Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he's not writing, he's volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man's work, please check out his blog:
www.thoughtsofapoeticmind.blogspot.com for his latest poetry and short stories.
PRAYING TO A GOD WHO ISN’T LISTENING
BY MICHAEL MARROTTI
I started off small, selling dime bags of weed. I slowly climbed up the capitalist ladder to eighths, then halves, ounces to pound's. My eyes were color of money. Greed and materialism got the best of me.
I was meeting new people, occasionally getting laid and working my own hours. I didn't have to answer to some asshole boss anymore or put up with stupid customers that brought the establishment all the profit, as I was awarded mere peanuts for the amount of time I had to serve.
No backstabbing co-workers to contend with. No more headache. The bottle of Tylenol, smeared with my fingerprints, is collecting dust. Life is better when you live it your way.
My entire life changed profoundly once I met Braden. He was nothing more than an acquaintance at first. We met through word of mouth. He had a freshly cashed paycheck, I was a dealer. One of my so called friends referred him to me. Everybody is your friend if you have something for them. Anyways, we met up, made an exchange and smoked a joint.
Braden told me how lucrative the heroin market is in the south hills area of Pittsburgh. He said he's clearing over a thousand dollars a week. Then, he made me a proposition. I accepted.
After a month of pushing a new product on my existing customers, they pretty much handed me their paychecks. I became wealthy for the first time in my life. I was making a fortune.
Selling grass is one thing. You can do it, and not worry too much about the repercussions. If you get caught, usually it's no big deal the first couple of times around, depending on how Jewish your lawyer is. The income is a little more than modest, depending on how greedy you are, and also depending on if you get high on your own supply.
You're not going to lose sleep over selling grass to people who smoke bongs, lock doors and order pizza. Grass in my book is considered a benign drug. Pot head's are easy to deal with and laid back. Robbery never even crossed my mind.
I prospered at the expense of my customers physical and mental health. The wardrobe I acquired was excessive to say the least. I had more shoes than any female I knew.
All the latest iPhones and video game systems were at my disposal. The nicest used car on the block belonged to me. Women knew of my wealth, so they flocked to me for a taste. By the end of the night all they tasted was cum. I'd use and abuse them until the next one came along. Bills were never late, and I felt satisfied.
Months later, almost all of my customers started looking like the walking dead. Who the fuck were these people, and what have I done? Zits and sores appeared on their bodies, they would shake as I served them stamp bags. These once funny and vibrant characters have turned into pathetic pieces of shit, and it's all my fault.
Guilt is a new feeling for me, and I must say it's a feeling I despise.
One day I'm walking down Pioneer Avenue on my way to get an energy drink, thinking about how callous and greedy I've become, all in the name of money. I cross over Fordham street, no more than a few blocks away from my destination, only to get jumped and robbed by three junkies. Cocksuckers got my iPhone and four hundred bucks. I didn't even bother fighting back. After all the lives I destroyed, I felt as though I had it coming.
Kicks to ribs, a stolen iPhone, empty pockets and a black eye, triggered the epiphany I was, inevitably, going to experience. I sold my product at a remarkable speed as I lost sleep dwelling on the lives I personally ruined.
I prayed to God for forgiveness every night. Having a guilty conscious was devastating, and I was coming close to the point of a nervous breakdown.
My goal at this point was to flip as much product as possible, stay out of jail, and save up a substantial amount of money. I figured I could take a year off if need be, until something better manifested.
Capitalism has no feelings, no qualms, no compassion. Here I am endorsing this deplorable system. It's all about the arithmetic in America. We're all judged by our wealth, and I reached a point where I can clearly look down.
I've climbed the financial ladder, and I hate myself because of it. These feelings of self loathing only intensified after I received a new package of dope labeled 'Dormont Beat down.'
Junkies were overdosing left and right. One particular death came from my hands. Unbelievable!! I made a hundred bucks and she lost her life.
The girl who perished because of me hates my fucking guts. Dead souls never forgive. I loathe myself for what I have done, and God obviously despises me. All I do anymore is cry and pray. He has yet to answer my prayers, show me mercy or guide my way to a positive place: free of sin. Redemption is an elusive road.
Furious, and in a state of despair, I call Braden to discuss the latest calamity. My voice of concern is met with indifference. Braden tells me it's the name of the dope game. Junkies die, life goes on and nobody cares. I protest against his callous disregard for humanity, as we argue continuously until I hang up.
This ends here. The label "snitch" is a label free of charm. I think of Jesus dying for our sins, as I make an anonymous phone call to the police. Everything they needed to know about Braden was brought into light.
I'm not gonna stand by while some greedy capitalistic fuck prospers from the death of others. Braden isn't the type to get a real job, then again, neither am I. Now neither of us has a choice.
Turning in my supplier and shutting down shop, did nothing to appease the guilt that inflicted my life. I read the bible obsessively hoping to find an answer somewhere in all these words. After a week I came to a couple conclusions: it's time to join the congregation, accept thing's the way they are, and turn my life over to Christ.
The Catholic church, in recent years, has been tarnished due to abstinence. I turn the other cheek towards the left side of the street, down Pioneer Avenue to the Baptist church. This'll do. Let's see what the Baptist's are all about.
It's Sunday morning, bright and early, here I am ready to worship with my fellow Christian brethren. As I walk through the door I'm greeted by a couple superficial people, who hand me a pamphlet. They say "God bless", and I take a seat.
The Baptist's are ultra conservative. My attire is inappropriate. I can feel the judgmental looks by the congregation.
God doesn't care about looks, he cares about devotion, faith, and love. I'm surrounded by pseudo-Christians. After I'm done absorbing the dirty looks, I take in the sights. From the looks of this place, I take it that humility play's a big factor in their beliefs. It's understandable, but does humility have to be so hideous? This place is an eye sore when compared to the Catholic church. I'm already having second thoughts about being here.
The pastor approaches a break in his sermon after ten uncomfortable minutes. He tells us to greet each other. These fine Christians reluctantly shake my hand. I hope they all burn in a lake of fire.
Finally, he starts his sermon again. Humility is the first thing on his holy list.
His rhetoric is good. He's an eloquent speaker. No wonder this place is packed with people pushing themselves off as Christians. He goes on and on about humility. Ok. We get it. All we gotta do is take a look around. This place is the manifestation of humility.
Irony and hypocrisy is next on his list. This pastor has the gull to boast about how he's personally responsible for the increase in membership. To top it off, all his fellow hypocrites are applauding him! I can't believe my eyes. Churches are closing down all over Allegheny county, people are walking away from the teachings of Christ, and it's all making sense.
The money basket is being passed around. I watch as people dig in their pockets, and purses. They aren't being very modest with their donations. All I see is twenty dollars bills being dropped in from every member of this blessed congregation.
Now it's my turn to donate. I can feel the heat radiating off of the others. I can feel their contempt for me. This place is fucked, and should be burned down. I take the basket, and throw it at the guy claiming to be a pastor. People are in shock. They're speechless.
I take it upon myself to say what needs to be said: "This place is a breeding ground for the devil, and should be burned to the fucking ground!" I turn my back on God as I walk out the door.
Her name was Sara Platt. She had a itch that needed to be scratched, and I was the one who assisted her. If I would've known death was to follow, I would've told her no.
She haunts my dreams almost every night. It's always the same. I'm walking in a foot of snow in what appears to be Mt Lebanon. Bloody foot prints are everywhere, and I can hear her screaming my name. I pick up the pace, but I can hear her getting closer screaming about how I killed her. By the time she catches me, and goes to stick her bloody syringe in me, I awake.
I beg God to make it stop.
He's not listening.
Out of loneliness I purchase a tiny, black kitty.
All it took was a little persuasion to turn my so called friends into junkies. I've always had a way with words. This talent awarded me a solitary existence. My state of mental health is prohibiting me from having a relationship, so the cat will have to do for now. It's nice having a hyper little furball running around the apartment, keeping me company in my time of need.
I went to scratch my balls the other day, and the little shit thought it was some kind of game. Fucker attacked my unit. I got a well deserved laugh out of that. Laughing is scarce anymore.
My most recent endeavor has been walking around downtown, finding bums to give c notes to. Some are shocked, others are indifferent. I've only been doing this for a week, but I feel as though I'm making a difference.
That's what it's all about. We're all here to help other people.
I've also been visiting Sara Platt's grave once a week. I sit there for twenty minutes, and beg for forgiveness. I tell her how sorry I am. When I leave, I make sure she's left with a dozen red roses.
God still ignores me.
All these selfish years meant nothing. Time passed as I carried on in my hedonistic ways. Little was learned, besides the ability to become engrossed in a relentless system that takes no prisoners. America will turn you into a piece of shit if you let it. Keeping up with the Jones, embracing materialism, sacrificing time (which is precious) all in the name of success, is the ploy capitalism uses to enslave us. We go out of our way to destroy our neighbors, if need be, just to get ahead. I thought we were supposed to love our neighbors.
The next endeavor I pursued was one that incorporated dialogue. They say you can't change people, but you can influence them. I took it to the streets, talking to anyone who was open minded enough to listen.
I explained how capitalism is destroying social relations, and how we need to start giving back. Lead by example, I say. Be kind, do things for the moral incentive.
I blew my nose in public with a twenty dollar bill, then I threw it on the ground. Emancipation is that easy, I said. Within seconds some green eyed fool took the snot filled bill. He walked away smiling.
People weren't susceptible to my dialogue. The indoctrination is in, and I'm labeled as a crazy fool by everyone I came into contact with besides this cute blonde named Trisha.
Trisha has doubled d implants, a cross on her neck, a trashy apartment and mouth that wouldn't quit. I knew her whole boring life story within twenty minutes. I showed little interest in anything besides her tits. She caught on after awhile, and confessed with tears in her eyes of how inauthentic her breasts are.
I eased her burden by explaining how God never answered my prayers after the deplorable thing I was involved in, so I find it hard to believe he's concerned with your mild transgression. Then, I told her I never felt an artificial titty. Next thing I know I'm covered in fake d cups, and she's soon to be drenched in my seed.
We fucked like atheists with nothing to lose throughout her trashy apartment. We became a thing.
She told me of the volunteer opportunities available at the Light Of Life, over in the North Side. I thanked her immensely for everything, and told her I'd see her later. I'm on a mission.
I stopped back at my place, smoked the last joint I was holding onto for a special occasion, (fucking a cute girl with fake d cups constitutes a special occasion) and got all the information I needed to apply at the Light Of Life. The following week I was a part time volunteer.
At first I found it hard to wake up early, and travel to the north side via trolley to help strangers. It didn't take long for me to get into the swing of things.
Giving back is a feeling few people in Pittsburgh experience. I know first hand how beautiful that feeling is. My fellow co-workers and I are in solidarity. You're not gonna feel the pleasure of solidarity working some 9-5 job for the material incentive.
All that breeds is competition, and competition can breed animosity, contempt, and jealousy. Those feelings don't exist here. That alone is a beautiful thing.
Having to clean rancid piss filled bathrooms at my job with a paycheck, would've had me flipping shit. Now, it brings me great joy to scrub away the piss of homeless people. It's a sacrifice to benefit the all.
Here I am leading by example, engulfed in the stench of urine, and the cleaning power of 409. Other times I'm frying up enough bologna to serve a hundred people. Yesterday, I was one of the lucky few who served their plates, up close and personal. Afterwards, I swept and mopped. I've never felt this beneficial to mankind before in my life.
All my resentment for God vanished once I realized how expedient Christianity is to humanity. I don't see anyone else giving a fuck about the poor or homeless people in Pittsburgh. I sure as fuck don't see any atheist food banks.
All I perceive is indifference by the general public. Be that as it may, I'm still steadfast in my belief system. I happen to be the only non-believer amongst my co-workers. I've told all of them why numerous times, but they still insist on God talk every once in awhile.
I'm not offended. I live to learn, so I listen. I've also come to the conclusion that without God, the majority of my co-workers would still be complete pieces of shit. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone, but I don't need God to be a good person. I can do that myself. Well, until I met Jane that is.
Jane is a good hearted Christian woman who likes to fuck. I started spending more and more time sticking my dick in her at the Light Of Life, instead of doing what I originally came here to do: help other people.
Jane never asked any questions about significant others or anything else. Our relationship is still only a work based relationship, now with extra benefits.
Trisha and I have been a thing for two months. She's a nice woman with fake tits, she doesn't deserve this. On the other hand, I feel as though I deserve two women in my life, because I'm that damn special. In other words, Jane and I have a secret to keep.
I continued my hectic schedule of fucking two women, lying to one, and volunteering at the homeless shelter. I talked to higher ups about getting some extra hours to make up for my most recent transgression, (like I can work off my infidelity) but I was told I wasn't needed. I can kiss that noble concept goodbye. I'm still making a difference though, so in a way it makes up for the lie I'm living.
The end of summer is approaching. On my way to the Light Of Life I decided to enjoy the weather. Instead of taking the red line to north side, I got off at station square. Better get it while I can.
I took in the sights of the Allegheny river as I walked across the Smithfield Street bridge. It's early in the morning, people are everywhere trying to clock into their lives of servitude. Up ahead I see a herd of pigeons pecking away like the bottom feeders they are, and then he appeared.
I honestly haven't thought about Braden since I made that call. He symbolizes all that's wrong with the system. Anything for a buck, regardless of who it harms.
Green eyed greed. His God is the dollar. His God is the color of money. I did society a favor by making that phone call, and here I am yet again, faced with all that's wrong with capitalism. He looks furious. It's a mutual feeling.
No room for words, Braden swings full force at my face. I move before it connects, and some older woman ended up taking that blow. She's out cold. It's a good thing I moved.
I retaliate with a flurry of hooks. I caught him right in his mouth with two of them. Fucking coward spits blood in my eyes, and hits me a couple of times in the face. I'm barely stunned, he hits like a bitch.
I maneuvered around the coward at the right moment to get a hold of him. This scumbag is going down. We're wrestling back and forth until I throw him off me. Horns are going off, people are screaming bloody murder. Fuck my life! I threw him into the mornings commute. A fucking bus ran him over!
I'm surrounded by assholes on smartphones, video recording the entire thing. Sirens are going off and getting closer. A group of people on my left are demanding I stay put, and answer for my crime. All I wanted to do was help other people, but I can't seem to stop killing them.