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December 27, 2017 / Fantelius

Defending Offending


I saw the glow, a warm cloud of light, before I saw her in the middle. Twenty something? Her beige pants and t-shirt matched her somewhat darker skin. She sat on the edge of the grass, back against a tree and bare feet in the water. Before I could move she patted the ground beside her inviting me to sit down without turning to look at me. How did she know I was there? Why did she trust me in this lonely place? The glow disappeared when she turned toward me, but her smile filled me with warmth.
“You’re up and about rather early,” she said as I sat down.
“Not so uncommon for old people. What’s your excuse?”
I had never heard such a husky chuckle.
“This is one of my favorite places. Grass for my ass, bark for my back and my feet in touch with the deep. Not to mention the view, the mouth of the bay, the bird chatter and the whispering of the leaves.”
“Hardly. Unless you’re an old lion about to lie down beside little lamb me.”
A note of distaste accompanied the word hardly.
“You have something against paradise?”
“Can you think of anything more boring? Eternal nothingness; no humor, no action, no sex… and no knowledge. The boss forbids it. Not even a taste. Total ignorance forever! Try marching under that parole. Some paradise.”
She held out her open hand and an apple fell into it. After patting the tree she offered me the apple. I looked up at what appeared to be some type of birch tree. No fruit.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a spirit of life, something like an angel but much more in harmony with reality.”
“Do you have anything to do with (finger quotes) the boss?”
The distaste vibrated this time.
“What do you have against God?”
“We are not talking about God, which I happen to know quite well, but a literary figure who forbids knowledge; demands that a man kill his son to prove obedience; chooses a tiny group of people as his favorite (racism), and encourages them to wipe out everyone in their path, women and children included; and allows his own son to be tortured for days and suffer a slow painful death because other people have sinned.”
“What about Jesus?”
“A great prophet, one of the greatest. He preached love, tolerance and the equality of all people.”
“Isn’t he God?”
“Yes, in literature. I was talking about the real, living Jesus not the literary one born of a virgin mother impregnated by his father. As he is believed to be his own father as well, technically, he’s a motherfucker.”
“Wow, you are very insulting.”
“Excuse me. I was trying to inject a little humor into a long, long story devoid of humor. Would it be better to say that he knocked up his own mom as a holy spirit before he was born?”
I could barely hear her chuckle.
“Is that supposed to be less insulting?”
“Am I supposed to deny the truth because it offends some people? If such was the case, Darwin should never have published his theory of evolution. It offended millions of people.”
I didn’t know what to say.”
“There’s a difference between general truths and personal truths. We shouldn’t consciously insult anyone by saying something hurtful.
“This is too much for me.”
“You haven’t tasted the apple yet,” she said and disappeared leaving nothing but an indention in the grass.
And an apple in my hand.


”Before you start pointing fingers
make sure your hands are clean.”
Bob Marley



The West Bank is now the Judea-Samaria area.

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