Monday, November 05, 2007

A Cheerleader For The Damned













As a child, I participated in an evangelical Bible study in a closeted homosexual man's apartment. His name was Jim (no last name provided), and after hours of going through scripture after scripture, he'd turn our attention to his struggles with his friend Jeff. I have, he'd announce over lemonade and Hydrox cookies, been having fantasies about Jeff in the shower. I know it's the Devil. I'd been taught that homosexuality was fine and dandy so I didn't know what to say except, Go ahead and approach Jeff. I'm pretty sure he's gay too. But Jim wasn't big on women having a voice in church unless it was that of an exhorter (religious word for cheerleader except that you couldn't dress the part) or prophetess. I longed to be the latter, to be Cassandra, to predict the future, sad or real or wonderful. I already knew that the world held plenty for all.

There was a little test in our church study booklet to help us figure out what we were. I was, you guessed it, an exhorter. I changed my answers so that I could see the future. No way did I want to prop people up in those days. And sometimes I got to see glimpses of what was to come, the way you could see the bodies of fish moving through the water. But now I think back and see that I chose too quickly. An exhorter is just fine. I would never endure the tedium of those hours of scripture in quite the same way again -- my heart moved to Catholicism, a different way of looking at things, the most complicated and ritualized of Christianity and that's where my faith held forth. I became deeply radical and liberal in ways that would have shocked my younger self. But despite not having any pom-poms, I'm destined for the role that was long ago ascribed to me. A friend of mine once said, You're like a cheerleader for the damned. But the winning team never needs that shit -- it's the lost, defeated, the lonely, the searching that demand the attention. I am no saint and the future, as Doris Day once sang, is not mine to see. But to stand on the sidelines and notice heaven in the puddles of neon and wail of sirens, well, that's the kind of thing that suits me just fine, cute little outfit or no.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"If I could live my life all over I'd do everything the same; the film in my camera would remain the same; there's no way Lord, to leave this love behind." Al Green

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Clockwatchers (This beautiful film is a lyrical Office Space for girls. )

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday!

15 comments:

the walking man said...

It's as good a place to stand as any other I guess. I wonder if we are hearing the same sirens at this early hour?

Peace

mark

eric1313 said...

Whether it's the sirens of the modern city, or the sirens of the ancient Aegean, that wail sums up a feeling many know all too well.

Cheerleading the damned is all good and well until the damned make the transition to devotee. Then it's just a pain in the ass.

And now I know how that is, too.

Great pic. It's the pillow of winds effect.

JLCGULL said...

Why can't the Lions have cheerleaders?

Cheri said...

Hmm I needed a good movie to watch..

Charles Gramlich said...

The winners don't need the cheerleading. The losers do, but too often don't get it.

Anonymous said...

to be an exhorter is a good thing in this time when anypone who crosses any line is dealt with harshly.

But one has to wonder how you reconcile liberal viewpoints with Catholicism, which is pretty firmly rooted in the conservative camp...

Yeah, that Anonymous

luma said...

It forgot me?
Beijus

Brian in Mpls said...

Got to love the underdogs:)

Although I admit to being a huge fan of watching the winners who have it all and cheer for them to mess it all up...

Reason 99532 that I will be going to hell

d baggs said...

HOOOOAAAAHHHHHHHH!

Lookin sultry!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, enjoyed Sunday's post but when I went to show a friend(who is also a two timing dirt bag) your story, especially liked the quote, "pushing 50 with a short stick," it was no longer available. What happened? MW

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...

Michelle-- "...it's the lost, defeated, the lonely, the searching that demand the attention." That sounds more like Dorothy Day than Doris Day--and quite a few people believe Dorothy Day to be a saint. And she was a political radical and a Catholic.

11/05/2007

Doris Day said...

Please, please, don't eat the daisies!

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey MW,

Thanks for the kind words! I was editing it and it got lost -- I think it's in the wrong folder or something. Going to try and hunt it down today!