This is an excerpt from Random Scratch. If anyone comes across this, likes it even a little and knows ANYONE in publishing, well, ya know, I'm open to talking about it. Or just read the whole book for free. So, I guess sales isn't really my game if I'm just gonna give it away. Hurry while supplies last.
Sunday evenings were devoted of late to a series of studies in the Book of Revelation, with the Assistant Pastor of Oak Canyon, a thick-bodied and earnest man who hoped to someday pastor a church of his own, leading the lecture. Josh Freeman came from a long line of ministers, and his parents were deeply proud that he had secured the number two spot at a church as obviously wonderful as Oak Canyon. Dan liked him for his blandness. A chunky man with a less-than-thrilling style was less likely to develop a personal following. Josh felt that being number two was like being the vice-president of the United States. He didn’t really do much other than lead a large Sunday school class, attend funerals and be there to fill in when Pastor Dan was off on a book tour or speaking at a conference. He was glad to have the pulpit for the last month of Sunday evenings.
The service was much like the morning’s, but with a smaller group on the stage and not as many songs. Attendance was not as high, with the upper balcony almost empty except for a few. Dan sat behind in the chairs reserved for pastors and tried to follow along with his protégé.
“And so what John is showing us here in the seventeenth chapter…” and Josh Freeman went on to explain what had been explained to him in seminary by professors who’d had it explained to them in seminary and on and on and on, all the way back to the first person who ever got a copy of John’s letter from Patmos and started to interpret, reinterpret and misinterpret what “the disciple whom Jesus loved” meant all those years ago in exile, scribbling down what he saw when he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day,” which to his jailers were simply the random scratches of a madman.
Dan would look up and appear thoughtful, then look back to the bible on his lap and appear to read along, but his head was not in the study. He was arguing with God.
“Quit looking for her, Daniel. She’s not here.”
“Where is she?”
“Having dinner with her husband. Watching a movie. Maybe making love for the second time today.”
The image made Dan jealous and excited at the same time. He wanted to be Jeremy. Except without the crappy job and the shitty apartment on the bad side of town.
“They only do it once a month.”
“That was before you opened her eyes.”
“To who she is and what you were trying to make her into.”
“Which is - which was?”
“Which is the tender-hearted person you told her she is. Which was your fawning worshiper, ready to be taken by the Amazing Dan.”
“You really don’t play fair.”
“I really don’t play at all.”
Dan waited for God to leave, as he often did after getting in a good jab. He wasn’t gone.
“Look who else isn’t here. Wow, Daniel. You sure can drive them away.”
“I’m totally fucking up, aren’t I?”
And now he was gone. Dan looked up from his bible and nodded in a scholarly way at whatever his associate pastor had just said.
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