Good evening, Netizens...
Upon first re-arriving at The Virtual Ballroom after a prolonged and somewhat vexing business trip, I thought perhaps the ghost of the late Pastor Wayne Scott Creach perhaps had chosen the ethereal ballroom as his next step on his pathway to Heaven, given the number of ghosts that were clustered in a huge group in the corner of the ballroom where, occasionally, the ballroom musicians gather after one of their ongoing performances. However, such was not the case. Rather, the gathering was like watching a living cornucopia of colors and shapes, constantly revolving, evolving and reforming itself in the fading lights of that corner of the musty old ballroom, but with no discernible figure as its focus.
Before I waded into the ghostly throng, however, no return home to the Ballroom would be complete without first stopping at the Virtual Espresso Bar for a cup of whatever the fates would have me drink. Sidling up to the bar, a ghost with half his noble brow creased by what I presumed was an old scar greeted me profusely by name, and obliquely slid a blue enamel cup of something resembling my Aunt Bertha's homemade cold remedy in front of me, adding softly, “This is good for whatever ails people in a time of misconception or disbelief.”
Taking my first tentative sip, I was not terribly surprised to sense well-being that slipped over my soul like an old, comfortable pair of loafers would fit my tired feet. One minute I was filled with trepidation over the events of the last weeks, including two officer-involved shootings in the Spokane area, and the bad economic news from across the country. The next minute I simply had stopped worrying about misconceived mischief and began relaxing.
Turning my back to the bar, while I continued to sip my drink, I finally meandered over to where the throng had gathered, curious to see what had triggered such a mass of spectral figures in our otherwise tranquil Ballroom.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered, at the center of the throng, the ghost of a Texas Ranger attired in the manner of the late 18th century, complete with weathered chaps, a pair of what appeared to be dragoon pistols strapped around his waist and a weathered star glowing softly upon his chest. Despite being a ghost, he appeared drawn and perhaps even travel-weary, and was discoursing with several of the ghosts about the criminals he had helped bring to justice before he, himself, was brought down by a shot in his back while everyone else listening raptly in.
“Sometimes,” he said hitching his thumbs in his gunbelt in the historically time-honored way, “It is extremely difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. They may look to be good honest citizens that pay their way and always abide by the law when, in fact, they are hideous gangsters wearing false faces. Sometimes it is the other way around, where good honest citizens are mistaken for the most onerous persons of evil intent and they get caught up in something they are unprepared to handle.”
“Just remember,” he added softly, “If a lawman gives you a command, always do what he says to do. If it turns out later to be a bad command, that is why we always have lawyers.”
“Fortunately I never shot anyone who didn't richly-deserve it, although I have known a few that did,” he added introspectively. “On the other hand, I never let a bad guy get away from me, either.”
Mulling his words over carefully, I slipped back out into the Virtual Garden and observed the puffs of smoke rising from the underground havens of the Garden Gnomes. At least somewhere there is still peace, even in the Virtual Ballroom.