Rent-Free Hell

Yesterday on the C train between Hoyt-Schmmerhorn and Lafayette Street a young man was preaching about the wrath of his lord.

“God loves his flock, but hates a sinner. All you sinners will have a special place of torment in Hell.” He glared about the subway car like Josef Mengele, the SS Angel of Death at Auschwitz-Birkenau. I met his stare with cold blue eyes, but smiled as I asked, “Are those places rent-free?”

Most of the passengers were immune from his rant. Their headphones and earplugs filled their head with song. A few were free of any device and they laughed at my quip. The preacher was not amused and pointed a finger in my direction.

“The end is coming soon.”

“Not soon enough for me, if it means you’ll be taken to your holy heaven and I don’t have to listen to you anymore.”

The train stopped at Lafayette and I stepped onto the platform, half-expecting the preacher man to follow my exit. He stood at the door of the subway shaking the Bible at me.

“You’re lost.” The preacher scowled without joy. There are no jokes in hell for the Christians.

“Not lost, but found in the beauty of humanity and the glory of love.”


“And I couldn’t be happier.”

The subway doors closed and the preacher was dragged deeper into Brooklyn.

I exited from the train station to enjoy the cool evening air thinking about the Jesus-lover celebrating Bunny Day with an egg hunt. No humor was one thing, but no fun was another, then again stranger things have happened to the faithful.

Even to those without a sense of humor.

I’ll be laughing my head off in Hell.

Rent-free of course.

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