Page 45 - Vol. VII #8
P. 45

 voted for cutting taxes and building the wall. Henry cared about big things, and what was bigger than the whole damned planet? So, Saturday nights came, and Henry Peterson knelt with his friends. They prayed and they cared, reflected in the mirrors of similar eyes, across the rims of similar martinis. Henry Peterson wanted to punch Brian Lehr because Brian would not accept the grace offered him at the altar where they all worshiped.
So he was tolerated, Brian was. He had married Bar- bara Helsted after Barbara’s first husband Bill skipped off with his legal secretary, and weren’t Bill and Barbara signature members of The Church of Good Earth, which gathered at Myrna’s or Edna’s or the Higgins’ or the Johnsons’ or wherever services were held, and denied the Death of God by dreaming of a Green Resurrection, which, certainly, was in their power to initiate, because the earth was common property and might be saved, if they all repented and agreed upon the proper rituals of life? Terrorists of Truth, Brian called them. They marched forward in a jihad of personal redemption.
“How could the need of
any instrument be as needful as the need for love?”
It did no good for him to insist upon logic, to point out that consensus was no determiner of fact, that science could be cooked, like spaghetti, even when the recipe was bad or the ingredients were deliberately ill cho- sen, that a consensus of scientists had once believed the world flat and the center of the universe, and that the edge of the sea marked The Infernal Region. Did belief make something flat or the center of anything? Did it make the sun burn out in fire and steam? Wasn’t there a difference between satellite data and ground monitors? Weren’t the computer models cooked in a bad oven? And how about Einstein? Wasn’t it ol’ Albert himself who said that even one scientific doubt must be reconciled with E=MC2, or else E=MC2 was false? Since when was truth measured by containers, one for glass, one for cans, one for Saran, any more than run- ning a Tesla on electricity up to Bodega Bay qualified one to be deacon in The Church of Good Earth. Henry Peterson clenched his fist—it was true, he clenched it—and glared at Brian when Brian said that about Albert Einstein.
 The Terrorists of Truth cursed him and called him a Denier.
Brian Lehr was German, his parents were German, and all of his relatives, German, so what? So he bit his lip, sipped his dry martini, nibbled his green olive, covered his stone-ground crackers with bean curd or crab dip, and was as a pair of claws, scuttling across
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