Friday, September 22, 2006

Dostoevsky Writes A Travel Blog

Oh, what a bright and glorious day it was! The birds were flitting from tree to tree and the green buds were bursting with new life. God was revealing Himself in all his beauty.

But how could I enjoy it, living in this vile darkness? No, of course I could not. For I am the most degraded and debauched of all humans, one who is afraid that perhaps he is not even worthy of salvation. For I have this terrible secret, this terrible confession that I must share with you. I just must share it or I will never again be able to look at myself in the mirror, let alone enjoy a beautiful day.

First, however, I have to tell you why it is a secret. And why it is terrible. And not only that but why it is a confession. And why it is a terrible confession. And then I have to tell you why I should tell you. And to do this I will have to relate to you everything that has ever happened to me.

For if it is true that we are angels of God, it is also true that we are disgusting demons. Disgusting demon/angels who love to travel...

(Skip 186 pages)

...Once when I was a young boy in Allentown my servant served me a bowl of cold Maypo for breakfast, and I slapped him hard across the face. Oh, young boys can be so cruel! But that was not the reason I slapped him...for bringing me cold hot cereal. No, what was really happening was that I was insanely jealous that Mary Jane Schmoyer might be receiving the attentions of Jimmy Crawford. And so I took it out on my poor servant, my fellow man!

But he just stood there, silent and stolid. For that is what the Pennsylvania Dutch are, are they not? Silent and stolid. And if they drink too much beer and eat too many pretzels, who can blame them? For they live hard lives, and their sports teams never make the playoffs. And if they should make the playoffs, they never win the championship.

I tell you, though, that the Pennsylvania Dutch--strong, patient, silent and stolid--will be the saviours of the world. The star will rise in the East! Or maybe Easton. Which, after all, is right next to Bethlehem...

(Skip 291 pages)

...Oh, how we New Mexicans love to whip our housecats. Yes, I have seen it many times. The poor little brutes, struggling in their tiny harnesses to pull a load that is far too great for them. They pull and pull, and we whip. And whip and whip and whip. And we are laughing.

Our New Mexico women too, they love to whip their housecats. In the mornings they are all polite and demure, and making Navajo Frybread and sopapillas. And then when the night comes they are dressed in their black leather skirts and their stiletto heels, and they are whipping their cats.

It is all too evil and depraved. How can I go on?...

(Skip 327 pages)

...And now I must come to my confession. For if I do not confess my soul will remain in the blackness to which I have put it. Unless I confess, I cannot hope to ever hope again.

And here is my great sin: Many, many days ago, when we were on the airplane and Sumi was in the bathroom, I stole the pat of butter from her meal tray. And who can blame me? For the rolls they serve are so stale and tasteless!

So I took it, with no thought of compassion and no twinge of conscience. I buttered my roll with extra butter, and I greedily ate it. And the funny thing is, never had food tasted so good. It was as if I was luxuriating in the bestiality of it all.

But, wait. My story of sin is not complete. For when Sumi returned and looked for her pat of butter, I told her that some Asian businessman had taken it, and that, since all Asian businessmen look alike, there would never be a chance of justice for her.

And Sumi, poor innocent child!, she trusted me and believed it. Oh, how could I be so craven? But I didn't care. The butter was coating my esophagus, and I was proud of myself in my devilish way. I had gotten away with a great crime!

But now it weighs heavily on my heart. I feel that even the flitting birds know my dark secret. Whenever I see a trusting young girl or an Asian businessman I want to cry out: Please forgive me! For I have wronged them all...

(Skip 86 pages)

...So in the end God's mercy will save us all, and we shall wonder at the glory and the graciousness of a compassion that is more compassionate than glory or grace. Love shall fill us all, and we will all take responsibility for everyone and not either forget not even the least of God's creatures.

And, oh, by the way, did I mention that today I also saw the world's second longest steel truss cantilever railway bridge?


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