Erin and Jesus

(Via All My Kisses)

Erin had long blond hair, great shoulders and real, live, actual breasts. She was smart, cool, and for some reason she liked me. I got up the nerve to sit with her during lunch a couple of days in a row, and then I started walking her to her class after lunch. The long awkward period of saying goodbye outside of her classroom would leave me late for my own class. Finally, one Friday, I swallowed hard, wiped the sweat from my palms and asked her if I could give her a kiss. She said "Yes." I kissed her. She kissed me. It was great. Then she asked me if I'd spend the night with her.

Erin invited me to a "Lock In." A "Lock In" is this goofy church youth-group thing. Anyone familliar with youth-groups know just how "Wacky" and "Zany" they can be. So the "Lock In" (I just have to quote it) consisted of the youth group kids and their invited guests staying up all night, that's right, ALL NIGHT, in this cafeteria type room. You were "locked in" meaning once there you couldn't leave, you were in for the long hall, one for all and all for one, ALL NIGHT! ALL DAMN NIGHT! Once you committed there was no wimping out. There was no leaving. THE DOORS WERE LOCKED! There just aint no arguing with that.

The night started with silly games to break the ice. I'm pretty shy so these were hard for me but I met some nice people. One game involved the first kid chosen laying on their back, and then the next kid would lay, also face up, with their head resting on the first kid's stomach. The third kid's head rested on the second kids stomach, etc. making a chain that wound around the room. Than the first kid had to say "Ha." The next kid said "Ha Ha." Each consecutive kid added a "Ha." The idea was to see how far around the room you could get before everyone cracked up. This seemed pretty dumb to me, but when Erin lay her head up on my belly and I reached down and ran my fingers through her hair, well, I was willing to keep saying "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha" all night, All Damn Night.

We played some weird game of tag with all the lights off. All the games seemed to invite physical contact and even some groping which could easily be passed off as accidental. I guess the Christians need to compete with MTV somehow.

Eventually things got serious! The leader of the group was this clean cut guy who was real into fun... and sincerity. He had this way of calling you "Man" with so much empathy in his voice. When he called you "Man" you really knew he meant it... man. I don't remember his name but I bet it was Ron.

Ron sat us all down to talk about gods love or some such zaniness. He passed out postcards and little pencils and invited us all to write down any questions we might have had, but were afraid to ask. The questions would then be answered, the asker remaining anonymous. So I wrote some question regarding my problem with faith. Faith is dangerous, allows nazism, etc and is also what keeps people pretty much inheriting their folks' religion. I don't remember how I worded it, but I'd come to a decision that I'd only believe things if they were supported by compelling scientific evidence, and even then I'd separate theory from law. No room for faith. Okay, enough of that, you get the point.

Ron starts reading the questions. Ron was pretty sure that pets would be in heaven, man. He had a dog that really touched his life, man. and it was obvious that god was present in that dog, so he was sure that this dog would be in heaven, in one form another, man. Nobody asked if Beef Cows would be in heaven. I hoped so because I didn't want to have to eat Ron's Dog, regardless of how much of God's love was in it, man.

My card came up and as Ron read my question I felt proud to have written it. He then laughed it off and gave some bullshit answer about god living in all of our hearts or something. WHAT?!?! I raised my hand. I pointed out that he didn't really answer the question or even address it. I restated the question differently, pointing out that faith will keep the Muslim from considering Christianity, etc., That this creates a breeding war amongst the various brands of faithful around the world. He fluffed me off again and so started a little friendly debate. He didn't like the debate, which I can honestly say I tried to keep polite, I mean hell I was a kid talking to an adult authority figure and I was sober, so I wasn't that bad. He put all the cards away and suggested that we play more games. I thought he might suggest Spin The Bottle to recover from this one.

I was waiting for throngs of kids to flock to me, amazed by my amazing intellect and audacity. Instead, I had become pariah. Nobody would come near me. And seeing this, Ron didn't do anything to discourage it. Like he wanted to peer pressure me into being a Christian, or maybe he was just glad that the good little christians were staying away from my Satan loving ass. Worst of all Erin was staying away. She was obviously embarrassed to have brought me.

After enduring a humiliating hour of being avoided like a leper I snuck into the office and used the phone to call my dad. Dad's religious beliefs were still a mystery to me though I had observed that my own years of being "born again" seemed to have been more tolerated than actively encouraged by Dad. He answered the phone, sounding sleepy and I asked him to come get me. He reminded me that I was at a "Lock In" and that they wouldn't let me go. I had explained this him very carefully and precisely when seeking permission to attend. I assured him that they'd be happy to let me go.

My dad pulls up about ten minute later. As I walk to the doors one of the faithful narks me off.

"Hey that kid's leaving."

Ron calls out "What are you doing?"

"Leaving, man." I answer unlocking the door and walking through it.

Hopping in my dad's car, I looked back at all the kids now gathered at the door and glaring at me through the glass with looks of hatred. I'd fucked up the "Lock In." I'd broken the sacred rule and in doing so had blown the titillating illusion of being locked in. It turns out anyone choosing to stay all night was indeed choosing to do so.

My dad put his hand on the back of my neck and I guess that he's proud of me, proud that I'm not with the sheep. We rode home in silence. Erin never spoke to me again.

1 comment:

tina said...

I liked this story.