Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of Scott Tienken’s regular column entitles Mobile Metal Churchland. Look for the latest each week!
Our bodies congregate in the rolling metal bins to suffer the hips, biceps, and rumps of others. We sit, stand, and rub up against one another. Windows of multi-dimensional city-stained glass roll on by and we observe together. We are pray to the slogans and mottos of advertisers, the civic-minded, and the local TriMet godhead; though we have already tithed. We have chosen or been forced to come here (this, too, is inescapably tithe-related, the world pressing in on us with plates proferred and mandated) and will make of it what we will.
Only the dogma within this holy roller sideshow of a freakshow of a beloved brethren is jam-packed with. In fact, we often argue or go full on preacherly. (This often results in announcements from the head priest and transportation sub-lord who is our driver. Tinny static with garbled pronouncement. Whatever he said it sounded authoritative.) This isn’t ‘liberalism’ or a ‘reform’ church or the new agnostia or ‘democratic values.’ This is what it is to be in public together worshipping the dictates of movement.
We have all chosen to displace ourselves in the same style and largely in tolerant silence. We listen to the road, city, and scene. We gospel it up, stoic it down to bottom, and juggle the stones we want to test our throwing arms out on. We form all sorts of absurd judgements about our fellow parishioners. Don’t necessarily conclude anything. Maybe just survive. But in the end are all participant in mass transportation. Together. Writing open-sourced commutatory scripture while clutching the prayer beads of timetables and transfers.
Buses and trains are the new means to an end.