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When Jesus didn't answer me.

One of the days on the road

By Oleksandr MatvyeyevPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Top Story - January 2023
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It was one of the colder nights.

I was standing alone in a desert. It was windy and dark. The sun had already gone over the horizon, and night had come down to face me. By then I understood that darkness is inevitable and that we are only passing through as guests. I could only spot a few specific lights in this seemingly abandoned little town. Hopefully, there was someone to help me find a place where I could spend the night. My first stop was usually a fire station.

I came pretty close to the door. It was guarded by an angel statue. Without getting off my bicycle I leaned over to ring the doorbell. No answer followed. I did it again. Nothing. After further futile attempts, I decided to move on. Apparently, firefighters worked in this place strictly as volunteers. I looked down at the angel statue and went to the next major place of service. A church.

The "angel"

The wind began to howl. It was one of the colder windy nights. I could feel my face being exfoliated by microscopic particles of sand. It wasn't as pleasant as the beauty parlor.

Up to then, I had tried not to spend a night at a church during my trip. It wasn’t because I did not believe in God or because I wasn't religious. I simply didn't have a need to. When I came closer the dogs came around to check me out and I could see light in the windows. Somebody was inside. A woman and a man came out. I told them that I was traveling across the States and that I needed a place to stay for the night. They gave me their priest's number. His name was Jesus–the Spanish pronunciation: Jesús. They told me to call him to see if he could help me with my situation. Why they could not call him I don't know. I dialed his number and waited. Jesus didn't answer. I called a second time and heard his voicemail, but then nothing. My attempt to connect with him was as solid and mysterious as traveling dust in this desert, which disappears as suddenly as it appears from the dark. My hands started to tremble from the cold air. I had to move. I thanked the man and woman and decided to keep on going.

I felt so alone, nearly abandoned, left to my own choices to deal with the situation. Sometimes that’s all I've got and it’s enough. I found it amusing. This one time when I called a priest named Jesus, and he never answered. I still chuckle or laugh when I remember this episode. How absurd it all was.

I also laughed because I was alone, and not only at the mere fact of being alone but also being consistently surprised by it after all the weeks of traveling. I was truly alive, learning again and again. Growing. It was a unique experience for me and I am grateful for it.

The next stop was the police department. It was closed too. I could see how dark it was through the window. I decided to sit down and call Jesus again. The answering machine answered he did not. I exhaled and looked around. Behind me, there was a very tall sign with red neon letters, which read, “MO...EL". The missing letter "T" promised that this night would be an unforgettable adventure that I would live to tell you about, I hoped. It could always end up being as regrettable as it was unforgettable.

After a quick stop at a store to get restocked with food and water, I went to the main entrance of the MoEL. A man of the age of fifty with an Indian accent was standing in the reception, ready to help with accommodating all suitable travelers. His big eyes took up a lot of room in the small receptionist's booth and made him look claustrophobic. I asked him if there was a room for one person. I was lucky. There was one left. After filling out all the forms and processing my payment he gave me a key to the room. A blue key tag with a crack on it reading, “18.”I went into the hallway.

the hallway

My room reminded me of the movie No Country For Old Men, especially the hotel room scene, where Chigurin comes in without his boots. Even the light switch was in the same spot, but the room was significantly smaller.

the light switch

I unloaded all my gear, put all the food that I needed on a table and decided to take a bath. Then my friend called me from New Jersey. We had a short video call. I showed her the room. As usual, she complimented me by telling me how crazy I was to be doing all this. After a hot bath and dinner I went straight to bed and went out like a light.

the key tag

When I woke up the next day sunbeams were trying to break through thick burgundy curtains and fill the room to accompany the crisp morning air of the desert. A new day was here, at the doorstep. After a quick breakfast, I didn't see the point in staying there any longer. I loaded my gear on the bike and left the motel room to continue my journey.

I stopped to buy another gallon of water and decided to call up the priest again. He didn’t answer. I laughed and got back on the road. Jesus wanted me to deal with this matter alone.

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About the Creator

Oleksandr Matvyeyev

Hello

I am an actor and a writer. I began to write since the pandemic began back in March of notorious 2020. I've crossed the South of the US on my bicycle and went home to Ukraine for 4 months. I have a lot to say, so let's begin.

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (3)

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  • VIDHYASAGARabout a year ago

    Nice story keep growing 😊

  • Stephanie J. Bradberryabout a year ago

    Nice story development!

  • Emily Marie Concannonabout a year ago

    This was very touching. I relate to the feelings. I just subscribed, great job!

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