So, I took a day, drove to the beach, ate too much, and read a little. Also, I learned that I’m a little scary. About three families today, as I was passing them by, clutched their children tightly to their sides. The mothers glared, and the fathers looked concerned. The most exciting example came when I was in a public changing room. I had my shorts on and was about to leave. At the sink was a father and son. I had in my ear a pundit, named Michael Knowles, who, utilizing a clever turn of phrase, produced in my person a guffaw. The father, who had already been eyeing me, picked his son up into his chest, and keeping his eyes upon me, began backing away toward the door. The father’s reaction was to me so outrageous that I began to really laugh heartily, near uncontrollably. With widening eyes, the father and son exited stage right. Curtains fall with me center stage cackling maniacally.
So was one of today’s little adventures. And yet one more thing I’ll note was a little souvenir type shop, a high class garage sale behind a storefront. Wandering among the eclectic paraphernalia spread throughout the cramped room was a worthwhile experience in and of itself, but of particular interest to me was the wall of religion: Mythological Egyptian statues stood shoulder to shoulder with the Virgin Mary and some other saints, symbols I associate with Indian and Chinese mysticism served as banners to these miniatures, and hanging from the wall were (Mesoamerican?) masks and a crucifix. It reminded me a little of Acts 17, but it was a beautiful display of confused religion, a display uncommon to my eyes but common enough to my ears: So often the modern man’s religion is as eclectic, dissimilar, and wonderfully dissonant as that wall. It was the very image, I think, of the waylaid heart of America.