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Traveling between logic and reason

July 12, 2010

I dreamt of being summoned to a local blue lodge to assist with a project. 

My arrival was greeted with great dismay; gone was the grand foyer and its magnificent marble staircase.  In place were shoddily partitioned rooms akin to an average jail cell, perhaps 6 x 10 at the most, and a rickety wooden staircase. 

The air was freezing and no one made eye contact.   One man closed his eyes to avoid my gaze and felt along the walls to guide himself through the maze of rooms. 

It was announced that the lodge room had been removed from the second floor and placed in the new basement. 

The stairs led to more tiny, barren rooms.  The once spacious lounge was the size of two combined jail cells and lit by a bare, hanging bulb.  Occupying the space was a group of four:  three men sitting in a semi-circle with another positioned in front of them.

The one sitting apart held a Bible in one hand, an old-fashioned cashier’s ledger in the other, and wore boots, spurs, and a huge white cowboy hat.  Oblivious to my presence, he instructed the group on “the rules of the Masonic prison ministry outreach program.”

The man claimed the idea as his own, saying Grand Lodge had adopted it as a recruitment tool.  

He then spelled out mandatory participation requirements.

“Y’all are gonna go to the prison in groups of twelve and talk to the guys who’s about to get out.  Each of you has to recruit at least one of them.  You’ve gotta use the Bible and act like yer witnessing but what you really need is in this secret roll book (the ledger).  Grand Lodge’s gonna give you a Bible but you gotta buy yer own ledger ’cause they ain’t got a lot of money fer that right now.”

A young man about 25, maybe 27 years of age furiously took notes as the hatted one doled out pocket-size copies of the New Testament.

The man continued, “This was my idea ’cause guys gettin’ out of prison need somethin’ to do and the lodge needs more members.  Grand Lodge don’t care if they’re felons or whatever, they just need numbers.”

“Y’all are gonna be broken up into groups and you need to learn the schedule so you’ll know yer weekend to be bussed to the prison.  Everyone’s gotta do it and you can’t miss or swap out yer time.  The lodge done bought a bus and fixed it up so y’all will have a way to git there.”

I moved along to the southeast corner room where I was to decoupage picket fence segments with goldenrod tissue paper.  The finished product would block off the building’s front sidewalk.

Upon completion and heading downstairs, I again heard the cowboy extolling the virtues of Masonic prison outreach and the bevy of potential brothers awaiting claim within correctional institution walls. 

Passing through the final downstairs room, I noticed a leader and minion on a corner couch. 

Perched on the leader’s lap was a dark haired gal, grinding in a peculiar way not unlike a dog dragging its itchy butt across the floor.  Unphased by her movements, the leader conversed with two men; one portly and sparsley pated and another whose profile revealed a large and grossly misshapen proboscis. 

I walked out to enjoy the crisp, nighttime air.

Curbside was an old school bus freshly painted with white matte house paint.  Attached was a sign reading “do not touch, keep out, and stay away.” 

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