Vices

My prayer group meets Wednesdays. We have to say
our sins. We go around the circle: lustful thoughts,
sexual impurity, lies, lust, greed, gluttony, the usual
litany of sins. Until the new guy says, What we say

here stays in this group, right, like a priest with
confession? and before we can respond he says, I
killed a man. I was traveling for work abroad and
someone tried to rob me and I knocked him over

and he hit his head on a stone wall. I know I was
defending myself but still I shouldn’t have kicked
him on the ground. I did that out of anger, I did that
out of rage, not to defend myself. And I took his

watch. It was a beautiful, expensivewatch. Since
then I’ve sold it and donated the money to charity,
but I stole a watch from a dead man. It’s okay, we said.
It’s okay. We all felt close as a group after that. Then I

looked up this man online. He was a travel writer.
Along with the typical travel articles he had one
where he admitted he was into S&M and had a long
article about S&M vacations and the best place to take

vacation sex tours for consenting adults. This article
was recent. He hadn’t mentioned that at our prayer
group. Perhaps he was a new Christian. Perhaps he
didn’t know the purpose of sex, perhaps he didn’t

know that sadomasochism, sexual humiliation, and
giving or receiving pleasure from acts involving
receiving or inflicting pain and humiliation is not
appropriate in the Christian’s bedroom. Perhaps he

didn’t know that leather and whips in the conjugal act
are not for the devout. I knew how I would teach him
these truths. I would have to confess the sins of S&M
at our next prayer group. Yes, that’s what I would do.

And to save me the additional sin of lying, I would
need to actually commit the sins so I could honestly
confess them. It was something I was willing to do for
the salvation of another. I would save him from the

error of his ways. Nipple clamps, rope, ball gags,
handcuffs, spreaders, chains, blindfolds, ball
crushing vises, cattle prods, feather ticklers, forceps,
clothespins, speculums, I would endure all these for

the glory of God and salvation of my fellow man.
Yes, that's what I'd do. Sweetie! I called out. Sweetie!