Yesterday I met a man from Shelmire who wore pink trousers and ate
Exquisite bananas, brown and rotting, as if they were his last meal for
The night. He leaned into my ear and whispered the meaning of life:

At every stage of development there comes a time when we must
Notice the importance of our accomplishments, cherish our loved
Ones and regret our mistakes and insults. God wants us to believe
That we were put here for the purpose of disproving his twisted
Hypothesis that man is inherently evil. In fact, we are born with
Every innocence possessed by the dove, the dog, and the damned
Regression of our grandparents.

Meanwhile, as he’s saying this, I can’t help but notice the goatee
Eerily sprouting around his mouth. His teeth are as white as the
Angels that betrayed him, cast him aside and cursed him to below,
Never again feeling the Almighty love. I tell him I’ve never felt
It either, and for a moment he puts his hand on my shoulder, as hot
Now as it’s ever been, even though the blistering cold of Shelmire
Generally makes temperatures drop rapidly, as if by some need to
Lament the damage fire can do. By this point I’m very confused,
Eying the other passengers who boarded with me, whose faces now
Seem to all blend together as they pass by us, heads hung down and
Sobbing their late arrival to final judgment.

Previously I’d been a churchgoing man, with a wife, and three
Insignificant runts running around the carpeted lower floor. And
Every Thursday night I’d tell them I was having a late beer with
Co-workers in an old fashioned pub off the corner of Deverouex St.
Everyone believed me, and I thought I got away with it. But, no.

Obviously, the man continues, no one really escapes the amazing,
Finely tuned insight of Him. And now He is punishing us all.

People line up behind the man as he throws the banana peel aside and
One slips, breaks his neck, and gets up again. We all laugh at the “fallen”
Eternity. Actually, the man was quite nice to stop and chat for at least
Ten minutes while everyone else arrived. He says just as many are going to
Royal white clouds and blue skies behind the golden gate of Heaven.
You could go with them if you choose, or come stay with us, and burn.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Bong Is Bard.

Jordan Blum recently received his MFA in fiction and he currently teaches at various colleges. Jordan is also a progressive rock musician and journalist. His work has been featured at several places, including The Lit Pub, FlashFiction.Net, Bong Is Bard, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Delusions of Adequacy, Examiner, Sea of Tranquility, and Venture.

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