Temptation at Five O’Clock

by jimowensjr

It’s five o’clock—p. m.  I know I shouldn’t, but there they are staring at me, beckoning me, like sirens of indulgence.  Bathsheba bathing before David, tempting me.


Perhaps, it’s okay and I won’t regret it.  Just this one time.  Is that music?  The angels? A heavenly host singing the virtues of sweet delight?  Or some demon come to torment me?  Teasing me with the aroma of fleeting pleasure, the beauty of golden perfection.


Get behind me temptress, thou harlot of desire. Where is my resolve? I am weak.  Compromise approaches—overwhelming my conviction.  Perhaps just one taste.   Just one. Then I will return to the path of righteousness—flee, run away from destruction.


Surely, there is a god.  Some god.  Surely this is a sign, the burning bush, water becoming wine, the profound evidence of a god who loves us. A god who forgives us, I say, licking my fingers, as condemnation and guilt visit themselves upon me once more and I plead for forgiveness.


Forgive me. I have strayed.  Lead me back, I say, reaching for another.  Just one more. Just one more.  This time, perhaps just a Crueller.  Or maybe cake.  Yes.  Cake.  No sprinkles.  No crème or raspberry filling.   No patina of chocolate.  There it is!  My dignity returns.  I have my limits—my soul is safe.  I will not fall beyond redemption.