This is gonna sound really weird, but there’s a few coincidences I been seein’ for the last buncha years.
Like I said before, it ain’t that I’m int’rested in real-lijerous stuff, it’s just that I’m lookin’ for real stuff. You know, the stuff that’s REALLY real insteada all that stuff they just keep tellin’ us was real.
And you know, the problem with lookin’ for this stuff is that if you keep lookin’, you keep findin’. And that wouldn’t be such a problem if it weren’t usually stuff you’d think wasn’t the stuff you was supposed to find, or even the stuff you thought you wanted to find. You know, like Jesus havin’ a secret identity at the grocery store.
If you was Catholic when you was littler, or even when you was bigger, you’d prob’bly remember bein’ scared half ta death by the stories them yardstick toatin’ penguins told us. You know, all them burnin’ in Hell stories for things like makin’ up stories that weren’t true or droppin’ your pencil on purpose to see what you could see about that girl who sits two seats behind you. You know, to see what made ’em girls in the first place. (Even though you never really got to see much of anything anyway.)
It didn’t seem fair to me to hafta go to Hell when you didn’t even ever get to see the great mystery!
Anyways, if you knowed anythin’ ’bout that Catholic stuff, you prob’ly seen that picture. You know, the one with Jesus openin’ up his shirt.
I musta seen that picture about a thousand times. And that’s about the same times as I seen that other picture. Then one day, after I’d seen ’em both about a thousand more times, I said, “HEY!” ‘Cause they’d look an awful lot like the same guy, you know, if that other super guy had long hair an’ a beard and a burning heart with thorns all around it underneath his shirt too.
But he didn’t. He just had a letter there.
And now when I go to the grocery store by my house, I keep thinkin’ of Jesus ’cause’a that other guy. ‘Cause’a the grocery store has its name off to the side, but right over the door I go in there’s only that one big letter in a kinda diamond-shaped box, like it was the important part. And the way that sign looks it looks a lot like what’s under that other guy’s shirt.
But it’s the two streets where I drive into the parking lot that makes me think of the real-lijerous stuff. You know?
‘Cause how can a place called “Safeway” be at the corner of Mt. Diablo and Mt. Pisgah?
It’s like that Kazantzakis guy wrote about the doors to Heaven and Hell bein’ next to each other and lookin’ exactly the same way. Now that’s spooky! Talk about last temptations, or at least the last tricky part.
And them Catholic guys musta thought it was spooky too ’cause they ex-communioncated him for sayin’ so and writin’ it down even though he really was a real, real-ligerous guy. Go figure.
So I drive out the other exit and that don’t help at all ’cause that street’s got another famous name. You know, from the Song-Book of Genesis. From back when that Peter or Gabriel feller was with ’em singin’ ’bout that Lamb layin’ down on Broadway.
Mercy! I mean, all I needed was milk and bread, and here I am dodgin’ yardsticks and hearin’ penguin stories in my peanut butter.
What’s a guy to do?