Saturday, November 15, 2008

What If Jesse Was Right?

The N train has not been running on weekends at all or during the week from midnight to five AM. The reason is track construction. These changes will last well into December, and have forced Astoria residents such as myself to become very acquainted with the dreaded 7 Train, which makes about as many public appearances as a Barack Obama flaw. With that much construction work, the newly refurbished N Train better have audio-animatronics a la Pirates of the Caribbean upon its return. What the hell else could take so long? Nevertheless, I found myself eventually sitting on a packed 7 Train at 12:30 tonight. And so begins our tale…

“God bless you, ladies and gentlemen”. When you hear someone enter a 7 Train and open with that line, you know you’re in for a treat. Indeed, at the Grand Central stop, a suited, bearded (white, you know you were wondering) man named Jesse entered the train and launched into a tirade that would have made Jesus proud, if Jesus liked loud obnoxious guys. Jesse preached the tale to the unsuspecting 7 Train passengers of his rise from the depths of sin. Apparently, he previously was a thief, a liar, and dated multiple married women. The latter part I can only imagine must have taken place when he was handsomer. However, he discovered Jesus and yadda yadda yadda we’ve all heard it. Needless to say, he loves his new life so much now that he screams on 7 Trains at midnight.

During his speech, and in between Bible slaps, Jesse made a point to describe to the rest of us what exactly would happen whence we are facing final judgment by God. Evidently, and I must have missed this chapter of the Bible, God is going to scoff at me because I didn’t heed the word of his messenger Jesse, who apparently he had especially sent. Now, I’ve heard a lot of delightfully nutty religious-types preach their word, but Jesse displayed some huge cajones with that statement. To state that God especially sent you on this run, like an intern going to Starbucks, is a very ballsy move, and one I imagine the big man would not be too fond of if word got around. We all shared a good laugh. Crazy people are funny.

But then I got to thinking…what if Jesse’s claims are accurate? Hell, none of us are any wiser than he is on the subject, when you think about it. For all I know, when I meet my maker and I’m looking at God in whatever form he believes will make me the most comfortable (I’m hoping for Jodie Foster’s father from Contact), I will be so pissed if he’s like “Well Michael, you’ve been pretty alright. You didn’t rob any banks, that’s a plus. Also, you don’t listen to that much rap music. However, that one day on the 7 Train when my right hand Jesse was speaking, you did have your iPod on. You drowned out his good word with ‘Sunken Treasure’ by Wilco – that’s not even that good of a song. Boom – Hell!” And Jesse’ll just be standing there on God’s shoulder, laughing and slapping his Bible in victory.

God, if you’re reading this (and I can only assume you are the “Anonymous” that keeps leaving comments), please don’t continue to use Jesse as your messenger. He’s a tool, and his beard just doesn’t work. Also, he tried to guilt us into taking him seriously, and that’s not representative of the God I thought I knew. Anyway, give it some though and continue leaving those comments.

That being said, I was a bit let down when Jesse departed by telling us all to stop by the Times Square Church so we can all be just like him. Really, Jesse? You were the Naked Cowboy of religion? I cannot help but feel slightly led on but who knows, I may stop by the Times Square Church one of these days to wish Jesse luck with his career as the only white guy who’s ever yelled at a subway car full of people for any reason. Also, I might suggest that next time, he at least be selling Peanut M&M’s to support his rec basketball team.

So yeah, the N Train needs to come back. Now.

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