Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hear No Evil

I hadn't really been paying much attention to the man. In order to be heard above the quiet drone of traffic, meandering tourists and other pedestrians, he'd raised his voice, but he wasn't even quite shouting, let alone near the top of his lungs. He was dressed in a clean t-shirt, with religious slogans front and back. He wasn't quite White, but wasn't clearly of any other recognizable ethnicity. Two confederates were stationed nearby, each with a sign as large as bedroom door, busy with text.

His sort was down by Westlake every time I'd been there, and today, he was perched upon something (I never did bother to find out what) on a corner, haranguing passerby with stern warnings that they would burn in Hell, unless they stopped what they were doing and made Jesus Christ their personal Lord a Savior that very moment. In addition to the stick, he held out the carrot that God would free them from all wrongful sexuality - adultery, fornication, homosexuality, et cetera. (Although somehow, if I had to chose whether this particular man were a happy husband or a bitter celibate, I would have gladly wagered the rent money on the latter.) For a moment I was reminded of a preacher friend from Chicago who often lamented that too many people felt Morality consisted of nothing more than not sleeping with the wrong people, and I wondered why this man's helpful God didn't see fit to free those who came to him of their other Deadly Sins.

After taking all of this in a moment after I'd first seen him, and dutifully filing it away under "never reference again," I was just getting back to acting as though the man had never existed when it was pointed out to me that there seemed to be something in his ear. I looked up, now paying closer attention, and noticed it. Curious, I waited to see if he would turn around, so I could his other side. After a few moments he did, and I snickered to myself.

"What is it..?"

"He's wearing earplugs." I answered.

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