“I can write no more. All that I have written seems like straw.” – Thomas Aquinas
It was so cold just a minute ago when Thomas stopped by the side of the road to vomit out his breakfast. But it is like that in this universe – the moon hangs in the sky, desolate and lonely, and then it peers down at Thomas and tells him everything will be all right.
Thomas is on a journey to get his dope. He has ten dollars in his pocket, the worn jeans that feature the face of God. There’s a stain in the center of his jacket that looks like a mandala, and he’s afraid to brush it out because if he does, it will mean certain death.
He’s superstitious like that. And his girlfriend, Marla, doesn’t give a damn that the last time he ate a piece of bread was four days ago. But Thomas doesn’t need bread when he’s so full of the wonder of the Lord. The nighttime sky to him is a canopy of stars and greasy Van Gogh impressions, and it reminds him of that time he got lost in a Paris slum.
But that was many years ago; let’s stay focused here. Thomas is approaching the gas station on St. Andrew’s Avenue right now, and he has an important question to ask the first truck driver who passes by him: “Can you give me a cigarette?” He determined earlier this afternoon that his mantra for today was “Stay in the center of the soul.” Mantras like this keep him calm.
He asks the almighty cigarette question to a skinny truck driver who falls from the sky and lands on his feet. “But first, do you have Jesus in your heart?” the truck driver asks pointedly.
“Jesus is in my living room,” Thomas responds.
“How is that possible? Won’t your mother know?”
“My mother is the Virgin Mary,” Thomas says truthfully.
“So … that makes you divine? Who do you think you are?” The skinny truck driver, whose name is Big Mack Attack, is getting angry. He pulls out a switchblade. But when Thomas thinks he’s done for, Big Mac uses the blade to open a jar of pickles.
“How ‘bout that cigarette?” Thomas asks impatiently.
Big Mac eats his pickle slowly, then abruptly screams like a hyena and does a jig. It’s only at this point that Thomas knows for sure that he’s going to die tonight and the only hope he has for entering the gates of Heaven is to picture Thomas Aquinas on a horse.