Reverend Jim snaps, and drowns JoAnne Pfister in the baptismal font
on Easter Sunday
right in front of the entire congregation.
No cookies in the social hall for Jim this time.
In his years on the run,
the ruined Reverend learns some hard truths--
that women lie their heads off,
that RC Cola tastes like shit, especially the diet,
and that cats, though beautiful,
worship only tuna fish, and meet in terrible cabals on the sly.
You doubt these things?
Then, how wonderful
that you have not suffered.
For a time, he lives in a trailer park with a waitress
who has seven Persians and tells him she is the
reincarnation of Saint Joan of Arc.
Her refrigerator has so many magnets on the door,
it looks like the uniform of a South American military officer,
a deranged puppet ordering crackdowns...
Inside, it is full to bursting with cans of RC diet cola.
"I love you, Jimmy," says the waitress,
leaving him a generous tip after acrobatic sex one night.
"I'll never leave you,"
but her bags are already packed and hidden behind the cinder blocks outside.
steeped in sin like the devil's tea bag,
Reverend Jim flees the trailer as he fled the church so long ago.
His hair grows long,
and he moves ever further into the surrounding wilderness.
In the weird intermittent flashes of a lightning storm,
he asks for God's pardon.
She washes him clean with the rain,
whispers in his ear to come home,
But at the last minute,
a dove falls neck-bitten and dead at his feet.
the sound of a tiny bell,
and when he bites his knuckles, the rain drops taste
metallic and awful.
Reverend Jim decides to stay where he is,
miserable and ridden with fever dreams of the woman he killed.
He has kept one large cross through all the heartbreak,
and uses it it as a hammer
to build his tree house,
because the damned must be resourceful
and make the best use of whatever is at hand.