Religious Fundamentalism: A Man Sits at a Table

   At the far end of the table (or is it the near end? far and near to what, or to whom?) a man sits on the heavy chair. His height is irrelevant for he never rises to his true height. He sits on the chair, at the table, in the room, near the light.

    He is of common build. He is neither muscular nor flaccid in tone. He wears a wispy beard, silver-streaked and uneven. His hair is grey, moderately long, but one cannot tell if this is intended or if his overall unkempt appearance is the result of his occupation on the heavy chair, at the solid table, near the bare light, in the darkened room. 

   His feet are bare, as though someone fears he might run away and wishes to make his escape more difficult. He is not bound to the chair, not chained to the table, not locked in the room. He is barefoot, bearded and grey, siting on a chair, at a table, near a light, in a room. 

   His pants are short and tattered at their ends. The ends are above his knees. His skin is pale, as pale as the skin of a man kept in a dark room for a very, very long time. His shoulders sag down to a concave chest. He is unattractive now. He was unattractive as a boy and before that, as a baby. There is nothing in him to make a woman look at him or to make a man jealous of him. He is ordinary in every common sense of the word. He has a heavy shirt on,one with short-sleeves and open at the chest where the first few buttons from the top are absent. He is not hairy or clean or excessively dirty. He is just a man on a chair, at a table, near a light, in a dark room. 

   He almost seems to be part of the room. He gathers dust like the furniture. He is alone, usually immobile. He is a man in the ragged clothes of a child or a beggar, unkept in his hygiene. His teeth would show to be yellow-green if the light could make them seen. His lips are thin, set in the kind of frown that usually associates with cruelty. Yet, he is not cruel.

   His brow is furrowed, an avalanche of wrinkles over a long, thin nose. His eyes are dark brown, so dark they are almost black but the whites of his eyes appear even whiter as a consequence. His eyes are large and almost constantly in motion. He does not turn his head to see but only widens his eyes and peers out from the arc of their circles. He might be curious but he is not curious.

   His body accommodated itself to the chair he is on long ago. He does not slouch, nor does he fall off the chair, no matter how he feels about his sentence. He has sat for so long he is slightly addled, because the seated body forgot long ago how to efficiently handle the fat and sugars in his system. He gains and loses weight on that chair. He loses his sense of balance on that chair. He lost a life time sitting on that chair.

   The one thing the man does not do is to get off that chair.

Tomorrow: An Apple and a Knife

Opinions expressed here are my own, not those of the church I serve or any other person.

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