The Janitor of Souls

Jake Laments was born on a Thursday morning in the Powell Street MUNI station. His panting mother clutched the hands of two helpful Scientologists, who had been manning their kiosk when her water broke. She promised them, yes, she would read Dianetics, thanks for counting out the Lamaze breaths.

Jake’s mum never did get around to reading Dianetics. She was more into books that featured men with rippling pectoral muscles clutching hapless women at improbable angles. But she always waved to the Scientologists whenever they went through the station. Which was often.

Jake was never quite able to escape the orbit of the Powell Street Station. He got sick on a class field trip, and fainted in the station. His first commuting jobs took him straight through the station. Eventually, fate had enough and stranded him for three hours on a MUNI car with malfunctioning doors, making him late for work the third day in a row. He got fired without references, and the very next day, the notice appeared:


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