Words from the Crypt

Rick Wayne's Writings on the Wall

Lately I’ve been thinking about Christ. A lot. At any rate, about the story of Christ’s crucifixion. Now contain yourself, dear concerned reader, don’t rush the brush. My recent health alert has nothing to do with it. Then again, maybe it does. After all, the reason I’ve been thinking so much about what you’re not supposed to say the Jews did (well, not until you’ve checked with the Pope for his latest recommendation on phrasing!) centers on two e-mails I received soon after I disclosed publicly that my prostate was under attack.
And now you’re wondering: if the reason he is thinking about Christ has nothing to do with his imminent demise, then what the hell (oops!) other reason could he possibly have? As if I ever told anyone I was a non-believer. Actually, you don’t have to subscribe to the notion of heaven (or that unthinkable other place with bonfires everywhere but not a single working fire engine) to believe Jesus Christ not only walked this earth but that he was more often than not in the company of strangers.  By all accounts, he was an uncommonly good man whose unique history is there to be read by the literate, whether or not faithful. As for me, it’s when you start getting into how he was conceived and associated miracles that, well,  my pesky questions arise, questions that so far have turned up few answers that a thinking person might consider reasonable—questions that have earned me a certain reputation among a certain set.
But let’s put all of that aside for the time being. For my present purposes, let us all—believers, atheists, agnostics and plain old devil-worshipping heathens—agree to agree that whoever the crucifiers of Christ may have been back in the day, by all accounts they had chosen to nail him down between two acknowledged guys of ill repute, one of whom addressed Christ in the following fashion: “If you are who you say you are, then why don’t you work your magic and get us all outta here!”
Then the other bad guy says in effect (yes, in effect, since I’m not quoting any of this directly): “Let him be. We at least are paying for our crimes but he is an innocent man.” At which point
Christ says to the last
quoted: “Before the sun sets, thou shall be with me in paradise.”
So now, let’s fast-forward to current events. Among the scores of letters I received soon after my earlier recalled public announcement were two bearing names I immediately recognized. One was still on my list of friends, so no surprise that I read his letter first:
“Rick, I heard about your condition and wish to extend my best wishes. In this regard brazenly I take this opportunity to share some observations: firstly, let me just say that according to my observation, some of your recent commentaries leave me with the impression that there is a certain amount of anger being harboured down inside. Should this be correct, let this be a reminder that anger, hatred and other negative thoughts can cause deterioration of health just as much as poor drinking habits. I am sure your doctor would have made certain recommendations.”
Niiiccce, huh?  But there was more: “My other concern is the content of the STAR newspaper. For weeks now I have observed that advertisements account for 60 percent of the content. Is this fair practice? Is this normal? Is this acceptable?” Just the kind of letter I imagine any man, if he was dying, would love to receive from a friend. So comforting!
The other letter was from someone who ceased being my friend after he said something that left me thinking he would derive special pleasure from seeing me hurt. I chose on the occasion to err on the side of caution and hastily removed him from my short list of buddies to turn to in my hour of need. Two years had passed since we communicated in a manner bordering on civil. I took a deep breath and started to read his letter:
“Dear Rick: Just when I thought you could no longer do anything to piss me off or to get my attention, you go and pull a stunt like this. What is it with you? Must you always win? Well, you have my attention; undivided, I assure you. What’s with this cancer thing, anyway? Look, Rick, stop goofing off and get back to work, cause the last time I heard your situation is not at all grave. Indeed, my own research reveals that you should make a full recovery. Now, wait a minute. Don’t understand me too quickly. I am still pissed with you, especially in recent times. And don’t for a minute believe I am being all mush-mushy-mushy with you. No, sir.
“My expression of concern for you derives from my distant memory of times we shared and the very long and exhilarating conversations we had. Oh, how I wish things were different. These days, all I feel like telling you is F%#*!&&%**#@#. I hope you can still read code. After all, Rick is a CIA. But nuff said. You have work to do. Let me give some reasons to hasten your return: 1) general elections; 2) pissing people off; 3) people pissing you off—I especially like this one!—4) Stephenson King; 5) Kenny Anthony. So now Rick, get off your ass. Get to Saint Lucia so you can continue doing what you do best. I know your recovery is imminent. I only hope you don’t piss off your doctors. Take good care of yourself old chap until we see again. Godspeed!!!”
Goes to show you, doesn’t it? Too often the guy smiling at you from the other side of your lunch table is the one you should guard against, and not always the one whose emotions (and love for de partee) might sometimes lead him to say something he instantly regrets—if only in the privacy of his heart.
Just in case there are among my readers heathens and non-believers who still haven’t got the message: the above is a lesson in forgiveness. At the very least, a reminder not to judge too quickly!
Of course, it is quite possible the writer of the first letter was well meaning and had simply passed on to me
what he himself had learned the hard way about anger concealed, suppressed hatred and rage, whether for business or political reasons . . . I mean, I’m just sayin’!

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