August 29, 2004

The Messiah on a Tuesday

By Sigge S. Amdal © 2004

It was Tuesday, a sunny Tuesday, and Dolores was late for work again. She couldn't stand these days, most people had problems with Mondays, but Dolores really couldn't get herself to appreciate the second day of the week. And this particular Tuesday she'd several meetings and lots of paperwork to kill. How did she always end up coming late for work? She'd like three alarm clocks reviving her from her sweetest dreams every morning, but on Tuesdays they didn't seem to mind their duties at all.

At noon, two hours after arriving, she decided to grant herself half an hour off and get something to eat. Tuesdays and breakfast were always incompatible, and she'd learned all about how lousy your work performance is when your head doesn't work due to a lack of energy. Luckily, Starbucks had found it smart to cover every street-corner in the city, so a cupcake and a double espresso should not demand a long walk.

Dolores hurried with an almost empty suitcase to the nearest coffee shop and ordered a lifesaver. When she turned left on the corner of 1st and West, she ran just into this homeless guy with a long beard who - just as she - thumped pretty violently on the dirty sidewalk. She walk up to this peculiar man standing over her chanting something that sounded like a prayer or something. "I'm not dead yet, but thanks," she said and got herself up with his help. What strong, but kind hands. She looked into his face and was stunned by his honest appearance. "Not everyday is a Tuesday," he said and smiled at her, preparing to cross the street. She grabbed his arm, "What did you say?" "Not everyday is a Tuesday, Dolores." She was stunned again. "How do you know my name?"

He smiled. "Dolores, if you don't mind me calling you by your Christian name, I am here to save you." He must've had a look through her pockets, Dolores thought, and checked that everything was there - and it was. "No, I haven't stolen anything, except for a few minutes of your busy life." "What do you mean by saving me?" He began crossing the street, and Dolores, forgetting herself, followed. She wanted an answer to this peculiar accident, she wanted an answer to all of this. "You aren't exactly growing younger, Dolores, and there are things that you should've done by now. You know what I mean?" Dolores was confused. What the hell could he be talking about? She had a lot of dreams that she'd never lived out, but didn't everyone? "Who ARE you?" she demanded. "Who I am is of no importance. What is important, however, is that I am here right now for you, right?" She nodded reluctantly, as they began crossing another street, getting further and further away from the office and the meetings she should've been to by now.

"Please enlighten me, sir, (Why am I calling him 'sir'?) since I seem to neglect the obvious of my situation." "You are rootless, do you know that? Every human being is like a ship, floating without purpose on a vast ocean, and there is nowhere to harbor, nowhere to anchor up." She nodded. Funny, she'd even thought the same herself a couple of nights ago, over a glass of red wine and a portion of self pity. She'd been thinking what to do with her life. Everything had gone so fast: High School, University and now a boring office-job that was well paid, but quite meaningless in the long run. She wanted something more. Not just someone to share it all with, but something meaningful to share also. "There you go," he interrupted her thoughts. "What?" "You need to begin your search, because time is not on anyone's side. Not even mine." He sighed, and Dolores could see that he was waiting for something dreadful to happen. "We all have paths to follow, and I think I could say that you've gotten a bit off track. When was the last time you decided something for your life, except for a cupcake and a coffee?" He was right, terrifyingly right.

They were about to cross another street when he grabbed her arm to stop her, and looked into her eyes. "Dolores, our paths part here, but you must remember what I have said. You can do something meaningful today, all you've got to do is to take control of your life. Don't be the ship, be the captain." He shook her hand, and crossed the street, leaving her standing there, paralyzed on the sidewalk. Halfway across the street, a Greyhound bus headed for Tennessee couldn't break in time, and Dolores saw her savior being run down and killed instantaneously. There was a commotion for a while, cops and recording of witnessess' statements, but then everything was back to normal. Well, not everything. Right in front of a Baptist church there was a red stain halfway over the street, a stain that wouldn't go away. And some woman named Dolores never returned to her office. On a Tuesday.

Sigge S. Amdal is a word wanker from Oslo, Norway.

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