Sunday, August 24, 2008

RiverMannonite pt. 3

I heard the spite and hatred in RiverMannonite's voice and perused him as he arched at the neck to glare, his teeth exposed, snaggled, broken and multi-hued in his curled-lip sneer. He began to struggle, his odd clothes now very obviously (if filthily) revelatory.

He seemed Amish, or perhaps Old Order in many ways. Certainly he was even if Otto wasn't.

He was not old and not young, but he was certainly not stoic or restrained, and one could only guess what he had left his community for, considering his tastes. Any of them would likely bring a shunning. Perhaps he had simply never ended his rumspringa.

Of course, there were other possibilities.

The security guards picked the man up and dusted him off, mostly just smearing the oily dirt on his dark vest. He looked away from me as one of them asked, "Do you want to press charges?"

Tori and the officers spoke and I wandered back to the store to report, knowing that, despite all of the "hubbub," Marcie would want the scoop. She looked up and shook her head.

"He's Amish!" I said in an exclamatory whisper. "HE called me 'English!' Isn't that crazy?

Her eyes were wide and she bit her lower lip. She nodded, "I knew it, I totally knew it. Didn't I say he was like Amish or a Quaker or something? I totally knew."

I listened as her mood turned and her smile grew. "He looked like someone from Witness or something when I first saw him," she said, leaning in close. "He has this really weird accent, too."

I nodded. "Yes, he does."

For weeks, I gathered information and shared it with Marcie, reading her bits and pieces of Amish trivia and tales when she came home. She was fascinated by Rumspringa and meidung.

Of course, fascination and imagination went hand in hand for Marcie, especially where odd people were involved. RiverMannonite was about to acquire a backstory.

And if the facts were not odd enough, the possibilities Marcie dreamed up were, certainly.