It happened to be a Sunday – HIS day off.
I was miserable. I had a long drive ahead of me, Chicago to Maryland, and it was hot and humid. I didn’t want to go back to Maryland. I was staying at a hotel, a miserable experience, while packing my bags, to move overseas. The hotel in Chicago was delightful! It was clean, friendly, served coffee 24-7, whereas the hotel in Maryland was an overpriced dive and miserly in its services, and provided none of the above. However, it did have Character. I had delayed returning for that very reason, even though I was paying for 2 hotels simultaneously, but I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to go back.
This delay also put me at risk on the Interstate, as the hogs were out en masse, which for one who loves the driving experience, is extremely frustrating. Sundays are bad enough. But the Interstate on a Sunday is enough to make you crawl into a hole, and never come out.
God had pretty much ignored me most of my life – even though I’d say things like, “Oh, God.” He was pissed, I think, because I had asked a priest, as a child, what would happen if God died? From then on – No, wait. – even before then, he wasn’t exactly the benevolent leader we have portrayed him to be. In fact, he was, without question, exceedingly cruel. So I ignored Him, as much as possible. However, I honored his cruelty towards me, since that was all I knew.
It took a while to realize that he had decided that my role in life would be that of a warrior-soldier, even though I was adamantly opposed to war. I found war reprehensible. But that was the theme of my life. I fought continual battles, and they were unrelenting, each more challenging than the previous one. When would they stop? I called upon Voltaire as my mentor. “Never!” he said. Somehow, that helped, as I had read Candide, while still an adolescent. Little did I know then how influential Voltaire would become for me.
So fast-forward to this hot and humid Sunday morning in the year of 2016 (It could’ve been 3096 – WHO knows, anyway, what Time means?) and there I was sitting on a bench outside the nice hotel, in a downpour, under my umbrella, when I was suddenly overcome with extreme nausea. And those who know me personally, know how much I hate puking. I’ll do anything to avoid that violent expulsion from my gut and outward and into the the toilet or onto the ground.
“PLEASE, God. Let me not puke. Not know. I’ve got a miserable day ahead of me – on your day off – and I’ve GOT to get back to Maryland. “
Well, damn, if that wasn’t a miracle! Within seconds, my nausea had vanished, and soon after, I began my long drive back to the East Coast, with hogs and all.
I had begun my journey back at 10:00 AM. But because of the conditions noted above, I arrived (in what is normally an 11-hour drive) at 3:33 AM. I marked my calendar. And then, as soon as I walked into my room, I puked.