12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Some years ago I moved from Chicago to Florida on Easter weekend. After living and working in my ex-wife's wonderful home for almost 21 years - -I was going back home.

It was in the 30's when I left Chicago early Friday morning. The CD player was loaded with discs and it was smooth sailing until the CD magazine jammed just outside Memphis. I later learned how to un-jam the CD player by striking the magazine with a cheap ball point pen a couple times. But outside Memphis I was forced to turn on the radio. Amazingly (or not), the powerful signals all belonged to Christian stations and NPR was no match. Like Air Traffic Control, I was passed from one station to another and their version of The Passion. At first I was frustrated but grew curious as the liberal in me marveled at the music and unique southern perspective.

I made Chattanooga my Rest Over Night point and figured I'd drive around downtown and look for a proper hotel with secured parking rather than park at Holiday Inn on the interstate and listen to 18 wheelers down shift throughout the night. A sound I grew up detesting as an Army Brat.

I exited the highway and was dumped in front of the perfect hotel. Nine or so stories, brick, mid to late 19th century. Perfect. A call from my cell to reservations as I drove around the hotel --a vacancy at $70 a night. Perfect. I pull in and my station wagon filled with art (worth little to anyone but me) is valeted into a secure garage. Perfect. I check in and inquire if there's a decent steak restaurant close by. Before I can qualify that by decent I don't mean Outback, the desk clerk tells me they have a steak restaurant in the lobby. Perfect. I throw a bag in my room and run down to the restaurant. A rib eye, half a bottle of Cabernet and truffle mac and cheese. Perfect. Upstairs my bed has a down pad on top of the mattress. I lie down on one of the five best beds of my life. Perfect. And I dream...

I'm in a nondescript office waiting room. A man walks in and tells me, "Jesus will see you now." I get up and follow the man into another nondescript room. Jesus sits on a metal folding chair in the middle of the room in a white robe with his legs crossed. His bare feet in sandals. A clip board on his lap. I sit down in the empty folding chair across from him and cross my legs. The man leaves us in the room alone.

Jesus raises the clip board and starts to read from it but before he does there's a glance at my feet as he lowers the clip board and smiles, "Before we begin, I just wanted to comment on your socks. They're always so colorful." I look at my socks and look up at Jesus, "You like my - - socks?" Jesus leans forward, "Absolutely, I can tell you really make an effort." I ask, "That pleases you, Jesus?" "Yes," He says. "If it pleases you - - It pleases me." And I woke up.

I lay in bed that night and thought about the dream and realized how calm I was. I easily fell back to sleep and the next morning I watched the sun rise and reflected on the dream. Still unsure of what it meant but smiling to myself as I turned the radio on and headed home. Happy Easter.

15 comments:

Holly Goes Lightly said...

Perfect.

Anonymous said...

TinTin,
Happy Easter. ME

ADG said...

Tintin....Jesus was cool and he was also way radical. That's what intrigues me about him. LFG and I communed with him at the Easter service last night since every pew in the world is crowded on Easter Sunday.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Tintin, Jesus appears in the strangest of places and at the most appropriate of times - moments of grace. I gathered on Easter morning in Tokyo to hear the story anew, again. Thanks for the powerful story. Happy Easter.

M.Lane said...

Please post this every Easter. I need to hear it. I think it is perfect.

And I've stayed in that hotel. There used to be a great Italian place about a block away too.

Happy Easter.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

initials CG said...

Was JC telling you he liked your taste in women, too?

I would have had to ask him that. I'm still askin'. Nothing definitive like your dream, but I get the feeling he prefers my taste in socks...

Dave said...

I love Chatanooga. I have no idea what hotel you're talking about, but I always have fun in that city.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Jesus has a pretty zen-like attitude AND sartorial inclinations! I also don't know what it meant but he seems to know what you want, and what you need. No wonder you reflected the next morning...

Happy Easter to you, too!

-DB

Giuseppe said...

"I can tell you make an effort..."

While the rest of the world may think we're all a bunch of stuffed shirts, and everybody's going to the office in tier pyjamas, it's nice to know that Jesus Himself gives a damn.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting so much effort into your blog. I don't comment much, but I've read and appreciated the entire archive of your posts. Please don't stop.
-Mike M

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Read House:

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/dining/index.html?propertyID=1474

Sheraton owns it now. There is a great traditional mens store in the next block (Bruce Baird & Co.)

Scott

Tin-tin's phred/dad said...

Holly's comment needs no help. Nor do most of the comments. It is a grand story!
Can't resist one though about stopping within hearing of downshifting and Jake braking 18W's. I used to do it on purpose at "decent" motels near Hwy. EZ on, EZ off, edible food and your Mom could always walk her dog and cat. Always in a hurry and you young "Brats" paid the emotional price. I still feel guilty about that lack of consideration.
Just one more: You and I leave restroom. About halfway to our table, you shout out, "Mom! Dad peed on a spider!' Lot's of laughs from customers; your Mom was mortified. Maybe just one more:
Talks with Jesus. I often sit out with a martini and talk with Jesus about all manner of things. After a time, he wishes me well, then says, "As for me senor, I must finish mowing your lawn."

tintin said...

CG- I always wondered what the clip board was aboout. What was on it. Was I getting in or no? Maybe it was a list of my women. In which case - - I'm not getting in.

Dave- Scott nailed it - - The Read House. Best Mac and Cheese ever. I love Nooga too.

DB- I'll never make sense of it but it but the memory never fails to down shift me into a lower gear...and cause me to buy more colorful socks.

Giuseppe- It's called discipline - - which those who have known me over the years will tell you I have none - - except when it comes to getting dressed.

Mike M- Thank you. Very kind words.

Scott- Thanks, sir. You're right and it was good to revisit even if it was only on their web site.

Anonymous said...

Such irony. A man who, if you believe the Bible, had no pretense. And who was pictured spending his sacrificial life in sandals. Sockless. That he would admire (envy?) socks worn by someone whose life was devoted to vanity, hedonism, narcissism, the antithesis of his ife,well ...it's surely a mystery, isn't it?

tintin said...

Anon- I don't think Jesus is capable of envy. But I like to think He admires us all. Whether we're vain and hedonistic or not. It's always been my impression that most Christians are about 1/8 inch deep. St Francis they're not.