I looked down at my watch. 11:52 AM. Only eight minutes until the service ended, and people began flooding out of the sanctuary, heading for their cars. Then, off to dinners with family and friends celebrating the Easter holiday. Only eight minutes. And my tongue danced around inside my cheeks, speaking in tongues. A run-away babbling, gibbering, jabbering, muttering, ranting, yakkety-yakking Christian filled with varieties of tongues from heaven.
Oh, God, why don’t You just throw me under a Greyhound Bus and put me out of misery before I have a collision with someone? I thought.
“Darling – darling.”
Usually, whenever I heard Dusty say, “Darling,” I lit up inside with joy, but not that day. She was the oncoming blond-haired pedestrian this out-of-control tongue talker hoped to avoid.
Standing up, I bit down on my run-away tongue with my teeth, causing my lower lip to jut out in an odd manner. I did not care because keeping the prattling tongue under control at all costs had to be my number one preoccupation in Dusty’s presence. Somehow, some way, I had to survive this run-in with a non-tongue-talking Christian.
The compassion in her green eyes spoke volumes to me.
“Honey what’s wrong with you? I became worried when you didn’t return.”
She did what every mother does with a sick child. She reached out a hand to touch my forehead, in search of a fever.
I bobbed and weaved my head out of her reach, much like a prize fighter in the boxing ring. I put my hands up in a fighting position and shuffled my feet around her. She pivoted, keeping me in her sights. I breathed loudly as my lungs cried out for oxygen and my heart rate soared.
“Chuck, what’s your problem?” she asked as a red glow spread across her face.
I gave her the okay sign with my fingers as I continued backpedalling out of her reach.
“Sweetheart, tell me what’s wrong,” she said through clenched teeth.
Like most wives, Dusty was a smart detective who saw through her husband’s smoke screens. When she recognized them for what they were, she turned into a relentless, braying bloodhound with her nose down to the trail, searching for the truth.
“Honey, can’t you talk?” she finally asked.
In exasperation, she faked a slap to my face with her left hand. I moved my hands up to ward off the blow. The defensive maneuver opened up my stomach for a frontal attack. She counter-punched with an index finger to my gut. I gasped. At the same time, a few syllables tumbled over my lips.
“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae…”
She wrinkled her nose in shock.
“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae. What is that gibberish, Swahili?” she said.
What started out badly for me, had now deteriorated and spun out of control, heading for a total melt down. Grasping at straws, I grabbed her and kissed her. She wiggled in frustration, attempting to get loose of my clutches. Then, I held her at arm’s length and looked into her eyes. Her inner temperature gauge shot past the boiling point into the meltdown area. She was red-hot furious.
I released her, turned around, and headed toward our black Toyota Land Cruiser. After a few steps, I looked over my shoulder and motioned for her to follow. Next, I ran toward the SUV. My only hope was that Dusty’s curiosity would override her common sense, causing her to follow me without calling out, and thereby, creating an even bigger embarrassment for the two of us.
Jumping into the gray leather driver’s seat, I reached over to open the passenger door. A yellow blur with blond hair swept into the passenger’s seat. I put a forefinger to my lips, pleading for quiet and reached for a yellow legal pad in the pocket behind her seat.
I scrawled furiously on the pad:
I have had an experience with God and can only speak in tongues.
Dusty leaned over, read the words and snickered.
“Charles Haddon Brewster, Jr., that’s hilarious. Where do you come up with these things? From watching those silly charismatics on television?”
She covered her mouth with her hand to veil her mirth. As she did, the sun mirrored off her charm bracelet, the one I bought her on eBay for Valentine’s Day. She loved jewelry.
I pointed toward the pad, nodded my head and wrote another message:
It’s true! And I had a visit from an angel who talked with me about some really important things.
This time, she slid over against the passenger door, as far away as possible from me, like I had leprosy or something. She shook her head in disbelief.
“No. You can’t be, you can’t be. We don’t even believe in stuff like that. It’s not scriptural.” Then, she paused for a moment before adding, “You’re still joking, aren’t you? Well, it’s time to get serious, okay? We have to head over to my parents’ home.”
She smoothed her dress with her hand.
I shrugged my shoulders and wrote:
It doesn’t matter what we think. Honey, it’s real. I speak in tongues.
Her lips moved as she read the note. She then threw the pad into the back seat.
“Take me home and do it now. Why are you acting like such a jerk?” she said through quivering lips.
Diamond-like droplets formed in the corners of her eyes. She groped for her purse sitting on the dash, but her effort proved clumsy. The purse fell onto the carpet, spilling the contents out. Her inner dam broke because of this added mishap. Tears cascaded down her face. She reached under her legs to shove everything back into the purse. As she did, cries mixed with sniffles filled the vehicle.
I looked at her. My heart ached. Nothing melted my harsh attitudes quicker than seeing her crying over something which I had done. I hated it. So, I leaned toward her.
“Dee, dee, bah, bah –” I whispered without thinking about what I was saying.
She pushed me away with outstretched hands. Her tears dried up as soon as her inner anger shot past the evaporation stage.
“Don’t you try to ‘dee, dee, bah, bah’ me! Take me home now.”
She pointed an index finger toward the exit of the church’s parking lot and gave me a look which announced no more messing around with Dusty Brewster. She had had enough.
(This is a scene from my soon to be published novel, Deceived Dead And Delivered.)