You don’t believe in religion, you have never known why. Perhaps, it is the effort-reward ratio that never appealed to you. It also seems a lot easier to go through life without a surveillance junkie overlooking your inconsequential existence. Sure He will be your Savior, but he also accepts credit cards.
You are not one of those militant atheists though. So you observe the quirks of the God-fearing tribe from a safe distance, without comment but with amusement. One such soul sits right across from your cube. Every day you see him offer elaborate prayers to a pantheon of godly beings that adorn a tray atop his rowing station. Only after a couple of minutes of this ritual does he sit down to work on excel sheets for 8 hours.
On this auspicious day, his ritual is broken by a Higher Power. Mid-way through his fervent mutterings, an announcement erupts over the speakers. Today is the unveiling of a New Grand Design by the Powers that be, something about pan-organization efficiency. Most colleagues, still groggy, seem jilted as they look heavenwards to make sense of the ordinance. Like all historical occasions, Slaves are required to wear company colors. You, off course have forgotten again. Your refusal to maintain calendar entries has cost you once again but the delusion of freedom it gives makes up for the inconvenience.
The announcement directs you to move to the parking lot. No other place in the building can accommodate all 200 slaves at the same time. This is going to be big.
You get an eerie feeling as you trudge along the congregation of working class people dressed in uniform. You are greeted by bright lights and instrumental music when you enter the lot. Without asking you for your approval, a group of volunteers slaps wristbands on you marking the occasion. Cattle tag attached, you spill over wherever the crowd takes you.
The Overlord is here today dressed in a three piece. He seems content overlooking the flock from the vantage of the podium. He wastes no time in getting down to business.
As fellow slaves behold with varied emotions; eagerness, bewilderment, anticipation, you are busy finding human walls to hide the non-compliance of your wardrobe.
Overlord’s speech seems well-rehearsed and almost evangelical. All the hallmarks of a covenant are there: Vague promises of utopia, certainty of penance required to get there, a routine prescribed for it and…hand holding. Yes, to mark this communion, all slaves are required to hold hands to form a chain of like dressed creatures as the theme song is played out. A video camera follows this human chain to capture the lameness for posterity. You know those stock photos of a differently colored stick figure standing out in a crowd or a green apple in a collection of red ones? You are the green/rotten apple here and there is no escaping it at least till the song is over.
Thankfully, it ends before homophobia takes over you completely. You wipe your hands and hurry to immerse yourself in the crowd. Far away, you see Head Slave’s head bobbing up through the sea of salaried humanity. He is coming towards you and he doesn’t seem happy. You can’t take more preaching on this day and make a run for it.
As the flock jostles to get through the alleyway, no one seems to have noticed the back exit. No one except you, you green apple! You make a dash for it and escape to the free air of a non-enclosed environment. You need to take a walk.
You don’t believe in religion, now you know why.