This is another piece from my creative writing course. The brief this time was dialogue, and in the seminar we read A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Hemmingway, which was a huge influence on the dialogue I was playing with here. I hope you enjoy!
Also, if you get a spare second, check out my friend becca‘s blog. she is in my group and is an amazing writer!
I open my eyes to the checkered dark of the booth, hearing him enter from the other side.
“My child, what can I help you with?”
“Father, I have sinned…”
A deep sigh. Not the first sin heard today.
“I keep having unclean thoughts…Father. About my fellow man. I dream about making love to a man. But surely the Lord cannot damn me for this! It happens when I sleep, HE made me this way !
“i have sinned. i had thoughts about being with a man. i drink too much. my body, a gift from God, is damaged beyond repair from this. i am old; my body is no temple, but a dive”
“My son, I forgive you..but cleanse your body of these thoughts. The Lord will not tolerate this. A bed of flaming asphalt awaits you in Hell, should you not repent! There is a special circle for men like you!”
“but i wish you did not have send you there. my sin disgusts me as much as yours. and i am powerless to help us both ”
The Father’s breath stinks of whiskey. It fills the booth like a virus, nausea rising in the man. The priest’s leather skin tenses in the black of the booth.
“My child, it says in the Bible it is wrong, do you doubt the Bible?”
‘No, Father…but please forgive me!”
“You are forgiven”
“You are forgiven”
The man breaks down in tears. Starts praying. I see two sinners, but how many do you see? The priest sits there, disillusioned and drunk, half caught in his own thoughts and sins. One sinner sits there crying, the other awkwardly damns him, frustrated by his life and lashing out at the world. I reside above the box, and wonder how I, with a heart of love, made the world, for it all to go wrong.