Donald went home by himself, helpless for every step of his journey, faced with the kind of acceptance that is forced on someone. He almost grinned. He'd been volunteering his acceptance for so long. As he finally got near to his building, a man walked out of an alley and stood facing him. Donald felt compelled to stop and face him in return. No recognition.
The man was sweating and trembling. He was holding a gun. Donald looked around. It was still daylight. How could someone be just holding a gun out like that?
"Why do you have a gun?" he said.
"I have to shoot you," the man replied.
"You claim to be God. You're a false Messiah."
"I understand," said Donald. "You're a Christian."
"Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the center of your beliefs."
"This makes it very important to define who Jesus is. And when someone comes along and you hear claims that this person is Jesus, you only have two options. Worship that person or destroy him. But how do you know which one is right?"
"Don't you see a problem here? How could God present this decision to you? Is He trying to fool you?"
"But wouldn't God let you know?"
"He did. He does."
"There's a problem with your beliefs."
"A problem?" he asked, offended.
"It's your vision of God. It's straight-jacketed, black and white. You are underestimating God's power to be me, to be Jesus two thousand years ago, to be everyone and everything. There is room in God for me to have my adventure and you to have your own, completely ignoring me."
"No! No, there isn't room," yelled the man as he fired the gun. Then he dropped the gun and stared.
Donald was unharmed. The ballistics of a bullet lodged in the sidewalk indicated that the man missed, from five paces away.
"You see?" asked Donald. "There is room. Room for both of us. Now get out of here. You made a lot of noise and people are looking this way."
Donald started walking again to his apartment. He didn't look back. A policeman asked what had just happened.
"Some guy shot off a gun, I don't know."
Then reporters surrounded him.
"Is Sarah Fischer your girlfriend?" asked one of them. The question struck him like a slap.
"Sarah? How do you know about Sarah?"
The reporters laughed. "Answer my question!" he yelled.
Some guy said, "Have you read a paper this week?"
"No! No, I haven't . What's going on? Is she alright?"
"She's walking across New Jersey, prophesizing."
Registering the shock on Donald's face, a particularly ambitious and sharp young reporter named Aaron Hart, not his real name of course, offered to take him to her. Donald accepted immediately, and the other reporters followed them to Aaron's car, feeling stupid, feeling like they were always one step behind, that life and its opportunities were passing them by.
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