Denied Introspection

God, he was tired.

He wished it was the kind of tired that could be solved by a soft pillow and a blanket, but he knew that no amount of sleep or caffeine was going to solve the weariness he felt.  It wasn’t like he could pass it off as a temporary sickness of the body.  He had been this way longer then he remembered not being.  He plopped down into a padded chair lying in the backroom, placing his head in between his hands as he did. What made it even worse was there was no underlying incident or cause that set the whole thing in motion.  One minute, his passion was pulsating throughout him, heaving against the cavity for freedom.  Now it was like running to the well knowing full well the water had long since dried up.

The black was stifling, the heat of the June morning reaching its tendrils even within the walls of the building.  He always did question the standard uniform he had to wear.  Granted, he knew the historical reasons and traditions behind the garb drilled into him from the beginning of his journey.  But all that was years ago when he was a much younger man, privileged to indulge in unquestionable allegiance to his self-appointed caretakers.  Now, age had only served to turn him away from the stifling tug of worn conformity and towards uncovering new experiences.  Perhaps it was some sort of test, a way to see how strong the pull of human vice was on his psyche.  If it was, he didn’t much care anymore.  Should judgement come from desiring an opportunity to wear light colors during the high heat of a Georgia summer, so be it.  There were certainly worse things that would bear far greater judgement on him.

The non-belief in the whole system alone likely would act as his final executioner.  Every moment of inequality he witnessed in the 20 plus years of duty just added fuel to his rage against a hierarchy that was indifferent at best and downright psychopathic at its worst.  And here, he was supposed to be a symbol of hope to those that looked forward to his confidences on a regular basis.  Instead, it was all just exaggerations and half-truths meant to placate a boss that probably saw right through it all.  Some day he was going to have to cop to the carnival barker he had become.  But there was no way he could do it right now.  Not when the community still needed him.  He went to reach for a plastic cup for some water when Freddie Ghant walked into the room.

“Father Ginjk, are you ready to go?”

He nodded, dismissing Freddie with a wave of his hand.  Good kid even though he’s got a lot to learn, he thought.  He stood, stretching out his arms and legs one more time before walking to the right side doorway leading to the hallway of St. Margaret’s Church.  Breathing in deeply, he forced a smile to his face.  The show must go on.




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