Ah, we, the innocent.We, the ignorant.We the selfish, sullen slobs that know no further than the edge of our own stubby noses.What god protects those who are forsaken by all others?
The city of Merrimac had ever known of the existence of Thomas Taylor, but chose to forget him.Thomas was a slow man.His words stumbled and fell out of his mouth and his clothes always fit too big or too small.He carried a walkman and listened to the only tape he had over and over again as he aimlessly walked the streets of the town.People would stop and stare, but he seemed to pay them no mind.There was no self-conscience about Thomas Taylor.To say that he felt at ease would be wrong as there is a balance to a mind at ease.This mind considers its opposite, the darker discontent, and Thomas Taylor had no concept of either of these.He only walked and listened.All week long, in fact, until Sunday when he would wander to the door of the church and pull his thinning hair down to one side before pushing open the great wooden doors and making his way to the very back pew.Thomas sat and listened to the man upon the wooden pulpit talk about love and kindness of neighbors and every beautiful thing that Thomas could imagine and he believed it as hard as anyone has ever done.It was his one pleasant hour before the wandering began again.And the listening.Always the listening.
It was this wandering that led him to the Merrimac mall one afternoon, passing by the glassy store fronts towards the fountain at the center of the mall.A great crowd gathered around the fountain as a young man in a bright white suit pointed and yelled and jumped up and down from the edge of the fountain.Thomas drew closer to the scene, drawn by familiar faces and the fantastic antics of the peculiar man.He stopped at the edge of the crowd and watched as the man pointed angrily at the crowd and slapped a black book he held vigorously.Suddenly, the white-suit man pointed at him.
“You,” yelled the man, “you are another one.What kind of devil sounds are you letting infest your ears?What kind of pollution are you allowing to seep into your brain?”
The white-suit veered into the crowd and it parted towards Thomas who quivered under the gaze of his predator.He lunged towards Thomas and ripped the ear phones away from his head.
“This is the problem,” said the man, “This is the godlessness that has squatted squarely in the minds of his people.This filth, this incoherent mess of babble is SIN.”
The last word rolled off the man’s tongue with a sour distaste.
“You!” said the man, pointing squarely at Thomas, “You are bound for hell with this SIN in tow.”
The white-suit turned back towards the fountain and continued his ranting and jumping as Thomas fell away from the crowd.He stumbled out of the mall and through the streets as tears streamed down his face.There was no help from hell as he knew it.Thomas worried himself up and down the streets.There was no solution.And so he threw himself in front of a line of traffic to let god take his final judgment.
Ah, we, the innocent.We, the ignorant.We the selfish, sullen slobs that know no further than the edge of our own stubby noses.What god protects those who are forsaken by all others?Thus the tale of Thomas Taylor, a simple man cursed by the fear of god.