Attempted Baptism in Lake Washington

So, I get some work done yesterday and then decide to head out to the shores of Lake Washington for some R&R–(w)Riting and Reflection. I find the perfect secluded spot off Lake Washington Boulevard, park, and plant myself on a bench, prepared to be soothed by the sweet sounds of gently moving water and birdsong. I get a few precious moments of Zen before a man praising God for the entire world to hear, appears out of nowhere. His reason for being grateful? In his words: “Sweet Jesus, I am not a child molester.”

Plop a Bible under my right hand and I will swear to it. You can’t make these things up, people!

Loud, grateful, Jesus-praising man is being chased to the water’s edge by an older, heavyset woman he calls “Mom.” She begs him to quiet down. He orders her to “back off.”

Two things occur to me at that point: One, I probably should head back to the safety of my car and, two, my adult children are saints. Seriously, they should be canonized.

I have my iPad with me and the thought does cross my mind to make like the paparazzi and record this unusual event. I choose not. This man is clearly troubled and if I was his mother, I would not want to see a video of his meltdown go viral.

That’s when he decides to transform from fully clothed, self-proclaimed, non-child molester to naked yada, yada, yada.

He marches into the water, tears off his shirt and pants, and pulls down his boxers while his mom stands at the water’s edge, begging him to stop.

We both watch him do what appear to be several failed attempts at self baptism in very shallow water. Ouch! Then, as suddenly as this episode began, it ends. He walks out of the water, pulls on his shorts, gathers his shirt and boxers, and allows his mother to lead him gently by the arm to a car I had not seen pull up. She drives them away.

Me? I resume enjoying the sounds of the gently lapping water and birdsong, as best I can.


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