I ought not be mean to the overtly religious, I know this. At worst, I should treat them with the same sort of apathy and indifference given to the drunk panhandlers and beggars that plague the night shift when I go into town for caffeine, which in and of itself is a religion, or at least a very serious philosophy. With caffeine, all things are possible, yea.
Bitchy. That’s the word, no matter how I try to thesaurus my way out of this, the plain truth is I woke up Sunday morning bitchy as hell. I tried to stay up all night to keep my internal clock right for night work, and I managed to stay up until three. The puppy Lucas woke me up near dawn because he’s a Dropper (later, I promise) and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I hate eating fast food, and breakfast is the worst, but I didn’t feel like cooking and I had a coupon that I got in the mail. Yes, using coupons that come in the mail only encourages that sort of behavior, but I didn’t feel like cooking, okay?
The fast food place, I cannot bring myself to call it a restaurant, wasn’t busy and I thought I could be in and out of there in nothing flat. Neeka was there. Neeka is a young mother of two who also works the grocery store as a cashier. Two dead end jobs and Neeka is growing up fast and growing up faster, but she is competent and outwardly friendly. She takes my order, and my money, and that’s when Church Man shows up. Church Man got a gazillion biscuits for his church, and we know this because he kept repeating it, and he thinks he got shorted. So Neeka and Church Man are going through the three bags of cheap fast food breakfast biscuits, and I tell her I’m going to have a seat, wave when my order is ready, please, thank you.
Bitchy. I’m three quarters tempted just to walk out, go home, cook breakfast, and get my money back some other day. But Neeka might feel bad, and it irritates me I’ve gotten myself trapped in this… Church Man is talking loud on his cell phone, and someone from the church just called him and they need more biscuits, you know, if there is a god, then there was something cosmic here because they had just determined the order was right, and he was about to leave. Instead he has to wait, he blames Neeka for this, and reason defied, Church Man comes and sits at the table with me. No hi how are you may I sit with you, oh hell no, he says with a word of warning, “Do you know God’s plan for you?” and he starts digging a business card out of his wallet.
“Yes, I do know God’s plan for me.” I reply. Church Man pulls the card out but he has to stop. Oh, I just totally ruined everything, didn’t I? Church Man looks me in the eye with that, “I’ve got on nice clothes so you’re subservient to me” look. I look at him with that, “My new puppy keeps me awake, I work nights and I’m bitchy” look. He smiles. I do not. Finally, because he brought it up, he’s forced to ask, “So what do you THINK God’s plan for you is?” I do not have on nice clothes on a Sunday morning so what in the hell would I know about God’s plan, but the overtly religious have this game they must play. I’ve taken on the mantle of the knower of God’s Plan. Church Man must pay homage to that concept, even though it irritates the hell out of him.
“After the Rapture, God wants me to hunt to everyone left who ever proselytized to me, and cut their head off with a knife, one cubic long.”
Church Man stops smiling.
This is a man who is accustomed to things going his way. He glares at me. It’s the same glare that works so well with cashiers who he thinks are morons, and other church members who dare to argue with him about what color carpet they’re getting next year. I reach for his card and he suddenly realizes I just might be serious. I can see it in his face. He has a business to run; he cannot have some damn religious fanatic in his church.
“Uh, let me check on my order.” Church Man gets up and heads back to the counter. Neeka has been watching this, and she’s trying not to laugh. She has no idea what I’ve done, but she knows I’ve done something to him. Church Man collects his bags without counting or saying a word.
I go up to the counter and Neeka hands me a bag. “That man just left without his last three biscuits, wanna take’em home to your dogs?”
Bitchy. I’m a little less so now.