Saturday, June 02, 2007

notes from in between aboveground and underground

Ghod, it seems that I have become very old. The cafe people insist on calling me "sir" all the time, even though I'm wearing the same jeans and t-shirt I always have been wearing. One girl today, in the course of getting me a coffee, called me "sir" at least twice. I wanted to say, "please, call me stupid, call me "rover", call me late to dinner, just don't call me sir."
I have become incredibly old over the twenty years that have passed since high school. The time just seems to go on, counted out by little servings of espresso and scraps of paper. Occasionally, especially recently, I worry about how isolated I am, as in how few real friends, but then I think about it for a while, and I realize that I'm not alone because I have any history that I need to be ashamed of, or I have any skeletons in the closet, or any deeds or actions in my past that I really need to feel guilty about, so then if you consider the fact that I am isolated, the isolation doesn't apodictically follow from there to me being a dangerous psychotic. In fact, I wouldn't say that I have any long lasting resentments about anyone in particular, although I can be quite irritable in the short term. I always have the capacity to stand back from my situation, maybe after I've been spending time thinking about how worthless I am, and say that in fact, I have some intrinsic worth that is in there somewhere, and some enthusiasms that might not be obvious but are there nevertheless.
The night is warm and the little college children are out drinking and stumbling around, grunting and shuffling, a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
It seems to me that Christianity is really some kind of group-induced mania. Robert Crumb tells this funny story about how he and a friend went to a black church back in the 50's, when they were invited by a friend. The sermon was loud, people started wailing and crying, and suddenly the pastor pointed to them, the two white guys, and started talking about how they were not saved yet, so everybody was wailing and praying, trying to save their souls. When they realized these guys just simply weren't going to get it, they went back to what they were doing. That story is actually kind of not relevant to what I was going to say, but it comes to mind because Crumb had such a funny and honest way of telling stories, especially about himself.
I have personally found parts of Christianity and the sermons to be beautiful and uplifting, and I always think that theoretically it would be nice to be part of a beautiful group possibly such as that, but when it comes right down to it, why the heck should I believe the Jesus was more than any other mortal? Or that he was resurrected? Any why the heck would I want to drink his blood? Isn't that a little weird? There is never going to come a time when I suddenly realize that these things are true. Not going to happen.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

No worries. Gas station attendants regularly call me "ma'am" (instantly aging me by about thirty years), and kindly old geezers my grandfather's age flirt shamelessly at me while I'm shopping for produce at Winco (which is mortifying, in general). 22 and ancient already... it must be the cable-knit sweaters or something.

Cool to see your katas on YouTube. I'll check to see if you update.

I have a documentary film called Orwell Rolls in His Grave that you might be interested in borrowing, since you've been reading about him lately... the film is about doublespeak and corruption in politics, basically. Kind of interesting. Decidedly left-wing.

Our obnoxious neighbor downstairs is horrendously drunk right now. I'm going to send a few good stomps through the floor to see if I can shut him up.