those who are patient for him.

 

The Man: I’m going to take it that you are going off on your bullshit so I will interject by saying this. I know the game you are playing and I am not amused. You want to counteract what I am saying by using theology to support your position. But Theology is nonsense and I simply don’t believe it. Why are there people who are blessed from God and those who are not blessed from God?

 

Father Landry: Blessed how?

 

The Man: Blessed meaning health and happiness. Some people have it while others don’t.

 

Father Landry: Blessings only come from God, and God blesses people in various ways. So people who are sick and yet know God still find themselves blessed.

 

The Man: I beg to differ; I see lots of jackasses blessed. And most of the people that I have seen who were believers were not blessed, that is for damn sure.

 

Father Landry: God did not bless those people you refer to as “jackasses”, they received their gifts from another source-- the Devil to be exact-- but it is only for a short time, this life does not last forever, they will reap what they sow.  

 

The Man: It seems like this Devil is really generous then because these bastards have everything and don’t have to worry about anything. This God of yours has some real competition with this Devil; I hope he can compete because the Devil is apparently winning!

 

At this point Father Landry was getting visibly irritated. How could endure such a blasphemy as the Devil blessing people? He thought this was such a ludicrous statement that it had to be reproved and corrected immediately. He calmly placed his heads towards the man and leaned over to him to tell him an ominous and somewhat portent message.

 

Father Landry: Well, my friend, all I can tell you is that health and happiness only comes from God. It cannot come from man. You can search widely and experience the pleasant and rapturous depths of every village, river, mountain, island, space, planet, and even ponderous ideas of the unknown, but it all leads back to our savior Jesus Christ, who was scourged by the dreadful Romans and tortured for the fate that was only justified upon us to suffer and die for our penurious sins against an all-Holy God. You see, all of what you are describing is God showing the world his presence, you can see the wrongs of the world and conceive of the idea of good and evil and delineate it with the raw faculties of your mind and aim towards the good and resist evil. All men are not born morbidly feral to the instincts of nature and the encapsulating features of the underworld that pervade the innocuous state of man to be transformed into wild beasts that roam around to kill and destroy. We were not made for that activity, for destruction does not lead to happiness but to death, and death without God has no happiness because only happiness can be found in God. My dear friend, see to it that God loves you, and that he has a plan for your life. If you can just come like a child to the kingdom of Heaven and release your anger that has been tightly knitted by the circumstances of the world, then you will see that the truth is among us, among all of us, and its voice is near and widely spoken into all of our hearts. You may not hear it, but I hear it, and when I pray, I hear its voice constantly! It calls for me to amend my ways for the kingdom of God and to rescue souls that are prone to entering the deepest depths of interminable Hell-Fire and from Satan and his caliginous minions who only wish to make prisoners of the people who fall for their evil tricks and as a consequence descend down into hell when God finally incurs his wrath upon the world. It will not be a pleasant day my friend and we should not be fooled by our deft tricks of our rationalization of evil that beleaguers us and chokes the spirit of God out of us. Join me my friend! The time will come when we shall transport back into the feeble dust that we are and all will be lost into the eternity of the past! You cannot change courses then, time take no emendations on anyone’s behalf, for just as steel door of a prison is permanently sealed without the keys to open it, so will the immutable chains of eternity be sealed without the present and future intervening to change what has been set! Turn from your sin my dear and precious friend and accept God in your life! He loves you and died for you and waits by the door of your heart and knocks patiently everyday of your precious life for you to come to him as a chasten bride comes to her bridegroom, to be in the arms of love forever into eternity. Please accept my friend!

 

At this point Father Landry was getting desperate, he didn’t want to lose this man’s fancy, and he needed to hold him longer to convince him of this truth. But The Man was obdurate and would not listen. He sat throughout the whole soliloquy laughing softly to himself. He desired to be alone at this point since Father Landry was annoying him with his preaching. The Man finally came out of the retirement of his silence and began to speak.

 

The Man: You have done well Father, you have stricken upon my mind the validity of a theory that I have forged in my own days in this world, that the poor have no voice and that their voice has been taken from them by the pretentious bastards that try to soften their pain by emotional babblings of theological nonsense. You say that I should hearken to your call to escape the wrath of God and try to remit my sins to be saved by your God. Oh what mythical tales and endless drivel you tell me! I have crossed these streets for years and have seen the carnage placed upon the innocent and guilty alike. No man is special! All are doomed under the edicts of destruction set by the arbitrary natures of man and this world, it is either to be a predator or be a prey, and to escape the world can only mean for weak and feeble to be utterly destroyed in order to promote the longevity of the strong and powerful. I prove this by my own surveillance of the animal kingdom through books, where a lion kills and thrashes their prey without mercy, without compassion, without foresight to conjure up the emotions of empathy and justice, but only through the law of their stomachs and the great struggle of existence do they go about killing. The same goes for man and his animalistic nature when he sees the weak among him, they rob and steal from all who are weak and vulnerable and the weak show no resistance to their barbarism, and they suffer greatly for no reason other than being alive and an easy and weak target. Am I to believe your calls to accept your God when I witness all of these things? When I see the people I knew before plagued with terrible diseases and die alone without family or loved ones to see them go? Only to be found by the ambulance and then thrown into a list of unknown dead persons and forgotten forever by all who care to know them? Where is your God when a boy gets cancer and dies in his mother’s arms, what was his crime, what was his sin?! What was the crime of a baby who died prematurely? Are they to go to heaven, and if so, why place them in this hell-hole in the first place and let us thereby kill all the babies of the world so they can enter into heaven? I tell you Father; we all know life is nothing but a sick joke; it is engineered by those who wish to create a story that will be remembered by all those who have a great imagination of the unknown. But we all know these as stories and nothing but stories; we cannot seriously go on convincing ourselves about the supposed truth of these stories when we witness before our eyes the pain shone in the faces of all who suffer in this terrible and cruel world. There was no talking snake in the garden, there was no talking donkey or a man swallowed up by a whale, all of these stories only draw their parallels from the grand design of the religious edifice to soften the fear of the unknown and the cruelty found in existence. I am no philosopher, but I have read and thought deeply into these things as I know how, and I am no man who wishes to stay any longer with you promoting stories that do nothing but condemn and criticize people as they are in this world. Save your stories for someone else, I cannot believe your stories. They are all myths, and I do not care for myths, I have no time for them. If I were your God, I would cry for this stupid world that I have made, and would have made provisions to heal the poor and weak instead of watching them die in agony and despair. And that is life in all of ugliness for you.

 

At this point the Father was in shock by what he heard; the man’s eloquence startled him. He spoke in a different more poetic tone then he had before, he had no counter-argument to raise against his points, all of them were convincing and hard to create a rejoinder against them, causing him to worry about his own position within the dialogue. He knew his victory was lost and scrambled to leave without incurring the blows wrought by the mind of the poor peculiar man by the bar. Father Landry extended his hands to the man and sought to conduct an armistice with him. Father Landry speaks with him morbidly.

 

Father Landry: I am very sorry to hear that we could not go any further than we had tonight. You’re points are good and I respect your erudition. I can only pray for you and wish you well for all of your days, I must go, my presence would only cause a rupture between the good relations we have made with each other, until we meet again my dear friend.

 

The Man: Well you tried, but your bullshit couldn’t convince me otherwise. I have seen too much for you to pull me into your little fairy land of righteousness and justice in your God. I see him nowhere and in the seventy-seven years of my life, I have never seen this God figure of yours. The weak will die and the strong will live, that is the matrix of life. And you and I cannot change this, so accept the validity of this statement and move on.

 

Father Landry: I see, I will be praying fervently for you my dear friend, for you to see the other side to things, I will leave you now.

 

The Man: I got nothing else to say to you. You can pray all you want I’m sure your God isn’t listening.

 

At this point Father Landry picked up his black leather-bound bible and left The Man to drink on without anymore interruptions. The Man watched the Father leave and scoffed to himself about the utter ignorance the Father had for him. Ignorance is bliss for some, but for others, it is the ailment that causes greater ills to transpire, so was his thought. But when thinking all of this, Father Landry’s arguments still stayed with him, even after him entering into the event horizon of drunkenness. After a couple of hours the bar was empty and he was all alone. The bar tender accosted him that the bar was about to close and that he had to leave immediately. The Man was droopy in his speech and sloth in taking heeds to the commands of the bar-tender. The alcohol impaired his conscious state and it left him completely debilitated in movement and in action. Seeing this, the bar-tender yelled a command at him to leave immediately, but The Man did not listen. The bar-tender carried his lissome body towards the entrance of the bar and dropped him by the benches of the bus stop as he proceeded to enter his car to go home. All was dark and no light comforted him to discern the noises that surrounded him. He was too drunk to be fearful, but he was still aware of the creeping noises that beleaguered him. At this, The Man thought quietly to himself about the useless state that he was in, drunk and alone at four a.m. in the downtown district of the roughest part of town. He thought about the statements of Father Landry and started to implicitly agree with them. But he couldn’t familiarize himself to the exact words of Father Landry’s statements but only their impressions. The Man eventually became too tired to think and reason even in the subterranean state of drunkenness, he fell asleep thinking of the statements of Father Landry to soothe his mind with the assurance that there was some truth to them. The next day, he woke up and his wallet was stolen.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: November 07, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Deacon Lewis . All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Other Short Stories

Other Content by Deacon Lewis