Something I found in my notebook. Feb. 2010?
A holy man came up to me on the street today. He had a shaved head and was wearing a big, red robe. It's exactly what you're picturing. Anyway, I have no idea what religion he was promoting (I'm kind of a derelict when it comes to religion), but man was this guy passionate! He had all this paperwork typed up, explaining the path to spiritual enlightenment and giving every detail to his beliefs. Pretty precise, papers. But as he explained everything, my mind was floating adrift. There was no religion in my thoughts, however, just the holy man and his paperwork. I imagined him staying up late the night before, typing everything up to make sure it looked perfect, going back and forth between italicizing certain words or bolding them to get the perfect aesthetic effect. And then I imagined he didn't have a printer, so when he was done he had to go to Kinko's. But, OF COURSE, there was a problem there (because it's a fucking Kinko's) and he had to wait in line for probably like forty minutes until a disgruntled worker helped him. And then when he was FINALLY done he hit the streets, spreading the word of god (his god), and looking to pounce on the first clueless soul he could find - me.
So I'm standing there with the holy man and I'm listening to him go on and on. Boy does he love religion! And when he's finally done he holds his paperwork up, like he's got hard evidence which proves everything he's saying, and I just stare at it.
"You spelt atheist wrong," I said. "It's E before I." Forgot to press spell check I though! And then he stares at me. He's all sad now, real sad, and I feel like I just ran over a puppy. So I quickly smile and laugh a little. I want to jokingly hit the holy man's shoulder, but I don't.
"But I'm a horrible speller," I said (which is true, another area I'm a complete derelict in). "I'm sure you spelt it right."
And the holy man smiles - he's got real bad teeth. Then he talks a minute longer, gives me a paper or two, which I somehow trade him a dollar for, and we go our separate ways. Two confused souls lost in the details of a crowd.