Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.


Even Yet Still Plus More Indignities Etc.
Age 12 – I grew up nominally religious, mostly because being raised by a psychopath makes the possibility that some benevolent, all-powerful force exists seem really, really appealing. But I still hadn't found a church in which I felt comfortable – Mom practiced some kookified form of that Wicca nonsense and Dad is Catholic, and neither faith held much appeal for me. Too complicated, too ritualistic, too many weird outfits involved, etc.

My friend Randy, who at the time was devoutly religious, was attending a Christian church he described as non-denominational. Supposedly, the aim of this church was to cut out a lot of the hoo-hah and just get down to the straightforward Bible-y stuff. I liked the sound of that. And I relied on Randy for spiritual guidance, even though he once admitted that he thought babies were made by kissing until he was 12 or 13 or something.

So I accompany Randy to a church "lock-in," where we're to have fun and socialize, potentially with girls. And who knows, maybe this church will be the house of worship I’ve been seeking.

We’re there for a few minutes when the youth pastor starts discussing science-fiction movies, another passion Randy and I share. Excited, I mention how much I enjoyed my recent viewing of Time Bandits.

"You shouldn’t be watching Satanic movies like that, Patrick," the pastor says. "It contains a blasphemous portrayal of a supreme being."

My face flushes. It’s very quiet. Everyone stares at me like I'm wearing a hat made of dogshit. I think about being "locked in" with these people for the rest of the night, and a cold feeling forms deep in the pit of my stomach.

I give up on all that Jesus stuff once and for all.

Age 13 – I go to school without first taking a shower. This is not uncommon, because I am a dirty greaseball, but in this instance turns out to be significant.

You see, the day before, in an effort to join the madcap antics of the cool kids, I had thrown an egg out of the window of my schoolbus. Though it was intended for a passing schoolbus transporting kids from another school, it did not find its mark.

Instead, the universe, sensing that an uncool kid was attempting to perform actions outside of his designated scope, threw a little physics into the mix and used some sort of compressed air cushion to slam my egg back into the edge of my own window. Thus, like an Icarus of social acceptance, my temerity was punished and the cosmic balance of life was once again set right.

Well, really, it was more of a warning than a punishment – I barely got gooed at all, though the other kids, whose eggs all hit our rivals with no major complications, found it remarkable that I was unable to successfully deploy my egg at such close range, and at such a large target. And they let me know this in ways that, if memory serves, included improvising special songs and chants. I sat for the rest of the trip wondering why I even tried to be popular, or regular, or accepted or liked at all, and cleaned up when I got home.

The next day, though, I show up at the bus stop and it's quickly pointed out that I have a few shell fragments in my hair, as well as a faint eggy smell, and it is in this way I announce to the world my spectacular lack of hygiene.


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