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
Drinking movie suggestion: Clockwatchers (This beautiful film is a lyrical Office Space for girls. )
Benedictions and Maledictions