Click to use the Talking Dictionary 69. There, but for the Grace of God...


69. Corey stood inside the drugstore on Ocean Avenue. It was 30 degrees outside. He kept looking north for an approaching B49 bus. The drugstore's automatic doors opened. A man, about 30, stood outside. He did a slow "dance" at the doors. He looked exactly like a puppet on strings held by a novice puppeteer. His head went this way and that, as did each arm and leg. Slowly, he made his way through the doors. Once he got inside, he smiled. He was wearing only a sweatshirt and jeans, but he didn't seem to notice the cold.

He said to Corey, who had been trying to be invisible, "Excuse me. Do you know where I can find the Bay News?" His speech was too loud, but clear.

Corey said, "The only place I know is the news box across the street."

The man said, "Yes, I know, but it's empty. Do you know why it's empty?"

Corey said, "Well, it's Thursday. The paper comes out on Friday."

The man said, "No. It's empty because someone stole all the papers. That's why it's empty. Someone always steals all the papers." The man awkwardly and slowly walked back out into the bitter cold. Corey resumed looking for his bus.

A lady who had witnessed everything said, "That is why I don't believe in God. No loving God would allow one of His children to be that broken."

Corey said, "But if that man doesn't know better, is he really 'broken'?" 3.5, 249


69. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved.