The Mystery of Iniquity: Lies in the Time of Corona

quarantine dating

In the sum­mer of 2018, when I was study­ing in Paris, a scam artist robbed me of five hun­dred dol­lars out­side of a church. In my hum­ble opin­ion, I believe he need­ed it more than me.  

Iron­i­cal­ly, I had just vis­it­ed the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, a church ded­i­cat­ed to the sacred heart of Jesus, the Redeemer of our sins. As I strolled through the crowds, I decid­ed to try my hand at the shell game and bet a small amount. The deal­er was warm and had kind eyes. He told a joke, which I can’t recall now but it made me laugh, a gen­uine heart­felt laugh that made me drop my head and blush in slight embar­rass­ment in front of the crowd. The man, from what I remem­ber, was tall, thin, and dark, a full head of curly black hair. He called me beau­ti­ful and asked an onlook­er to take a pic­ture of the two of us together. 

I thought the game was true fun. I nev­er got the memo that it was seat­ed in deceit. I was naive and pre­ferred to assume the best about peo­ple. My con­fi­dence was boost­ed after my first win and I played again, this time lift­ing my hair off my neck and tying it in a loose knot to keep cool while I set­tled in. The sun was beam­ing, the sky a bright cerulean blue, smears of cot­ton dashed across it.  The air was thick with waft­ing smells of cheeses and bread from the out­door mar­kets mixed with the dense stench of sweat com­ing off of the throngs. The small crowd gath­ered at the table cheered when I won the sec­ond time and the man shook his fin­ger in unbe­lief say­ing he want­ed the oppor­tu­ni­ty to redeem him­self. He chal­lenged me to a big­ger bet and promised he would dou­ble my mon­ey if I won. 

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