The black man of Jehova’s Witnesses with the tracts came over and squatted next to me.

“It’s here, isn’t it? People feel it. We know in our bones. God’s kingdom is coming.”

He was a rangy man with sparse hair and a gap between his two front teeth. He squatted easily, seemed loose-jointed and comfortable. I realized he was wearing a suit and tie with running shoes.

“Are these great days?” he said.

I studied his face, trying to find a clue to the right answer.

“Do you feel it coming? Is it on the way? Do you want it to come?”

He bounced on his toes as he spoke.

“Wars, famines, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions. It’s all beginning to jell. In your own words, is there anything that can stop it from coming once it picks up momentum?”


“You said it, I didn’t. Floods, tornados, epidemics of strange new diseases. Is it a sign? Is it the truth? Are you ready?”

“Do people really feel it in their bones?” I said.

“Good news travels fast.”

“Do people talk about it? On your door-to-door visits, do you get the impression they want it?”

“It’s not do they want it. It’s where do I go to sign up. It’s get me out of here right now. People ask, ‘Is there seasonal change in God’s kingdom?’ They ask, ‘Are there bridge tolls and returnable bottles?’ In other words I’m saying they’re getting right down to it.”

-DeLillo: White noise.