Up until now, Manny and Selma had led more or less parallel lives. Like the rails on a narrow gauge railway that starts in the same place and ends in a different location, they had been held in place by the rigid restraint of wooden ties and cast iron spikes for their security, safety and tribal normalization. Their positions in the pecking order of their separate lives had been secured and guaranteed by their early religious education, indoctrination and dogma.
Rails are laid on roadbeds prepared by people who think they know where others want or need to go. They have a beginning and end and except for sidings, boarding and loading platforms that allow for a change in direction where people can get on board and stuff can be loaded.
Various schools of thought and religions since the beginning of time as we know it, have postulated, prophesied and presumed to know the beginnings and endings of the railroads they have laid. They write, preach, organize and educate with a message something like this:
“ OK. Here’s the deal. Get on our train, behave as we teach you and you will end up where you want or expect to go. But if you change your mind as to destination, there’s no going back. Sorry, this is a one directional rail line.”
Now if you find yourself somewhere in between the end points and you rethink the whole thing, what is there to do?
Is it heaven or hell or just some other undesirable destination, like a repetitious or recycling place?
How can you get off at the next stop and find another railroad?
Religious railroads rarely, if ever, offer a money back guarantee or a no-penalty change of direction ticket. You can’t change your itinerary from time to time. That’s the catch.
Since both of the rails on Manny and Selma’s religious railroad seemed to be going the same direction and share the same end points, maybe the quandary they find themselves in has a better resolution than the rest of the millions of believers.
When something causes the rails to converge and there are safe survivors who end up falling asleep together on a transatlantic flight maybe everything changes and those rigid rules no longer apply. Maybe with a little adjustment and compromise everything can workout and there will be no need to turn back.
Selma and Manny woke up to discover to their mutual surprise and relief, they were moving forward on a religious monorail at about 450 kilometers per hour and there would be no turning back.