Johnny woke one morning, thinking of his life, the never-ending possibilities. He turned on the news of the day, there was an accident out on the highway, a drunk man and woman got on the Interstate going the wrong way, killing a young man and his dog in the crash. The drunk man lay in the hospital, the drunk woman died at the scene of the crash.
The president urged congress to put sanctions on some country he has never even heard of, the country’s allies are threatening retaliation for the presidents actions.
A sports figure, was exposed for the use of performance enhancing drugs, stating he has been banned from playing for a year, after he beat his wife.
A movie star was caught shoplifting, she got sent home on probation.
Enough he thinks, check out the weather, cloudy with a chance of rain. The sky all filled with lines, drifting like the edges of rain clouds; but in the form of lines.
The news came back on, this just in it said, a scientist has just confirmed, there is no God, that God is a myth. Further more, there was not a crucifixion, and after careful consideration, the same scientist of human relational studies, stated that it has been confirmed that there was never a holocaust. This and more after the break.
Johnny sat there dumbfounded, looking at the television, five minutes worth of commercials and Johnny still couldn’t wrap his mind around what he had just seen on the news.
Enough already Johnny thinks, he is between jobs, the company closed down, couldn’t compete with the internet, but he did get a good severance package. It came to Johnny, he should head out on the road of life in search of the moral structure of his part of the world at least, the journey began that day.
He thought up a to the point question to ask people in his travels, put his gear in the car, drew some money out of the bank, filled the tank up with gas; then he hit the road.
Miles rolled under his wheels, everywhere he stopped, the rest areas, gas stations, and restaurants, he would find someone to ask his question; is morality alive or dead?
Johnny was hungry, so he pulled into a restaurant for a quick bite to eat. There were no booths, so Johnny sat at the row of stools and ordered a burger and fries. The waiter brought Johnny his food, Johnny popped the question; is morality alive or dead?
The waiter said that working in that business, the customers prove everyday that morality is dead, or at least on the way out. People in the row of stools started to talk about the question, giving their answers. Arguments ensued, there were two guys that even stepped outside to talk further; one came back in with a bloody lip and blackened eye. Johnny left!
Johnny needed ice for his cooler, he asked the clerk his question; is morality alive or dead? The clerk said that people were rude, morality may not be dead, but it’s sure not what it should be. The people are very rude at times, trying to save a dime I can’t do anything about, they take it out on me. Yes, it’s on a decline. On his way back to his car, one of the other customers came out of the store, throwing an egg at Johnny, missing him hitting another customers car; Johnny turned and looked. An older man yelled at Johnny, you Bible Thumpers are all the same, get out of here you freak, then the man threw another egg at Johnny.
Johnny walked towards the man, the man took off the other direction, I didn’t even mention God or the Bible you old fool, and that wasn’t my car you hit, Johnny yelled. Johnny just smiled, it’s a question, what is wrong with people?
Johnny got back on the road, some miles down the road he pulled into a beach, plenty of people going to and from the beach. He asked a few of the people, all he got was: I’m out here for fun, leave me alone. Get out of here, I just wanna see some t-backs and drink some beer. What are you, my dad, it’s the chicks man, nothing more moral than chicks. Johnny got back on the road.
He decided he needed a snack, some coffee, so he pulled into a gas station quick market and went inside. On his way in Johnny saw a homeless man, sitting outside, looking all cold and hungry. Johnny walked inside, got his snack, then a couple of sandwiches, some chips and a cup of warm coffee, paid his tab and left.
He looked at the homeless man and gave him the bag of food minus his snacks, then Johnny asked the homeless man his question; is morality alive or dead?
The homeless man looked up at Johnny, a slight squint in his eyes as the scattered clouds passed below the sun.
I lost my job, five years ago, tried to find work, couldn’t, the economy took a dive, and no one wants an older person working for them no matter the experience under their belt. Lost my house, bank took it; when that happened, the family left too. She remarried for diamonds, kids won’t have anything to do with me, I see them though; I love them, just don’t feel I have the right to tell them though. From down here, I can say morality is dead, you are the first one that has paid any honest attention to me in a long while. Thank you! Just so you know, I can’t pay you for your kindness, and I don’t drink or do drugs; I just fell face first in the hard times everyone ignores. The man told Johnny.
Johnny was beside himself, an honest answer from a homeless man.
Then the homeless man looks at Johnny, a twinkle, could have been the sunlight or a tear, Johnny couldn’t tell.
I’m tired of trying, worked hard all my life, lost more than any honest man should; right now, just waiting on God. God bless you son, and thank you again for the food, you are my miracle today.
Johnny got back on the road, then turned around, paid for a weeks stay in a motel, went back to the homeless man, took him to the motel and dropped him off, telling him that there was a washing machine and drier down the hall, a few meals paid for in the restaurant for him to cover his weeks stay; Johnny gave the homeless man the key and drove off.
Johnny learned the answer to his question, he got slandered, had eggs thrown at him, started a fight, saw non caring beach people; and got blessed by a homeless man that had nothing but honesty in his favour.
The real answer to Johnny question, it’s in society, what they accept and in what they throw away, they want the truth of morality but never see it; is morality alive or dead? Johnny knows the answer, the homeless man, he lives in hope of a better day, as far as the rest of the world; it’s up to them.
Johnny went back home, turned on some Vivaldi, and closed his eyes.