“So, what do you like to do?”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you do? After work, when you’re not here?”
Am I here now?
“I don’t know, I just kind of keep to myself. I spend some time at the bar down by my place. It’s a pretty cool place, some weird locals, and the bartender is nuts. But other than that, it’s pretty mellow.”
“You live down off East Fellow’s, right?”
“Umm, yeah, how did you know that?”
“Come on, it’s a small town, and people talk. I just remember hearing that you lived down there. Relax, I’m not stalking or anything.”
“No, no, that’s not what I meant. I know you’re not stalking me. I was just wondering how you knew, that’s all.”
“I don’t know, I just know. You know how it is, you hear things, you remember things . . . that’s all.”
“Yeah, that’s cool. It’s alright. But yeah, I live down there.”
“I think I’ve seen that bar, I’ve never been in there, just driven by. Looks like a nice enough place.”
“Yeah, it’s alright. Like I said, it’s pretty mellow. I like to go there once in awhile.”
“Are you gonna be there tonight?”
“Uhh, probably. Yeah, I think so. I’ll probably make it down there eventually. What is today?”
“Well yeah, I usually go there on Thursday’s. Gotta celebrate, it’s almost Friday.”
“Well, maybe I’ll see you there. I like new places, maybe I’ll stop by.”
“Yeah, maybe. We’ll hang out, I’ll buy you a drink. No talk about work though.”
“Shit brother, it’s local’s only tonight! Fuck yeah!”
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s the local’s bitch, that’s what I’m talking about. Local’s only . . . only the local’s.”
“Man, that’s all that’s ever in here is the locals. Who the fuck else would come in here?”
“Oh shit my man, haven’t you heard?”
“Tonight, is the first night of the rest of our lives.”
“What do you mean?”
“Yeah . . . tonight . . .”
“That’s right brother. Tonight. Dancing girls.”
“Oh man, no shit, he actually went through with that shit?”
“Oh fuck yeah. It’s the birth of a new era and you and I my friend, have a front seat to the revolution.”
“Revolution? Are you fucking serious? It’s just some girls dancing. You do know they aren’t taking their clothes off, right?”
“Shit . . . maybe not for you. Just wait and see what I can get these girls to do. It’s gonna be sick.”
“Dude, they don’t even have a DJ in this place. There’s the fucking jukebox over there and Kenny’s fucking iPod he wears when he’s cleaning the shitter. Half the time you cheap bastards don’t even put any money in the jukebox, so what are the girls gonna be dancing to? “
“FUCKK! Why are you trying to kill this for me? Man, this is some of the best shit to happen to me in awhile, why are you tryin’ to bring me down? You fucking gay or what? You don’t like dancing girls?”
“Man, I’m not gay or anything, I’m just not a fucking pervert or anything. I don’t need to watch girls while I drink, that’s all. Jesus Christ.”
“Oh, that’s it. You just crossed a line right there my friend.”
“I don’t like when people say that.”
“You know what.”
“No . . . what?’
“The lord. Unless you’re begging for the forgiveness of your worthless shit stained soul, don’t even think about speaking his name.”
We stare at each other for a moment.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“Your damn right, I won’t sit and listen to ANYBODY talk blasphemy about our savior.”
“Alright, let me take a moment to wrap my mind around this new turn of events. Let’s go over a few things here and make sure we’re both on the same page, o.k.?”
“Yeah brother, shoot.”
“So, you get offended if someone says Jesus Christ . . .”
“Mother fucker, there you go again. I’m fuckin’ serious here, say that shit one more time and I’m takin’ you outside. Just try me, go ahead, say it again, see what happens.”
“Alright, calm the fuck down, I’m just trying to figure a couple things out here. Be patient with me.”
“Go on. But don’t say that shit again, I mean it.”
“Where was I? Oh yeah, you don’t like when people take the lord’s name in vain, I can understand that. I respect that. But where I get a little hung up is that you are one of the most racist, offensive, disrespectful, alcoholic, womanizing pricks I have ever met. Some of the shit I’ve seen you do has shocked even me. And it takes a lot to shock me my friend. So is this whole religion thing something new with you or have you always been this way?”
He sets his drink down.
“I was fortunate enough to find the lord at a very early age. I have my mother to thank for that. I hear what you are saying, and I know and accept that I am a sinner. As a matter of fact, I’m just about the lowest of the low. But that my friend is exactly the type of people Jesus is here for. He’s here for you too, if you will accept him.”
Silence. I just stare at my drink.
“Brother, we’re all fuck ups. When the moment comes, we have to hope we have the strength to do the right thing and if we don’t, we need to pray for forgiveness and hope we can find the strength the next time around. It’s not all about being good, it’s about having faith and believing in something.”
“Alright man, I’m sorry but this is just too much for me right now. You’re stepping in an area I’m not wanting to go to right now.”
“He’s here for you.”
So am I.
I’ve been wondering where you were.
Waiting for what?
Are you sure?
Do you remember?
Is this real?
Remember . . .