Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Widow of Frankenstein, part the eighth, in which the reader is relieved to discover that this travesty has come to an end!

“Well,” I began, “part of the problem with the question is that we’ve been given no objective test for detecting the soul. You certainly seem to have one. You think; you feel; you create. You communicate your thoughts and feelings. You have a distinct personality and a sense of self. You are capable of making moral judgments. Those are the sorts of things that I, at least, would associate with the soul. I am, then, compelled to treat you as if you have a soul–since, by any test I can think of, you do--and what sin have I committed if I’m wrong?”
I was startled, just then, by a man’s voice right behind me. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
I half-turned to respond. “Is there a problem officer?”
Another man, standing with the cop, butted in, “Yes, there’s a problem! Eve, I already told you not to come in here anymore! You bug the customers! You never pay for nothin’! You’re bad for business!”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “Sir, as long as the drinks are being paid for, does it matter who pays for them? Besides, she’s not bothering me. We were having quite a stimulating conversation, weren’t we?”
“Indeed,” she smiled. “Quite stimulating!”
“Well, that bein’ the case, I’ll let you finish your drinks, but then you’ve gotta go. Otherwise, you’ll be escorted outta’ here by this police officer.”

“What was that all about?” I asked when they were out of earshot.
“That was the owner,” she explained. “Lots of people are uncomfortable around the homeless. He just happens to be one of those people.”
“And apparently, a bit of a jerk, too,” I said.
“Oh, it’s alright,” she said as we were leaving, “This world has no room for outsiders and monsters. It’s like Jesus said, ‘Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests. . .’”
“But the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,” I said, completing the quote. But she was already gone–vanished into the Halloween shadows. I didn’t see or hear from her again. . . until last night.

Oh man, will you look at the time! I’ve got to get going! Hand me that Boris Karloff mask, will you? I’ve got a date tonight!

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