The chatter on the hall carried on that Monday morning. I walked out of my office and questioned the piece of information that had caught my attention. “He does what???” I said with incredulous tone.
“He drives through the EZ pass lane without the gadget and when he gets the notice in the mail he claims he tried to move over to the cash lane and was unable. He does it in all major bridges.”
I do not enjoy paying $12 on one bridge and $8 on another when I go to New York City, and God knows there have been times when that extra cash has not been available but…I do it. I knew he was notorious for parking on the street and had mastered a way to fool the meter. Something about holding a coin half way in until the meter flashes “out of service”.
I also knew he didn’t eat meat on Fridays and was very adamant about following his newly found faith in the catholic religion. We had talked about confession before his conversion. I remember that conversation; he asked me what I considered sinful. I had given him a very specific example; someone had brought an aluminum paper roll coupon to the office that could be reprinted. One of them had gotten 10 rolls. I had refused to use it. I’m all for saving a buck, I said to him, but this is openly deceiving others which in turn will cost us all more when the company raises its prices due to losses.
Now, he was deceiving the Department of Transportation.
I don’t know what bothered me so much about this. It was not the money I pay that he gets away without paying, it was more the many Fridays when he sits in the corner looking glorified in following his own imposed abstinence yet he purposely deceives other entities without blinking an eye. It was the blanket of created faith he hides under, the façade he uses to defer the real self that lies under.
I went back to my office still trying to wrap my mind around this choice of living. My choices were different, I would eat meat on Friday and pay my tolls in full, his were not the same.