Three years ago I went to a national chess tourney with some friends. We stopped off at a restaurant, and there was this older man there who claimed he was traveling cross-country, meeting famous people and the like. So the friends I'm traveling with - their Dad tells me to go interview him for the trip. I had brought along a video camera, you see, to document the trip and the tourney. So I went over to him and sat down and offered him an interview about his travels. He seemed jovial at first, but when I brought up cameras he became alarmed as hell, and very unsettled. I had to promise him not to record him in any way. I was a bit put off, but I agreed. So I decided to try my best to remember the conversation after we had it and I would jot it down later.
So for the first half of the conversation everything went pretty all right. He told me stories of his travels on the road, close calls in towns, people trying to mug him, close calls hitchhiking with people who turn out not so normal (ironic really), and places he'd been. He also liked talking up religion a lot. So then he starts talking about one time he camped outside of a town in Minnesota. He tells me how he stops at this diner, and this girl there starts hitting on him. The story got really weird, and long story short, it turned into him trying to run away from this girl after she found him at his campsite and tried to rape him. But I chocked it up as a tale he told to spice up the conversation because he enjoyed my company, and I let it go.
But then he hit me with a zinger. He told me that he predicted what the girl was going to do. He told me he could predict things because he had power. He started talking about the Bible, God, and the second coming a lot. Then he got in my face and said he thought he could trust me. So he asked me if I wanted to know who he really was. I started getting really unsure about this whole thing, but I said sure.
He took his hands and placed them on the table, laying them flat. On his palms were holes going straight through, from one side to the other. His feet had them too. He said he was marked as the Second Coming, and he was traveling the country bringing the truth and healing and helping others, and operating a website out of his van. He said he had not yet risen to power, but he would, and when he had met his quota, he would bring Heaven back to Earth.
All I could think was "Holy shit, holy shit, this guy stabbed nails through his hands and feet. Please don't kill me, Mister. I've got so much to give." A friend of mine came over to tell me we were leaving at that point, and he also saw the "stigmata" on the guys hands. He just stared at it, like "Holy shit, does this guy think he's really Jesus Christ"? The guy told me his website. I looked it up later. It doesn't exist. I swear there was a van outside with a satellite dish though. I almost said there wasn't but then I remembered there was. He told us to be careful on our trip as bad storms would be coming and they would rain on the good and the wicked alike. Sure enough, on our way back days later, we ran through some pretty heavy, tornadic thunderstorms.
I'll never forget that shit as long as I live. I sat right across from a man who stabbed himself in the hands and feet with nails.