Page 35

The Fortune Teller Len Kuntz

of all the uniforms he had worn in his life, from boy scouts to a mouse costume for Halloween to a wedding dress beThe two runners were so odd together that joggers and cause one kinky night his wife had asked him. We all wear cyclists on the path did double-takes, same as when spot- uniforms, he thought, depending on the event and which ting minor celebrities in random locales. The tallest one wound we’re trying to assuage or deflect attention from. was bald, with a peculiar, fetus-shaped head and wary, Halloween really was an everyday affair if you thought disconnected eyes. The other was short and compact like about it. a modern-day appliance, with more hair on his body than “You okay?” the stocky pastor asked. He ran robotically, your run-of-the-mill llama. And yet, for their many dif- but with an efficient use of his limbs. His hair was dry, not ferences, the pair had a few remarkable things in common, a drop of sweat on him anywhere. It was chestnut-colored their maleness being obvious and their cache of untold se- and wavy, shaped in a mullet. Preston did not know it was crets being less so. permissible for pastors to have such a hair style. One of the runners was a pastor and the other—the tall The pastor’s name was Adam, same as the planet’s first lopsided-head runner– a bank executive, who was also man. Adam meant mud or earth or soil, in Greek or Hecovertly a drug addict. The addict’s habit was so long- brew, Preston remembered from Sunday school classes. standing and familiar anymore that it was not unlike a God made man from the earth and then gave him a scar you wear below your eye—a wound received brutally straightforward no nonsense name. during your youth– but now never see. The addict had Adam felt cursed. Partially he blamed his parents. His even done a few bumps this morning instead of coffee– father had been a Baptist Minister while his mother cham“moguls” they’d called the miniature domes of white pow- pioned the choir. Adam was led to the Lord before he was der in college, and his heart kick-drummed strong for the old enough to understand if that’s the route he actually moment. preferred. And then there was the issue of his name. “The They were only on mile three, with fifteen more to go. Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground.” Their alignment was off emotionally and physically. Thus His name, its earthy essence, annoyed Adam from the very far their conversation had been awkward and choppy as beginning. It felt burdensome, like a weight vest he’d been they tried to fend off feelings of embarrassment for being forced to wear even when swimming. It seemed impossitogether at all. At the same time they struggled to find a ble to live up to such a name. The only one worse would rhythm to their strides so that they could match pace. be Moses. The inability to meet the name’s expectations The addict’s name was Preston. Preston was nervous left Adam feeling perpetually dirty. Others saw something for several reasons: he had never run eighteen miles in different, but he knew, and the fact that he did ate away his life, let alone on blow, let alone with a man of God, at his inner confidence much the way a parasite feasts on who, even if he was wearing tight shorts and wife-beater its host, becoming visible only through its eventual physmesh tank, was still a pastor. Preston wondered how many ical wreckage. Adam grew delirious. His equilibrium was guesses it would take the common person to name the pas- shot. He had heavy night sweats. His vision was blurry tor’s occupation dressed in such a get-up. Preston thought and spotted. When he closed his eyes he saw squiggly 35

Rubber Lemon issue 1  

Re-energising Christian reflection

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