Short Story: Sinner

They call it a house of worship. A place where you can find solace with the Creator. And here I stand on the stairs of the Lord’s temple, smoking a cigarette, feeling like the scum of the earth.

I recall memories from my childhood when I was in school. High school was such a cruel environment. There were some painful memories. It was really a dog eat dog world. I was a very naive child. Always trying to make everybody happy. The only person I couldn’t make happy was myself. But nobody cared. Once people get what they want from you, they stop caring and act like you don’t exist.

I finally had an epiphany. I finally realized that deep down, people are inherently selfish. They don’t realize it unless you point it out to them. Everyone thinks they’re good at heart. They think that they’re good people. It’s amazing how people believe their own bullshit. I believe the quote goes like this: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. In that case, we’re all fucked. Aren’t we?

Now I stand here in this church, sitting here at the altar. Staring at cross on the wall. Looking at the face of Jesus as he hangs there with his crown of thorns.

Would a lesser man have been able to face what he faced?

No. Probably not. But a lesser man would have tried his best to try and stay alive as long as he possibly could.

He would have connived. Lied. Perhaps even killed.

A lesser man would have done anything to protect himself. I guess we all can’t be Jesus.

They taught me in school that Jesus was destined to die for our sins. If he knew that, wasn’t that the reason to act all holy to be in the favor of God? Maybe I’m asking too many questions. But it’s a good exercise. It tests the mind. And it pisses off my Christians friends

It almost seems to have been a waste. Dying for the sins of man. I mean, we’re not doing a good job right now or taking advantage of the opportunity.  I’ve seen nuclear bombs drop, planes go into buildings, girls killed because they weren’t born boys. It’s all gruesome. Not a pretty picture. But it’s the world we live in.

In my position, I have seen greed and power corrupt the ones who were meek. The good ones fall. Most of them do. The weak can’t survive in this environment.

Sometimes I ask myself whether I’ve lost my faith. Kneeling down before God in his House may suggest that my faith is absolute. Praying to God to forgive me for my transgressions and forgive the transgressions that I will have to make in the future.

But does he really listen? Is he going to listen to a sinner like me? Of course he’s listening. He has to. He has no choice. We are his greatest creation. He was the one who birthed us and gave us free will. So now, he has to watch what his creation does with that power of free will. Like watching a child you gave birth to grow up and experience life. You can instill in them what you think is best but eventually, they grow out of the bubble you created for them and find their own way. Sometimes their paths aren’t the ones you hoped they would take. The paths they take can be so dark, it could easily break your heart.

Maybe that’s why I never had children of my own.

Practicing the sacrament of penance as I sit in the confession booth and tell a man of the cloth my past sins. I find it therapeutic actually. I never reveal everything deep to be honest. He may be a man of God but he is also a man just like me. A man who has to play politics with his own people. The people of the cloth. The Catholic Church has its own problems and they also have to play politics to solve them.

I confess my sins to this man and I’m given prayers to recite. Some “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys. Like being given a prescription to take care of my problems. They think that recital of a prayer is the best solution. Praying to God forgive me for what I’ve done. I pray for myself. Pray for my soul. But I know it’s all empty. It’s all shallow. A waste of brain power.

It’s hard being a politician these days. Without thick skin, you’ll be eaten alive. Every day I have to dive in and swim in the cesspool called politics. I laugh at the irony of my colleagues who run on the platform of being religious. Being family men and women.

The hypocrisy of it all.

They say you shouldn’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. I say you can judge a man without walking in his shoes. You judge him by looking into his eyes and seeing if he has any of his soul left. If he does, the vultures will soon be feasting on him. If he is able to fight off those vultures and still remain, he is your adversary but you must make allies with him. But sooner or later, you will have to crush him and steal whether piece of his soul he has left. Or else, he will crush you first.

There are no friends in politics. Friends make the worst enemies. We’re all sinners. We can’t escape the prison we build for ourselves.

What’s the difference between a sinner and myself? I admit that I commit transgressions against God to survive. It’s tough environment. Survival of the fittest. This is nothing more than evolution.

We are all sinners. But I’m just a sinner trying to survive. But now it’s time I get back to the office and get back to work. Winning an election is not easy. But deep pockets sometimes works wonders when the people are hungry for loose change