A beautiful morning in an imaginary beautiful word. This is the fiction I am writing.
I am killing time in a Christian coffee shop. A Christian rock power ballad plays softly. The singer is killing it about Jesus being killed.
This shop doubles as a church. It has a stage with instruments, a PA, lights, mixing board, huge monitors, the works. This place looks more like a rock club than a church. I bet the pastor is a reformed rock and roller, drugs, groupies, destruction of motel TVs, all of it.
Incredibly, this church has no pews. Red cushioned chairs. How can you find Jesus with that kind of comfort?
The house coffee costs $1.35. Odd.
The barista is playing solitaire with real cards. No one is on their phone or tablet. Maybe God is present here.
A customer is complaining about the dirty windows. Another customer talks about the homeless man who cleans the windows at her work. Someone else mentions a vagrant in the area who charges virtually nothing to clean exterior windows and does a great job.
I sometimes marvel at the fact I was once a preacher’s kid. I’ve explored that strange life in a few essays and as minor parts of books but never given its proper due as story material. One day, I think. How could I not?
I remember everything.
I just finished a conversation with a one-armed man. He owns the building where I am writing this. The church was once a bar that he operated. He nearly drank himself to death doing so. He lost his arm doing so. He closed the bar after some time in jail and leased the space to a pastor, who was creating a new church. Sure, why not lease it to him? A good story to convert sinners. It worked. The pastor converted him in a manner of months. He hasn’t touched the sauce in five years. This story is better than a novel.