i met joe smith at a meeting . he had a sad story to tell, and seemed to enjoy telling it.
the next day i met joe at burger king to hear the rest of his story, and he introduced me to charlie martin, who was a zealous preacher against the unbelievers.
you’re a strange fellow, charlie told me.
but he is not an unbeliever, joe assured him.
have you stood the test, charlie asked me. have you gloried in the struggle?
i called to mind my past foulnesses before answering.
what doesn’t make you stronger, kills you i told charlie, and that seemed to satisfy him.
i bit into my angry whopper, snd its indescribable innocence and beneficence gave me a rush.
what we are proposing to do has got to be a secret, joe said.
how much are we going to make out of it? i asked as i reached for my strawberry shake.
it depends on the girl, said charlie. you know with women anything is possible.
who is this girl and when do i get to meet her? i enquired.
her name is marcia, answered charlie. make sure you hold on to your head when you meet her.
is she a most zealous preacher against the unbelievers? i asked.
joe and charlie both laughed.
i noticed they both pulled their burgers a little closer to themselves when they said marcia's name.
this is too good to last, a fat woman at the next table said, and i wondered if she was spying on us.
suddenly i realized that i was wandering in darkness. we all were.
i often displayed the worst features of an umvridled egotism, but i was trying.
charlie was right - i was a strange fellow. but who among us can not say the same?
too good to last, i heard the woman at the next table say again, and began to wonder about her.
we have to dispel the darkness, joe said and charlie nodded in agreement.
i realized how innocent they both were - they didn’t know nothing.
i like this job, i said, especially if we don’t get caught.
in this world evil is the ruling power, joe reminded me.
don’t worry, i told him, i can smite the infidel with the best of them.
charlie smiled. you are showing features of an unbridled egotism, brother, he told me.
i scratched my head and smiled back.
i liked the setup. i had a good feeling about it.
sources: the republic, by plato;
confessions of st augustine;
the prince, by machiavelli;
oracles of noatradamus;
romance of leonardo da vinci, by dmitri merejkovskii;
life of michelangelo, by john addington symonds;
pensees, by pascal;
confessions, by jean-jacques rousseau;
civilization of the renaissance in italy, by jacob burckhardt;
walden, by thoreau;
thus spoke zarathustra, by friedrich nietzsche;
life of jesus, by ernest renan;
varieties of religious experience, by william james