Once for Christmas I received two cds that were exactly the same: The Last Hours of the People's Temple. The cd cover contains a pastiche of the carnage in Guyana, a smiling Jim Jones looking half-looped, and a few shots of children singing. These aren't widely sold at Wal-Mart -- both of my friends had taken considerable trouble to procure them off the internet. To make matters worse, I received them at the same party, rendering me unable to lie about the unique nature of the gift. But I swore up and down that I needed two copies, I mean who the hell doesn't, and promptly put one in the mail to my old buddy Hank so he too could enjoy the bad contemporary Christian music followed by rambling speeches of Mr. Jones, and the begging of several of the brighter bulbs in the congregation who realized that drinking poisoned Flavor-Aid in the jungle was going to end up being a real fuckstick. Is there any way we can make it less bitter? one parishioner asks.
And so it goes. The question is answered literally -- No, we've used up all the sugar. As I cleaned up after the Christmas party late into the night, I thought about my gifts, one of which was playing on the stereo. So much starts out in promise and ends in the abyss. Nothing gives me the chills more than to hear my own voice say, I've got an idea. Eyes gleaming, I look toward the promised land. More often what I don't realize is that I'm going to have to crawl over broken glass to get there.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I looked at what I wanted and I looked at what I had. There was a great gulf between the two of them." Larry Brown
Drinking nonfiction suggestion: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas Chuck Klosterman
Benedictions and Maledictions