Walk Down Misery Street

It was solemnly quiet. I came up to the white marble bowl in the center, towering above a small marble sculpture of the Apostle Paul. I dipped the fingers of my right hand into the bowl with warm water and then brought the wet fingers to my forehead, touched my eyes and lips. Thin, warm streams ran down my face, dripping on the gray uniform jacket. I made the sign of the Cross and sat on the bench as God’s grace descended upon my heart.

I looked upon the high altar, at the sculptures and icons, at the face of Christ and at the Apostles. And my life already did not seem so horrible, dumb, and meaningless. I believed once again that—in my arrival to America, in my strange-at-first-glance choice of career to help drug addicts, and even the dumb and exhausting work as a security guard at this place—there is some meaning, that God in spite of everything leads me down a mysterious road, to some grand goal, even though I can’t yet understand what this goal entails.

“Okay, if I can’t understand now, I could later. Sooner or later everything will be revealed; everything secret becomes apparent,” I convinced myself. “I must stick to this path, no matter how hard it may be. While you take the reins, you should not look back.”

Sometimes the organ would sound in the church as the musician performed religious pieces. The Church chorales sounded triumphant under the arches of this wonderful church proclaiming the greatness and power of God, the beauty of life, and the belief that Beauty and Goodness are eternal.

***

Students passed by the Time Warner building day and night. Guys and gals a bit younger than me, with bags containing textbooks and laptops, walked in small groups or by themselves. Some of them were in a hurry, it seems, being late for class, while some walked unhurriedly, talking loudly amongst themselves. A student is easily recognizable, no matter what country, age,  sex, or race.

Sometimes I guarded the entrance to the underground garage in the supermarket. I stood by the wide entry in my cap and wrinkled uniform, which was a size too large for me. From the side I probably looked like my favorite character from the famous story “Wizard of Oz,” the straw man called Scarecrow.

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