The Soul Salesman

Sherwood Gazette 1993 and Sherwood Scroll 1976
Centuries ago you could get a job as a soul saleman. Souls could be bought and traded like any other commodity. New and Used Souls. I became especially interested in this vocation a dozen years ago for two reasons:

One, there was a movement underfoot to decorate Sherwood's core business district up like an Old English town and I thought why stop at decorations. Let's bring back Old English attitudes as well.

Two, the historic Sherwood train depot was bulldozed to the ground --and every other artifact of historic value assaulted with glee by the town council --without a peep from anyone and I thought a soul for Sherwood would make an excellent purchase. We could donate it to the library and have it checked out like a book or phonograph record.

Thank God such conflicts are behind us now. The past is done and gone with and I'm glad. All around me people are looking forward to a prosperous future. The Mayor of Sherwood has issued some rosy predictions that will put Sherwood on an entirely new footing. The regional newspapers all agree that economic indicators are rising.

And yet... what is this dark wind I feel? Climbing out of the manholes and the storm drains and crawling like mildew up the sides. What name are you known by, sir? And from what country do you hale sir?

No word can fully describe the route it travels nor the alacrity of its sting. It follows us everywhere about the house and yard. It slinks after us when we go out to our places of employment. It listens over our shoulder while we read Time magazine and expound on our solutions for the rascals in power... and then it blows in our ear.

Is there no defense? Is there no hope? Perhaps some special accolade will do? A certificate of merit to hang on our wall perhaps, with special commendation from the White House? A large plaque with our name clearly inscribed in mother of pearl?

I say nay! Rather we must become like those soul salesmen of yore who traded their lives of luxury for a life of wandering and starvation. Like them we must all learn to travel that lonely path, forsaken by friends and rejected by relatives, biting down hard on each and every tooth that ails us, ignoring rain and wind and hail as well as rocks hurled by little children.

For the price of a $10 subscription to the Sherwood Gazette you can get off easy....
Copyright 2005 by Clyde List

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