He wouldn't leave me alone.
I was flying back from my vacation hoping to rest before the next flight. My previous flight had been canceled due to the extremely bad weather, so all of us flying back home were delayed.
But of course, leave it to me to get suck sitting next to a weirdo. He looked nice enough at first... Dressed in slacks and a designer shirt with new shoes and a fancy watch, I thought he was one of those European Middle-Eastern types. He had a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes with white straight teeth, a light mustache and beard.
I forget who spoke first... I asked him which flight he was on and he mentioned he had been delayed as well. Now that I think about it, I don't think he mentioned which flight he was on. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to judge anyone but it did flicker across my mind, that "What if he was a terrorist?" question. He didn't seem the type though, at least not at first.
Then he started talking about fate. "Funny how things work out," he said. "What are the odds of us coming together like this?" I thought he was hitting on me and I glanced at his hand to see if he had a ring on. He didn't.
I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled. I hoped he wasn't hitting on me, that would be awkward. He was nice looking but I didn't know the guy.
"Then again," he said, "the next plane we get on could crash."
Whoa! Out of the blue he just said that.
I laughed. Was he afraid of flying? Or was he just saying that to get me riled up?
"That's really rare." I replied.
"Just think of it... all those planes in the sky, human error and all... it could happen."
Eek! He was freaking me out. I shrugged. Does he want me to reassure him, say "That'll never happen!". What if he doesn't stop talking about plane crashes?
I looked around, other people had taken the rest of the seats. As far as I could see, there wasn't a free seat left. I resigned myself to sitting here while the doomsayer kept on.
"What would you do if you knew you were going to die soon?" He looked at me for a response.
"I don't know." I honestly replied. He kept looking at me, wanting me to say more.
"Wouldn't you feel cheated?" He asked.
OK this guy is a bit loco, he's having one of those, "What if you die?" moments and I'm his unsuspecting victim, having no choice but to listen and respond since ignoring him would be rude. I looked around, most people were sleeping or on their electronic devices. In the distance a small kid was screaming, not liking the situation.
I shrugged at his question but that didn't deter him from talking.
"I can't help but feel cheated, if I were to die, that is." He smiled, showing his perfect teeth. "I'd want to know what it was all for."
Oh, one of those philosophical types! Looks like I'm in for a long conversation... Well, may as well play along, he might be interesting. "I guess we have to be content with what we have." Did I just say that? That was so preachy!
"That's what they tell you but is it the truth?" He didn't elaborate who they were but I got the point.
"What do you think is the truth?" Uh oh, here I go, asking for it.
"What if..." he paused for a moment, "you live your life, do all the right things as best you can, but your life is cut short? No reason just... gone?"
I considered this and nodded.
"What if it's all for nothing?" He concluded.
I laughed. I didn't mean to but I could see where this was going. He's either super religious or an atheist. Or maybe... "Were you in the military?" I asked. He raised his brows but shook his head. "Oh sorry, I was just wondering why you were talking about death."
"Why not talk about it? It's inevitable... unless you're immortal." He looked at me as if waiting for a response.
"I guess I try not to think about it." That was lame. Of course I never said what I really thought about it. How I felt so overwhelmed with the harsh reality and responsibility of life... that I thought about killing myself... Why am I thinking about this now? I must be tired.
"Have you seen death?" He asked so casually, like asking the time. I wasn't sure how to respond. May as well be honest...
"I saw a dog get hit, it was pretty bad." My mind flashed to that horrible incident. I was riding my bike and stopped to rest when a dog came up to me. It seemed frightened at first but then jumped up on me, asking to be petted. I sat down with it next to my bike and a car was coming. The dog walked off but before I knew it, the dog tried to cross the street... right as the truck came. I screamed, "NO!" but it was too late. The dog was hit, dragged under the truck and it screamed in agony. Its body froze like a seizure before it was finally still. It was dead. Just moments before it had been alive but now it was dead and there was nothing I could do.
The man next to me nodded at my response, seemed to be satisfied with my answer. I didn't ask him if he saw someone die. I would never ask such a thing. He was silent for a moment then spoke. "Humans have such a very short time on this earth." Was he visiting a dying relative? I nodded not knowing what to say. "What would you do if you could live forever?"
I immediately shook my head. "I don't want to live forever."
"Why not?" His face was serious, not joking.
"Everything would change, I wouldn't know how to cope. I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the changes: technology, society, the way I would live. I would probably run out of money due to inflation and if I lived forever the FBI or whatever would probably shut me up somewhere to study me... I'd be a lab rat forever." Did I really just say all that? Like I had actually considered living forever! I'm not even that old, neither is this guy, why are we talking about this?
"That's interesting." He considered me for a moment then said, "I'm most likely the only one who knows what it's like to live forever."
He's speaking figuratively, right?
"Oh?" I stupidly replied.
"I was here before the dawn of time, before the humans walked the earth, before all of that."
I waited, expecting him to laugh or explain what he meant by 'all of that'. But his next reply totally caught me off guard.
"I am the one you call the Devil." His face was totally serious.
OK time to change seats! I looked around, no place to hide, every seat taken. The people next to me were asleep and the guy across from me was on his headphones. Damn it! Why do I always get stuck with the weirdos? I said nothing. Okay, so he's some nutcase or he's just messing with me, either way I don't want to talk to him anymore.
"You don't believe me, do you?" He asked.
"I'm not sure why you're telling me this." I honestly said.
He paused, "Why don't you believe me? Oh I get it, I'm supposed to look like a goat, have red skin and horns growing out of my skull." He laughed.
I shook my head. If this guy wants to be the devil, I'm not 'gonna get involved. Just leave me alone.
"And yet, it just might be possible. What do you really know about the devil? All cultures have one, not just Christians. Humans need something to fear, to have something to fight against. Good and Evil, that duality. Isn't that human nature?"
I shrugged. Just let him talk and hope the delay isn't too much longer.
"But what if it's all the same, good and evil, not separate but one. What if God were really the Devil? What if the Devil were really God?" He laughed out loud, like it was the funniest joke ever.
I looked at the guy across from me on his headphones, messing with his iPhone. Nobody else seemed to notice this weirdo or else they were pretending not to.
"What do you think?" He asked. Then he touched my arm. I jerked away. I don't like people touching me, especially this guy.
"I don't know." I barked out.
"Oh, now I've upset you. Did I offend you?" His tone was concerned but I really didn't like this guy now. I shook my head in impatience. "Do you believe in God?" He asked.
He just wouldn't shut up!
"Why do you care?" I shot back. I wasn't in the mood for religious questions. I just want to get home!
"Do you believe in God? It's a simple question." He wouldn't leave me alone.
"No, it's NOT." I raised my voice. Nobody else noticed.
"Calm down, you don't need to get upset." He touched me again and I moved sharply away from him.
"Don't touch me." I looked at him but he just smiled. All of a sudden I wanted to punch the guy. I leaned away from him, toward the person sleeping next to me.
"I don't believe in God." He said.
Great! An Atheist who's messing with me.
"Why create all this life for nothing? What's it all for? You had the earth, then the life forms: crawling bacteria, dinosaurs, monkeys, apes... humans, though not necessarily in that order. The dinosaurs are gone, other species extinct, and soon the humans will be no more."
Shut up, shut up, shut up!
"The earth will be destroyed and this galaxy will cease to exist, then there will be nothing again." He sounded bored at the thought and I had to laugh inside.
"What's it to you?" I asked. Why am I speaking? "What do you care what happens?"
"I don't!" He laughed. "That's just it! I really don't care." He stopped laughing then said, "It's my punishment that I'm here."
Okay, whatever man.
"Don't you want to hear my story? About how I came to be?" He asked.
I shook my head, "No."
"Why not?" He smiled.
"Because I wouldn't believe it." I said.
"Ah!" He pointed up, "That's the thing! Belief, faith, taking the unknown for granted. You don't see God yet you believe in God. Humans need to believe in something, they can't stand not knowing or worse yet, to know that nothing exists."
"So, you're an Atheist?" I looked at him.
An announcement sounded, saying, "We're sorry for the delay, your flight will be re-directed as soon as possible..." Blah, blah, blah, in a robotic female pre-recorded voice.
"Oh, no. I'm not an Atheist. I know God."
"I thought you said you didn't believe in God?" Ugh! I'm responding to this idiot.
"I know God but I don't believe in God, it's true. But that's not the same thing."
"Uh huh." I answered noncommittally. He's 'gotta shut up sometime, right?
"Do you know God?"
I shook my head, "No, can't say I know the guy."
"No, no," he said as if explaining to a child, "God has no gender, nor does God have any human feature thereof. Do you believe in Jesus?"
Here we go again. "Yes." I said without hesitation.
"You say that because you think he existed here on earth before your time. Some believe that Jesus, as the 'Son of God' is God."
I said nothing.
"Well, that's just not true."
I nodded. Better just go along and try to ignore him.
"Jesus was a fake." The man who claimed to be the devil said with a bit of anger in his voice. "People believe in a false prophet."
"So, you're muslim?" Blurt alert!
"No." He shook his head. "But I saw what Jesus was, only a human, nothing more."
"Maybe that's just you." I shot back and he looked surprised, taken aback even.
"What do you mean?"
I sighed, not believing that I was talking to him and having this insane conversation. "If you were really there, and you really saw Jesus, maybe all you saw was a human, nothing more."
"Go on." He softly said.
I shook my head. What the heck was I doing? I didn't know much about religion, even less of the bible. All I knew were stories...
"If I had seen Jesus, maybe all I would've seen was a human. But he changed history, he brought a new religion into the world. A new religion where God wasn't some terrible being who rained fire from the sky but a God of Love and Forgiveness."
He laughed bitterly at that. "That's simply not true. I wouldn't call this, Love." He waved his hand around but I couldn't tell if he meant the people in the airport or the whole wide world. What did I care what he meant? "Jesus wasn't all that loving to people. He had a terrible temper and got in trouble for it. Sure, after he was 'sacrificed' all the followers sang his praises but I really don't see what all the fuss is for. Not to mention, he was NOT celibate. He cheated on his wife, with Mary Magdalene."
He looked at me but I just rolled my eyes. I heard this argument before, 'Was he or Wasn't he?'. But to say Jesus cheated on his wife... His former wife?
"So?" I said.
"Oh, that doesn't shock you? I see you're one of those 'modern' types, where the Dogma of Religion doesn't affect you. Well, it caused a hell of a stir with his family, he was shunned! Up until that Roman business, he was disgraced." He looked at me, seeing I wasn't interested, "But I digress." He fiddled with something, I couldn't see what. "Such a disappointment, the way it turned out, and then the religious fervor afterward. Well, I guess humans always need a 'leader' of sorts. Are you a Christian?" He suddenly asked.
"Sure." I said.
"You say that without thinking about it, like it's some identity or familiar lifestyle. How do you know if you're really a Christian?"
"Oh, well then..." He stopped talking for a bit.
After a moment I looked at him, out of stupid curiosity, I guess. He wasn't that tall. I sat taller than he. He didn't look so handsome, not after that stupid conversation, he looked ordinary. How could he say that he was the devil?
Even a snake can look harmless...
All of a sudden that popped into my head. The man looked at me and smiled, showing his teeth.
"I like you." Oh creepy! "You're honest. You say what you want. You don't believe in anything but you don't mind."
"I didn't say that!"
"Yes, you did. You said that you believe in Jesus, but what if I told you the truth about him? Would still believe?"
"I wouldn't believe anything you told me."
He nodded but said, "Maybe not. But it might make you think, and doubt. Believe what you will but I always believed the Truth is the best thing to believe in."
"How do you know it's the truth? Just because you say so... you could believe in a lie, you could be insane."
He smiled, "Yes. But I was there. I know what I saw."
"Did you see Jesus come back to life?" Let's see what he says now.
"No, I did not. To my knowledge he never did survive what they did to him on the cross."
OK this guy is seriously disturbed. Not only does he think he was there when Jesus lived and died, he's blaspheming as well. But he kept talking.
"I waited outside. After all the others had left the tomb where they brought his dead body. His mother, his first wife and the one you call Mary Magdalene, they were the last to leave but they did leave just for a short while. I waited while they were gone, but I saw nothing! No great cracking open of the tomb, no thunder, no resurrection... absolutely nothing." He sounded disappointed. "I left after when the three came back. I watched a while but it was past three days and no sign of the one you call Jesus."
"So?" I answered. "Doesn't mean it didn't happen."
"What do you think happened?" He asked me then.
"I don't know, I wasn't there!" The guy with the headphones looked at me again. I guess I was talking too loud but those sleeping and slouching in the chairs didn't say anything. "Even his disciples didn't recognize him in the garden..." I don't know why I said that, I was just trying to prove a point to this crazy guy, poke a hole in his disturbed theory.
"Oh, yes, that part. I wasn't in the garden but I heard that story, how Jesus came back to them as an old man, a gardener perhaps."
This guy's really ticking me off!
"But I heard another story... The only one's who really saw him were his mother and Mary Magdalene, not his first wife! Can you believe it? The one whom he had his children with. Oh yes, he did have children!"
"So he did come back?"
"Oh, I don't know." He answered.
"You just said Mary Magdalene and his mother saw him!" A woman stared at me, I guess she wasn't asleep after all.
"That's only what I heard." He said indifferently. I shook my head in exasperation. "You still don't believe I was there?" He asked.
"How should I know? If you're really the devil, why are you telling me all of this?" I confronted him.
He paused a moment in thought, his hairy finger across his lip. Ugh! Was he that hairy? I didn't notice before... Now that I took a second look at him I saw he had hairy arms too. Hey, wait a minute... Where was his fancy watch? I didn't see him take it off yet before I could've sworn he had on a silver Rolex, or was it gold? Oh man... All of a sudden I felt dizzy, like I was still on the plane. It was past midnight. Damn it, I was supposed to be home right now! The guy jiggled his foot back and forth and I noticed his shoes were different. They were black now but weren't they a shiny brown oxford type before? Or had they been gray?
My stomach did a flip and I felt like I was going to be sick. "I have to go to the bathroom..." What was I telling him for?
"I can watch your things for you." He offered.
And put a bomb in my suitcase while you're at it, sure man. I shook my head, gathered my two luggage bags, purse and laptop bag then looked around for the nearest bathroom. It was way toward the other end of the gate. Oh well, I need to get away. I prayed he'd be gone when I got back.
While in the bathroom I splashed my face with water and felt better. At least that sick, vertigo feeling was gone. I stalled for time and thought about getting something to eat. I hadn't had much dinner. I hated buying food at the airport, $13.00 for a small chicken salad. Yeah, right!
When I finally bought a food tray at Starbucks ($10.00!), I came back to see the crazy guy was gone. Thank God! I finished my meal in blessed silence then laid my head back and closed my eyes. May as well try to get some sleep...
But when I turned to put my head to the other side, he was sitting there!
SHIT! I looked around frantically. When did he come back?
"I got up to stretch my legs." He said as explanation.
So much for getting sleep. I wished I had found another place to sit but now it was too late. The airport was full and I heard one food stall had already run out of food due to all the delayed passengers ordering something to eat.
"So, where were we?" He spoke again.
JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! I wanted to shout at him. "I really just want to get some sleep now." I said as an excuse.
"But you'll be leaving soon and I may not see you again." Ugh! Gross me out! He sounds like he's 'gonna miss me! "I thought about what you said, why I'm telling you all this... The truth is, I don't get to talk to many people. They're so busy going about their lives... But I have a feeling you're different from the others." Lucky me! "Not many people would believe what I have to say."
"I don't!" I stared at him. Dude! Just go away or shut up!
"Yes, but you listen anyway." He said.
Like I have a choice! Crazy lunatic starts a weird conversation with me, what am I supposed to do? Call the police? I guess I could call security and say, 'Excuse me, but this guy is freaking me out. No, I can't prove he's a terrorist but he did say he was the Devil...' Yeah, right.
The guy tapped his fingers on the arm rest next to me and I leaned away. Were his fingernails that long before? They looked like they could use a trim, before they had been nice neat squares... enough already!
"OK, so what do you want from me?" I looked at him, at his deep dark eyes that were more black than brown.
"Just listen." He said softly. A short moment passed that felt like a whole minute. "All that you know, everything that you believe in, isn't real."
"Oh, wow!" I knew I was being rude now but I didn't care anymore about being polite. Give the devil an inch, he'll take a mile, so to speak.
"But you already knew this, Emerald." He said my name! I stared at him and he smiled. So the bastard was reading my luggage tags? What a creep! "Like I said, you're special. You're different from these others, these humans who sit and stare at nothing." He pointed to Headphone guy.
"How the hell would you know? You don't know me." I couldn't believe the nerve of this guy!
"But I do. I know all about you, what you've been through. All that you've suffered under these stupid beings..."
"Oh, Shut up!" I yelled. I couldn't help it. "Would you just shut the fuck up already?" I gasped. I was so upset. I let this idiot upset me, and for what? I've heard of people like this, what they do to rile you up, make you spill the beans. It's what scammers do to make you say something stupid like, "How'd you get my credit card number?" Or, "What's it to you that I beat my wife?". It's also a well-known military tactic when they want you to confess to a crime you haven't committed.
Now everyone was staring at me. Got to calm down now. The guy almost put his hand on me again. "Don't you fuckin' touch me!" I threatened him. "I will call security on you."
"No need for that," he calmly replied.
I looked away from him. I felt like I was 'gonna vomit. The guy with the Headphones got up and looked around, probably looking for another place to sit. I leaned my head on my hand, away from the lunatic on my right. Great, now I'm going to be one of those 'travel hazards', the one they keep their eye on 'cause I've been making a scene with this guy... I bet that's what he's trying to do! He wants to get me in trouble! Well, it's not going to work. I'll just ignore him.
"I didn't mean to upset you." He said. Just give him the silent treatment. "I thought you would understand, of all the people here, you know what it's like to be different, to feel like an outsider." He saw I was ignoring him but kept talking. Damn him anyway.
"But the truth is, they all feel that way, like they don't belong. They do a good job of pretending otherwise, and distract themselves to keep from thinking about it. But I know what each and every one of them is thinking... That woman over there," he pointed to the Asian woman slouched in the chair with her eyes closed, "her husband has a gambling problem. Her son didn't get into the university. She worries about money, feeling guilty about going on vacation but feels she needs to get away. She's also just pretending to be asleep. She is very nosy and has been listening the whole time." He pointed to Headphone Guy, who had sat back down. "He is listening to the Beastie Boys, music that his girlfriend doesn't like. He cheated on her but hasn't told her yet. He hopes this vacation will make up for what he's done. He's also watching very closely, he thinks you're insane."
I laughed under my breath in disbelief.
He looked at me and said, "I can hear your thoughts as well."
Oh, really? Good, then you'll get the hell away from me!
Then he repeated my thought, word for word. I looked at him then. I couldn't help it. He didn't even paraphrase what I'd thought, he said it exactly, word for word. He was waiting for my response, staring right into my eyes when the announcement came. "Attention Passengers, we are now boarding for San Francisco, please go to your gates." The woman repeated the announcement.
Everyone was standing up, I searched for my ticket, trying to remember which gate I had since there had been a few flights leaving for San Francisco at different times. I looked back to the seat where the man had been sitting but it was empty. Where'd he go? I looked around, no sign of him. Damn it! I was still looking for him when everyone had lined up at the gate. I didn't even get the guy's name, not that I wanted to talk to him again but it bugged me that he would just disappear like that!
What the hell was he trying to prove anyway? So he was a mind reader, so what? Though it was creepy when he had repeated my thoughts, even the inflection of his voice had matched mine in my head. All right, stop it now. He's gone, whoever the hell he was. I didn't think about the incident again after I got back on the plane.
It was another five hours back to San Francisco now and I'd have to stay the night since I canceled the transportation that would've taken me home. By the time I got back it would be three in the morning due to the time change. The take-off was a bit rough, since it was still storming outside but aside from a bit of turbulence, the plane made its way back and I managed to sleep a little bit.
When we landed I gathered all my belongings and waited. Then I heard some guy talking behind me. "That crazy lady was talking and yelling to herself at the airport." I looked behind me and it was Headphone Guy who spoke. He was talking to his girlfriend but when he looked at me he whispered something to her and she started laughing at me.
What the fuck? I was NOT talking to myself! No freaking way! I kept looking back at Headphone Guy as he made his way over in the narrow aisle. I followed him as he went out. We were on the boarding plank and I said to him, "Excuse me." He didn't hear but his girlfriend looked at me. "Excuse me!" I tapped his shoulder but he kept walking.
I walked right beside him until he looked at me and said, "Hey, I don't want any trouble, okay?"
"I was NOT talking to myself!" I practically shouted at him. "Didn't you see the guy I was talking to?" He shook his head and pulled his girlfriend along as he walked faster to get away from me. "You didn't see him?" I yelled out but it was no use. Now I was getting one of those, 'Uh oh, better watch this one' looks from the flight attendant.
I hurried past to the luggage carousel. As usual, the bags were late and I was kept waiting. Just for the hell of it I looked around and saw Headphone Guy with his girlfriend, keeping his distance from me. What if I said to her he had cheated on her? Would she believe it? Did I believe it? Did I believe what that strange man had said?
Damn it, I'm not crazy! They must've seen the guy... I looked around, in a weird way hoping to see him but of course he wasn't here. I dug in my purse to look for my phone which had automatically adjusted the time. It was now 3:35 a.m.. I would have to call a hotel and hope they had a room open. My lips were dry and I got out my chap-stick, remembering that I had put all my jewelry into the black bag when we all went through security check point.
"Where's my ring?" I said out loud. Headphone Guy and his girlfriend looked at me. Fuck you, Headphone Guy! "Where's my ring?" I said louder. I dumped everything in the black bag out, then dumped my purse. It wasn't there! My beautiful handmade bronze ring with the green turquoise in it... gone! The rest of my jewelry was there but not the ring. Shit! I couldn't have dropped it!
Suddenly, my mind flashed back to that man sitting beside me. He was fiddling with something in his right hand, something small and metal. That Bastard! How'd he get my ring? I thought back to when I had closed my eyes, when he had suddenly appeared like 'outta nowhere. He could've taken it then. But how did he know where it was? How the fuck...
"How did he know my name?" My luggage appeared, the name tag said only, B_, E. My ticket had been in my pocket zipper, no way he stuck his hand in there.
How'd he know what you were thinking? A voice in my head spoke up.
So, what did it all mean? It means my ring is gone and I still can't prove he was really there. But why didn't anyone else see him? I wasn't talking to thin air. I'm NOT crazy!
I can't sleep. I've been thinking this over in my head and it just doesn't make sense. No one saw the guy who was sitting right next to me. Headphone Guy thought I was, (no, he saw me) talking to myself. No other witnesses, that Asian woman was gone when I grabbed my luggage. And my ring is gone...
Wait a minute... He was fiddling with my ring before I went to the bathroom!
I had dumped all my bags and laid everything out in my hotel room.
Three hundred dollars a night I paid because of 'short notice'. Bullshit. They're making a fortune out of this plane delay and everyone knows it. Now I was in the room unable to sleep, with all my stuff scattered about the floor and still no ring in sight. I know I didn't drop it, I put everything in my bag and zipped it before I put it into the plastic tray that went into the x-ray machine. I could hear the airport security guy now saying, "Push your items forward. Don't rely on the person behind you to do it!" It was hell going to an airport these days...
4:10 a.m. and I'm still awake. I'm trying to write all this down before I forget. Why me of all people? Why did this have to happen to me? I'm not crazy or psychic or whatever. I'm not religious and I don't even go to church, I really don't like church to be honest. But why'd that guy say he was the devil? Ugh! I just can't make any sense out of it. Then again, maybe I'm not supposed to. Maybe it doesn't mean anything at all...
"Humans need something to believe in, even if it's nothing..." That man's voice inside my head.
"Shut up." I whispered out loud. "You don't know anything!"
Could it be true though? In some lunatic alter-dimension, could it be true? What if it was? He said he'd seen Jesus, but Jesus was just a man.
So what? Does it really matter? Even if he was telling the truth (which he wasn't), it didn't change who Jesus was, or Jesus' message to people. The message and faith people have in it lives on, even if Jesus was 'just a man'. And what kind of man was that guy in the airport? What kind of person would say those things, to make me doubt?
It was strange how the image of him kept shifting in my mind. I'd first seen him as some fashionable jet-set guy, who later turned into a hairy, short, unimpressive jerk. Well, that wasn't very unusual for me, was it? I would often misjudge men based on their appearance. That creep made me think of my ex-boyfriend, the one who could turn a conversation on you and make it mean something totally different. That's what this guy did! Turned my words against me! Made me sound like I didn't believe in anything!
"Well, you're the one who doesn't believe in anything!" I said out loud. "That's why you never saw Jesus come back to life!" I paused for a moment. When did Jesus' mother and Mary Magdalene see Jesus come back? I looked for a bible, one that is in every single hotel room at the bedside table. I opened the drawer to find a new bible and opened to the index page. Where was it?
It had been a while since I read the bible but I started at Matthew to the end of "Christ is risen". Then I read the other gospels but each one was different! One didn't say either Mary had found Jesus, another said only Mary Magdalene was looking for him. Each story was a little bit different. Which one should I believe?
It was now past 5:00 a.m. on the digital bedside clock. I put the bible back and tried to imagine what it would have been like back then. To see Jesus crucified (such horrible things people have done!), to feel what his followers must've felt. Grief, loss, and most of all, fear. Then to see that his body was gone from the tomb...
What if that guy really was there? He had sounded so disappointed, as if he wanted to see Jesus come back from the dead. But he didn't stick around did he? Both Mary's had seen that Jesus' body was gone but the guy didn't even mention that part. Maybe Jesus came back but that guy (the devil) didn't see, 'cause he didn't believe. Thomas (Doubting Thomas) wouldn't believe Jesus until he felt his wounds. And what about me? Do I believe the crazy story some guy in an airport told me? Did I really meet the devil?
The truth is I don't want to know. I don't want to know the devil actually exists in one form or other. 'Cause that would be really messed up. I didn't believe a word that guy said about Jesus or God, come to think of it, he really didn't say anything that would change my mind about God or my faith. But maybe that's because I don't have enough faith. What if I really don't believe in anything?
That's not true. I believe in God, even if I can't see God, or understand why we were all created. I want to believe in something (even if it's nothing...) but it's not nothing. Maybe I'm not religious but I am spiritual, I can feel things sometimes. "You're special..." He had said to me. Ugh! As if! Yeah, strokin' my ego just to make me listen to him. I did listen even if I didn't believe in it.
So the question is, what if I really did meet the devil? What does that mean for me? Time to check into the loony bin. If I could see the devil, how come I can't see God? Can I? What if God had been in front of me but I couldn't see, was blinded somehow by all of life's distractions? Will this event open my eyes more? These thoughts make me afraid. I don't like to think about the kind of person I really am, if there is judgement, do I deserve to go to heaven? Is there a heaven? Why are we here?
It's 5:57 a.m.. I need to get some sleep. It's been over five years since I've prayed...
What should I pray for?