by Dayna Desastre | Writing |

The American Future: Religion - by Dayna Desastre

Cameron appeared before the shepherds like a glittering, opalescent myth. Pearly white and well-lit from the blazing florescent lights, and glowing like a dawn-bringing ether, the pale canary-yellow tendrils of his curled mane rustled softly in the light breeze from the air conditioning and his skin-coated in rhinestones of sweat-glistened like cleansed fruit.
His silken, Armani suit lay taught against his muscular form and his hands were outstretched – cradling business contracts in his leathery fingers. The shepherds – who herded dollars and not sheep – stood starry-eyed at this rich, young cherub investor. The stacks of paper in his palms appeared as, not contracts, but layers of feathery wings.

“Gentlemen”, Cameron’s voice triumphed over the cubicle landscape like a coronet blare, “I bring to you an offer you cannot refuse.” The men raised their balding, wrinkled heads, “Follow me and your company will learn of truths and reap the highest, most heavenly rewards. Follow me and be betrothed with riches and knowledge of wealth”. The shepherds whispered awed statements of gratitude and hope, as the young investor preached. “Follow me and I will lead you into the future of business, the infant sow of industrial America”. Cameron gestured to his palms and the shepherds rushed forwards, pens in hand, greedily signing their souls away with their names, to their newfound, chosen faith.

Cameron led them to this grand, new business, and the shepherds followed. They carried with them, not incense, gold and myrrh, but corporate dollars and water cooler chats. They believed in the patron saints of capitalism and advertising, prayed to the gods on Wall Street, and made sacrifices to the holy corporations. Luke and John were irrelevant to the haughty gospels of Forbes and Fortune.

Cameron descended back into the sky-high heaven of his high-rise office suite. He reclined in his leather computer lounge and placed his feet on the cherry-wood veneer of his desktop. A sigh of relief left his lips like a certain saint realizing that he had not failed his savior, nor his God.

That night, Cameron would read a fable to his youngest daughter; a fairytale about a man named Jesus with magical powers to heal and to cure the damned. Jesus frolicked with winged beauties and remedied blindness with his silken fingers; the story of his crucifixion and rebirth taught of unfairness, sacrifice and forgiveness, and Jesus himself preached virtue. The fable was from a book of stories called The Bible and Cameron’s daughter loved reading of the giants, colored coats and cherubs. Cameron thought the stories were silly – they were only old children’s tales – but he knew she was but a child, and that the desert world of the naive and imaginative was all she knew.

The next day, as he climbed the stairs to his high-rise heaven, Cameron stopped at the vending machine, drawing a dollar bill from his pocket. As he straightened its edges and smoothed away wrinkles, he read the tiny green print, so small it was nearly indiscernible, that was printed near the serial numbers and Washington’s mug:

“In General Motors we trust. In Citigroup we trust. In Starbucks we trust. In Exxon we trust. In Microsoft we trust. In Clear Channel we trust. In Verizon we trust. In Chevron we trust. In IBM we trust. In Ford we trust. In…

Cameron stopped reading and pressed the dollar bill against the plastic slot, watching the machine swallow it with an electronic drone. Another day, another dollar, another hundred corporations in which we trust.