• Chapter 2: Exploiting Jesus for Profit...Again (AUDIO) via #Soundcloud

    Norfolk, Virginia.

      "Craig.  Craig!  Come here, Craig!!"

    Lester is yelling from the living room to the kitchen.  He is watching the television from his favorite arm chair, well worn and sunken from years of retirement.  Lester, is a 70 year old retire dock worker with more time on his hands than he cares to have.  He is sitting entirely too close to the television.  Craig, his 30 year old son comes running out of the kitchen, responding to the urgent call of his father.
        "Pop!  You ok! What is it?!"
        "NO!  No, I'm not ok!!"
        "Well, what is it?!"
        "They makin' another Jesus movie!"

    Craig is annoyed that he was alarmed by such a trivial matter.  Lester, however, does not take lightly every act of man.
     "That's what you got me all panicked about?!  I thought you were having another heart attack.  Man, instead, you're in here giving ME a heart attack!  And why are you sitting so close to the television, man? You know, I told you about that before. Heart failure, bad eyes, high blood pressure, and..."
        "But you're not listenin' to me, son.  Them Hollywood people think they can just take ANYBODY'S life and make a million dollars off it! Jesus deserves a royalty check after all that!  Don't you think?! How many Jesus movies you think out there?! Most famous man in history and people just use him up...Bill Withers level use him up. And all to make a dollar."

         "Well, that's about to change. No more dollars to be made. Credit...points.  My life just became a video game. My hard work for some lousy points on a card."

    A silence fall between the two men.  Craig looks at the tv but not really focusing on it,  
         "How did we get here?"
         "Jesus got tired of being misrepresented."

    Craig smiles slightly.
         "Is that so, Pop?"
         "Yeah!  Wouldn't you get tired too if someone keep trying to profit off your misery?"
         "They do. It's called work. The USA Corp is building all these new ships down at the docks. Big, luxury cruise line type ships...a lot of them. Looks like a lot of people going on trip.
         "Speaking of trips, did you check the mail?  Did Mags get any new postcards today?"
         "Why are people still sending those things? Mom's been gone for five years now. People are sending these things more than ever now."
         "They send them because they love her. And I keep them for her for the same reason."
         "Why didn't you just take her to get her own postcards?"
         "Why don't you just check the damn mail?"
         "Pop, I didn't mean..."
         "Look, you don't think I wanted to take your mother everywhere she wanted to go? You think I liked seeing other people send her cards from all over the world...showing her places I couldn't take her?! I hated those postcards all over the wall.  I use to stand right there, looking at them for hours after she'd go to bed, resenting every last one of them and the person who sent them."
          "So, why didn't you take them down?"
            "And take away your mother's joy?  She would sit there and write letters, thank you cards...stories in her notebook...a story for every postcard. She'd create her own adventures.  She told stories of the places she would and the food she would eat there.  She amazed me.  How could she know the scents, the flavors, the colors?  One night I told her to take the postcards down.  I was tired of being taunted by them and I told her to take down her wall.  She told me it broke her heart that I only saw a wall of postcards.  She read one of her stories to me."
    Les gets up out of his chair and crosses to the wall.  He gently pulls a tack out of the wall.  The tack has a daisy shaped shirt button glued to it.
         "Mag hated sticking tacks into her precious cards. Tape would destroy the corners...pull the paper off. She found a bunch of old buttons and glued them onto the tack to make them look like decorative art themselves."
    Les took the postcard carefully in his worn, slightly trembling hands.
         "This card was the one that saved me...saved me from destroying my love. She took me to Ghana.  Told me of a home village of kings and queens...princes and princesses. The food sweet, rich, plentiful...to be eaten delicately at our fingertips...savored.  Warm winds wafting the sweet sand and salt waters to our huts. Yes, ours, for we were there.  Your mother took us there. She welcomed me along to a new adventure every Sunday evening.  It got so I couldn't wait until Sunday.  By Wednesday I was asking for a new story...a new voyage with my partner.  She was my atlas...my guide...my ship. The Sweet Magnolia.  Now...go check the mail, son."
         "Ok, Pop."

    Craig heads to the front door.  The last of the commercials conclude and the news resumes.  Lester scoots closer. Just as the newscaster begins, Craig walks back into the house with no mail in his hands.
         "Resources have just confirmed that the President has just signed the United States Economy Restoration Act.  The dollar bills currently in your pocket are, at this very moment, has no value.

    The two men are completely fixed onto the television.
         "Any mail?"
         "Well, would you look at that?  The Imperial King has no money."
    Les looks at Craig,
         "So now how much am I worth?  And Jesus certainly ain't gettin' a royalty check.
    The newscaster continues...  


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