“Sisyphus Witness” NF by Ira Rat


One summer my brother told the Jehovah’s Witness boy that I would most likely be interested in learning more about Jesus Christ.

So, for the next six months, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I had less than zero interest. So, he came by our trailer every Saturday to talk to me on our porch about… something.

He would always show up when I was still half asleep, so much of it has been melted away in the haze my blurry-eyed half-wakefulness. All I really remember is that every other word out of the kids’ mouth was about God or Jesus.

Realizing how many people had probably slammed their door in his face every day, I stood there and took the brunt of his sales pitch.

The kid seemed nice, and he looked like a teenage Forest Whitaker but had a soft-spoken voice that made me wonder how much he got picked on in school.

Maybe if we talked about something other than the bible, we might have even gotten along.

It probably wasn’t his fault that his parents made him wear the short-sleeve white dress shirt and clip-on tie that made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Something about kids wearing clothes too adult for them always put me ill at ease. Like they were trying to pull something over on the world.

One morning he rang the bell, and I decided not to answer. I could hear him outside fidgeting before he knocked.

I didn’t answer that either.

For the next few months, I decided that I wasn’t home every time he came by to talk to me.

I felt a little guilty that I was wasting his time by not telling him that I wasn’t interested, but not guilty enough to actually answer the door.

One morning, my parents decided it was time to move. Something that we did with some consistency. A few days later, we were gone.

Sometimes I wonder if he still comes to that door and knocks wondering what happened to the one person who would listen to his pep-talks about Jesus.

Or if all the people who lived there after us, were held in the minor threat of never being able to answer the door on Saturday mornings.



Ira Rat works and lives in Ames, Iowa. www.irarat.com