Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chasing Salvation

Earlier that day...








On the day the Elvis impersonators came to town it was sunny, just the way it almost always is in this part of New Mexico. There was a slight whiff of dairy cow manure coming in on the breeze, the kind of odor that the old timers say is the "smell of money." There were long sideburns everywhere, there were buckled boots, and there were those little jewels stuck onto shirts, just like the kind I used to have on my childhood six-shooter holsters.

On the day the Elvis impersonators came to town, Miz Teeny, the large shining purple-black lady who lived in the tiny apartment raising all the coffee-colored grandchildren that her daughters couldn't be bothered with, looked out her window to see something that almost made her drop the littlest one, the one she'd just scooped up to nuzzle and change the diapers of.

On the day the Elvis impersonators came to town, Mr. Jimmy, the guy that everyone figured was dealing drugs although they doubted he was really smart enough to make change, the guy that kept that poor old boxer dog chained up in the cement yard like a mental patient, happened to look at the window across the street and catch the expression on Miz Teeny's face, which made him slowly turn his head to look down the road to see what was going on.

On that very day, a small purple Gremlin (the car, not the creature) passed down the road for the third time that morning, playing loud Jesus music with the driver exhorting everyone by way of a rooftop loudspeaker to get saved down at the revival tent that evening. And chasing behind that Gremlin, trailed by little gremlins of her own, was the nice lady who lived alone in the house with all the plants and cats; the kindhearted and sweet lady who had finally, finally snapped.

2 comments:

Jean said...

Ah yes, the sweet kindhearted lady. I saw her too, running down the street making that crude guido arm gesture. Perhaps if a Freemason who was schooled in the secret Masonic "Grand Hailing Signs Of Distress" had happened upon this perplexing scene, he might have been able to interpret her crude gestures on a deeper level. Perhaps he might have stepped forward and asked:

"Excuse me ma'am, are you in some sort of distress?"

Perhaps she might have responded:

"Now that you mention it, I suppose I must be if I'm running down the street chasing gremlins. Thank you for noticing."

"My pleasure, ma'am. Is there anything I can do to help?"

"Why yes there is, thank you. First you can purloin the spiritual sparkplugs from out of the PreachMobile and then you can find me a decent shrink in this little town... if you don't mind."

"Consider it done."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome. By the way, are you married? May I give you some literature for your husband about the Freemasons? Perhaps he might be interested in joining. You know, we have a world view that he - and you too - might find enlightening."

"Deep sigh....... Is everyone around here selling some kind of salvation?"

"Pardon me, ma'am? Ma'am???? Come back, ma'am."

On that day, the kindly Freemason watched as an arthritic streak of crazy disappeared down the street.

Miss Teeny and Jimmy exchanged a look that might have been interpreted by the kindly Freemason as the secret Masonic "Grand Expression Of Fascination".

Sylvia K said...

You have a way of getting a smile out of me even when I wake up grumpy! Thanks!