by Benn Ray
This morning, in my frenzy to shape my disgusting hovel of a home into something marginally passable for my mom to have Thanksgiving dinner at, I failed to check before opening the door when I heard the knock.
I stood there, bleary-eyed, dust-bunny covered, wearing tattered and stained clothes looking at several well-dressed older people. I've been through this routine before.
In the past, when the God Squad came to the door and I answered it, I'd usually thank them for their concern. And my thanks are sincere. After all, if you believe that my soul is going to spend an eternity in torment unless I share your beliefs, then I appreciate you trying to save me that fate. I mean, you're wrong, but I appreciate the effort.
I then inform them, as pleasantly as possible, that I'm an atheist (is that still allowed in Trump's America?), and I wish them a good day and close the door before they get the chance to give me the old hard sell.
Or, when I'm a mess or in a hurry, like I was this morning, I usually peek out to see who's knocking and then usually just ignore the intrusion. But because of distraction and most likely cleaning fumes inhalation, there I was - looking at older man holding a Kindle in my face, saying, "I'd just like to share a passage with you from the 'Good Book.'"
"Hold on a second," I said. "What you have there is a Kindle, it's not a book."
The proselytizer paused, looking confused.
I continued, "What you are sharing is not a passage from the 'Good Book,' you are sharing a passage from the 'Good Digital File.' What you are holding is not a book. There's nothing bookish about it."
"And furthermore, if God had intended us to read e-books, we all would have been born with wi-fi."
He offered desperately, "But look, I can enlarge the type so you can..."
I responded, "My eyes are just as god intended, sir."
He raised his eyebrows, looking as if he realized he'd unintentionally offended me.
And then I let him off the hook.
"Look, I'm an atheist, so you're wasting your time. But I do appreciate you checking in on my soul. Y'all have a great Thanksgiving!"
They wished me a happy Thanksgiving and then, looking somewhat ruffled, knocked on my neighbor's door. My neighbors didn't answer their door.