Preacher holding a cigarette carton, reads:
"Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health."
Preacher moves the carton down and says to his congregation:
"This is printed on all cigarette cartons sold in America. The General has determined that smoking is dangerous - that it does enough harm to your body to kill you. The same could be said of any drugs. And yet, we use and consume all manners of things that are harmful to us. It has even been suggested by some scientists that sex is harmful and could trigger heart attacks for some people. Will the Surgeon General destroy us if we smoke? No! We have a free will to do what we wish. Hopefully, we do constructive things as much as possible.
God is the big Surgeon General in the sky. Some of us are told that if we don't do what He tells us to do, He'd Zap us. Will God destroy us if we do something wrong - something physically or spiritually? No! We have a free will to do what we wish in the course of our growth towards Him. God is a good gardener. Everything He makes is perfect."
LONG PAUSE. Preacher:
"Where are you all going?"
"I'm depressed." said Clarence. He sat back in the booth and folded his arms. He looked at her and transformed the answer into a question with his eyes. "Oh, so you're finally figuring that out, huh?", she chuckled. Esa slid the leg from under her to assume a more lady-like position. The iced coffee she ordered turned out to be iced tea. She drank it because the waitress was nice. "Why?", he asked. "Because you don't like L.A. - you'd rather be here, in Santa Barbara, because you're not playing enough ‘cello, of course I'm not either, and because you don't have a girlfriend." she said.
"But I shouldn't be depressed because of that. I've been without a woman before. Besides, now there is Jean in Palo Alto.", he said. "Yea, but that sounds like an impossible situation." He looked at her, reflected on her wisdom, paused for a sip, and said, "Yes, you're right. That helps
a good depression along."
They watched the waitress pass together. "I can't live here because I have before. You're right. I don't like L.A. It's getting better but I haven't decided, nor can I afford to go, the place for me to be. I'm not worried about a job." He paused to listen to what he had said. "You can ignore the last few sentences. I mean I'm getting used to it in spite of myself - meeting more people. And it doesn’t matter if I'm in New York or Seattle, or anywhere in between. So it's not that. I just feel that something's missing. I need to be close to someone."
Esa turned towards him and leaned her elbow on the table. As she cleared the hair from her eyes, her head rose towards the ceiling and dropped back to him in a slow, sweeping circle. "She's going to talk to me out of the corner of her mouth. She always tells me secrets that way.", he thought.
"Take me, for instance.", she said. Her eyes fixed on him. "I've been single for a year and twenty months now." "What?" "I've been single for a year and twenty months." What do you mean? I don't understand.", he said. She repeated very slowly, hanging on each word, magnifying every nuance. “I've been single for one year and twenty more months. You see, ever since I broke up with Jamie I haven't been with a man except for some times with you. I've been lonely also. I've been thinking about being involved with someone. I can handle that now. I couldn't when we were together. You have had other women, so you haven't been at this as long as me. So I think
that for the future I'd like not to sleep with you. You understand? I need to do this now."
'WHAT!' flashed across Clarence's mind like a neon sign. “WARNING. WARNING. ABANDON SHIP! He saw little people jumping over the side as he struggled to remain afloat. The trumpet section in his head played the hurried "OH SHIT!" fanfare (the flying moneys theme from the Wizard of Oz movie).
The wind was gone from his sails a long time before. Every once in a while, after a long day of duets and records and Kahlua, she would climb aboard and gently fill them for a while. Then he'd drift for a few months, navigating in deep currents, sometimes running aground, sometimes taking other passengers, sometimes running alongside others.
There was a time when his sails were filled with her. A year and twenty months ago she began her infrequent visits. Most times she'd just stand at the helm. Sometimes she'd sail for an evening. He loved everything about her - the warmth of her touch, the subtleness of her caress. He assumed she was going to other ships. That was alright. They were comfortable together. The weather is often cruel.
In all the time he knew her, he didn't know that about her. He felt an oppressive sadness - a pitiful and deep longing for her. He didn't sink, but came to a dead stop.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!