(I wrote this in 2008, about an incident on my way home from work).

 Its a long story but my workplace (a telemarketing/fundraising company) moved to a location two towns away. Where I could once walk to work I now have to take a public bus and then a shuttle bus provided by my company. A major hassle. Anyway one day in early February I was taking the bus home. I was sitting close to the front of the bus. In front of me, sitting diagonally from each other were two guys. Both of them looked hippyish, with long hair and scruffy, vaguely “ethnic” clothing. The guy sitting across from me was older, maybe late fifties (I’m not good at judging ages.) He looked like he might either be homeless or a veteran of decades of activism and/or counter-cultural movements and scenes. He had vaguely tie died clothes on. He wasn’t wearing anything political but I could picture him sporting anti-war buttons and stickers. He didn’t have a look of bourgeoisie prosperity about him and didn’t look exactly like an academic either. I spent a while trying to figure him out, as a way of passing I noticed the older guy was talking to a younger guy, also hippy looking. This guy was dominating the discussion.


“Jesus is THE perfect teacher,” he said. He went on in that vein., to the effect that Jesus was the exemplar of perfec wisdom and the perfect teacher. This surprised me-I didn’t these guys would be the type to be attracted to conventional religiosity. I was curious. Who are these people? I listened closely, looking for clues. The younger guy kept referring to “the discussion last week”. They were apparently in some fundamentalist or charismatic sect. The older guy agreed with the younger guy (who appeared to a teacher of some sort in his sect) but kept trying to give his ideas a more universal approach. “Yes, the name of Jesus stands for the perfect teacher…the holy name is a guide to  the human race” The younger guy kept chiding him and emphasizing that “Jesus is THE holy name, the perfect teacher”. Jesus isn’t just a symbol or metaphor for spiritual enlightenment but is the embodiment of perfection. Their conversation continued for most of the bus trip.It was fascinating in its weirdness. The younger guy was talking very loudly and seemed to aiming  not just  at the older guy but everyone else on the bus. Apparently these guys belonged to some Catholic group. The younger guy might have been a priest (although iIdon’t think ths is likely) or a sect teacher. It seemed most likely though that he was just a member of some Catholic charismatic discussion group. He was clearly a control freak and was trying to do a head job on the older guy.

Their conversation continued for most of the bus trip.It was fascinating in its weirdness. The younger guy was talking very loudly and seemed to aiming not just at the older guy but everyone else on the bus. Apparently these guys belonged to some Catholic group. The younger guy might have been a priest (although iIdon’t think ths is likely) or a sect teacher. It seemed most likely though that he was just a member of some Catholic charismatic discussion group. He was clearly a control freak and was trying to do a head job on the older guy.

Their conversation continued for most of the bus trip.It was fascinating in its weirdness. The younger guy was talking very loudly and seemed to aiming  not just  at the older guy but everyone else on the bus.

Apparently these guys belonged to some Catholic group. The younger guy might have been a priest (although iIdon’t think ths is likely) or a sect teacher. It seemed most likely though that he was just a member of some Catholic charismatic discussion group. He was clearly a control freak and was trying to do a head job on the older guy.
The older guy may have been a counter-cultural type (somewhat down on his luck), who , continuing the counte-rcultural search for experiential religion, had drifted back to his childhood Catholicism, where he met the control freak. That’s my theory anyway.
The older guy eventually got off at a supermarket near where I live. After he left the young guy looked kind of awkward. Maybe a felt embarrassed after sermonizing to half the bus, and then having no one to talk to. He glanced at me a few times (I was the closest passenger to him) and looked like he wanted to start in on me. I guess this was when I was supposed to ask “What do you believe in?” I wasn’t in the mood and the guy was weirding me out.
A few stops later I got off the bus.