“Can’t people see

that there’s no difference

between

you or me?”

The communists say that, and then they want your money.

I say that, and laugh.

I like to be alone.

I go to my parent’s house.

My mom falls asleep talking to me

and my dad is someplace else, entirely (Reading a good book, I think, on his phone).

“Dad, has anything happened, lately?”

He looks at me. He takes off his glasses, slowly.

“Our previous pastor no longer believes in hell.”

I can tell, my dad is disappointed in him.

“Our current pastor wants me to read the previous pastor’s new book, and refute him.”

“That sounds exciting,” I said.

“It doesn’t add anything to my life.”

“Well, are you going to do it?”

“Sure, but it gets complicated. Our current pastor is the son-in-law of our previous pastor, and they’re feuding.”

“Sounds like a mess.”

My dad nodded.

“What’s the book called?” I asked.

“There is no Hell.”

“Catchy.” My friend knocked on the door, and our dog nearly bit his balls off. “Gotta go,” I said.

“How are you doing man?”

“Ohhhhh.”

“That bad, huh?”

“I’m alright.”

I told him about my dad, and we got onto the subject of God’s law.

“Most religions hold the same tenants because people are fundamentally the same,” I said.

“That’s not true!”

“Of course, it’s true,” I said. “The golden rule is similar to what Buddhists believe. If I hurt you, I hurt myself.”

“No! Some religions demand human sacrifice.”

“I say, people are mostly good, or they operate from self-interest—the rule of reciprocity. If I treat you well, you will likely treat me well. That way, we can have a healthy society.”

“How do you explain the murderers and sociopaths? We have laws to protect us. I like my freedom of speech.”

“Think about the wars done in the name of religion. There are always bad eggs. Laws won’t protect you. And do you really have the freedom of speech? If you said half of the stuff that comes out of your mouth, you’d be fired and locked-up in an insane asylum.”

“Cultures are different. I know—I’ve travelled abroad.”

“At the core of cultures is the same humanity,” I said. “What’s true in one religion can be true in another—if it’s God’s truth.”

“You always know how to win.”

“Let’s go pick-up some chicks.”

We arrived at the church.

I started talking to this girl, because my friend was talking to the other girl.

She had no light in her.

We went into the auditorium, and the pulse music was jamming inside my chest.

Sometimes, you just have to let the music happen to you.

The speaker was trying to be a cult leader. I found him mildly entertaining.

Afterwards, we met-up with my friend’s girlfriend, and we went out to pizza together. She’s a popular girl.

The girls who had their noses in the air were smiling at us now.

I’ve always been interested in society, but as a social scientist, and not someone who was trying to work the system.

Now, by blind luck, I’m at the top.

Strangely, people are not any different at the top.

My friend’s girlfriend asked me, “What kind of rock music do you like?”

I told her that I liked ACDC and Metallica—heavy metal.

She might’ve been thinking, I like the Devil’s Music.

I don’t care.

“You said that without expression,” she said, in her most animated voice.

“That’s right. That’s my personality. I like to listen to crazy, but I don’t like to get crazy.”

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