if we had our own religion

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"I think, if we had a religion..." Jessica kicks her feet up on the desk across from her, and takes a sip of her coffee thoughtfully. It's Columbia - it has to be, because that's the only blend worth her money here. Her sneakers are worn at the tips, black canvas, Converse. She's worn those shoes as long as I've known her; it's hard to imagine her with anything else.

"If we had our own religion, Sydney," she continues skeptically, with another sip and a toss of her raven-black hair, "I think Andrew Jackson would be our God." I laugh at that and toss her another Starburst from the bucket on the desk between us.


"Yeah. I think he'd make an excellent god." She unwraps it, popping it into her mouth and chewing experimentally before shoving it in the corner of her cheek. "He could live in the starts, you know?" she continues. "And then Thoreau could be like Moses. We could have the Sabbath every Sunday, except we'd sit in like, totally hipster coffee shops instead of cathedrals." Chew, chew, swallow. She reaches out her hand for another Starburst, and I toss her an orange one. "Our gospel could be poetry," she says, with a candy-cheeked smirk. "You know, Poe and Tennyson and all that s***. Maybe some Longfellow. Wordsworth."

"We need some Dickinson. I like her. Whitman, too."

"Yeah, okay. I guess Dickinson's alright."

"Dude," I say, swallowing a lemon Starburst and throwing the wrapper at her. It drifts through the air, maybe an inch away from my hand, cascading pathetically to the ground about a foot away from it's intended target. "Dickinson's totally deck. How can you not like Dickinson?"

She shrugs. "I dunno. Everyone reads Dickinson. Too conformist."


"Hey, Occupy Christmas, man. It's happening."

"Uh huh." I reach for another Starburst. It's cherry. I like the cherry ones. I unwrap it, and fold the paper into a perfect, tiny little triangle. "Look," and I toss it at her. "Made you that. Just now. It's a triangle."


"Yeah. It's your Christmas present. I thought you'd like it."

"I do. Very non-conformist." I smirk at her. She's a little odd, sure, but then again, maybe we all are.

"Jackson would approve?"


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