Sure the reverend preached on adultery, hollered about pride and screamed over the ladies and their short dresses but he ain’t never preached on personality cos personality’s something everybody got to work on – whether they Christian or not. Every Sunday, he’d dance around the church, weaving and heaving like he couldn’t give up either and Deelon would nod dutifully at the good Lord’s message.
As far as Deelon was concerned, he did all that was right in the sight of the Lord. Take for example Mrs Robinson who always sat right at the front soaking up reverend’s spit like it was the Holy Spirit he’self. After each service, she’d waddle up to his mama asking about his daddy in that irritating voice, ‘‘Lawd ha’ mercy! Sheriff Bill still aint released him yet? How you doing Wilma?’’ But she aint care about his daddy; all she care about was knowing more than her gossip buddy Mrs Turner.
‘‘I suppose God hate Mrs Robinson.’’ His mama have that look on her face like she itching to slap some sense into him but she just ask what he mean.
‘‘Well, reverend say God don’t take too kindly to gossip but Mrs Robinson, she just be running her mouth . . .’’ Before he know to duck, Deelon staggered from his mama’s punch.
‘‘Don’t you let me hear you speak ill of the elderly boy! She old and you not so it ain’t matter what she do, you gon’ show some respect! Your daddy and I aint raise you without sense boy so don’t act like it!’’
Mama walk in front of him now cos she mad but she always mad even though he know the Bible say somewhere how angry people be fools. He don’t want to accept it but his mama act like a fool sometimes. When Sheriff Bill come for his dad, she shout the sheriff down fixing to fight him herself when she know sheriff got the right. But Deloon, he just continue his dinner cos he know God aint like angry people: people who curse and pray with the same mouth like his mama. He reckon that’s why God aint answer her prayer and his daddy still locked up. Or maybe cos his daddy be a criminal cos he KNOW for sure the good Lord aint like criminals.
In the Bible, the Lord say not to hate but Deelon sure hate his papa. All the coloured folks in town proud of him like their personal Doctor King but to the white folks, he just a no good criminal like the rest of them Negroes.
‘‘Everybody proud of me Wilma?’’ he ask his wife when Sheriff Bill let them in and Deelon know he did it for the wrong reasons. He become a criminal just so the coloured folks can praise him; not because he want change. His papa don’t look like a man sad to see jail instead, he happy and proud – it’s all he talk about.
‘‘Boy! You should have seen yo papa! Went right into the cracker’s house and shat in his toilet. Sheriff Bill tell me the old man built a new toilet. Had to go in his garden for a while – even for number two!’’ His papa laugh and laugh and refuse to ask his mama how she doing. His papa like King Saul so God gon’ hate him like he hate King Saul.
‘‘False weights and unequal measures, the Lord detests double standards of every kind.’’ Proverbs 20:10