"I compost therefore I am, brother."
"The end is near," he warned me from under a bike helmet. "Are you prepared for that?" His name was Stephen and he was dressed like a Jehovah's Witnesses. "Like it or not, it's coming," he said, deliberately staring into my eyes. "Do you believe something bigger than yourself?"
"In worldly renown or physical stature?"
"I mean, do you- um, is, would you mind shutting the front of your robe while we talk?"
I stared at him for a long second, listening to the breeze whistle through the chimes and through my short hairs.
"Kimono," I corrected him. "I lost the belt. I think my housekeeper stole it."
"Alright, well, I have some literature that I'd like to share with you if you're interested." He pulled a pamphlet out of the front pocket of his button-down and held it in front of me.
"That's not literature," I laughed. "Trust me, I majored in it at college."
"It basically offers you some valuable information on how you can turn your life around right now and make it mean something." He told me about how he was a wayward investment banker for years, with piles of money and women he would roll around in regularly. But he didn't feel fulfilled. He still had holes in his life where order and meaning should have lived. "I found my answers in this pamphlet."
"Is this about Jesus Christ?" I asked skeptically.
"Close, it's about a man sacrificed on the crucifix of the electoral college. A man buried in a landslide of false presidential votes. A man who we went searching for after it was over and found the rubble shifted and his body ascended into legend."
"Solo high five!"
He looked past me and through the double doors of my wintering villa. "Let me ask you a question, do you use florescent lighting in your home?"
Stephen stood on my porch for another half an hour explaining how the Earth used to be an Eden until mankind ruined it with industrialism. He told me about the movement of ecological crusaders fighting to get humanity back on track by cutting up six-pack rings and recycling. He closed his eyes as he spoke, though whether due to the pride he felt or my partial nudity I couldn't say. He didn't have me fully invested until he mentioned that I could have a hand in saving the world, a prospect for which I am always on the lookout.
"I'm in. Who do I make the check out to?"
"It's bigger than that, you become a part of the movement. You can start riding a bicycle, or separating out your bottles from your Styrof-"
I waved a hand in his face to indicate it was my turn to talk again. "No, I mean what can I do that carries some prestige. I want to be noticed. I want to proselytize, like you."
"Oh ... well, we are planning a rally at the private airport on Wednesday. We are picketing air travel."
I committed myself to the cause and left Stephen standing on my porch. I had a lot of work to do over the next four days. I needed to figure out why I should hate planes. The answer, I gleaned, was the fuel. Private jets were still using a leaded fuel and crop dusting local communities in dangerous particulate matter. The consequences were allergies and severe lung conditions. Finally, a legitimate cause to which I could devote myself entirely, and at such a fortuitous time; I just swapped my prop plane for a passenger balloon in an even trade with a one-eyed Colombian the week before.
I also studied Stephen's pamphlet. I learned about their sacred holiday on April 22nd, and about their electric cars. I pored over blurbs on canvas shopping bags and peeing while never flushing. Every new green idea the pamphlet presented was like a spark in my heart. These affluent environmentalists had a swell of initiatives for saving the planet ostentatiously while never putting themselves out in any real capacity.