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Heresy Is Such a Harsh Word

Mood: vacation-starved
Drinking: room-temperature water

I’ve been having discussions lately, email discussions, with a pastor named Mike from Alabama. They’ve been friendly discussions. Honest. Surprising, even. And yeah, I’d go so far to say they’ve been refreshing. With the exception of my friend DZ (who is also a man of the cloth), I haven’t had very many refreshing discussions with reverends over the course of my life.

Mike-from-Alabama asked me an interesting question the other day, and I had so much fun answering it, I thought I’d go bother the Internet with the results.

He asked, “If Jesus was sitting across from you, what would you ask him?”

I thought I’d have a million and one instant questions zinging through my head, but it actually took me quite a while to come up with a few that I felt like sharing. (Some things are better left in my head.)

So here are my top 20 questions for Jesus (and yes, I’d actually say the F word. It’s not like he hasn’t heard it from me before)…

1. Have you disowned George Bush yet?
2. Are you ever surprised by the depth of human depravity, or did you get used to it a long time ago?
3. The American Church: Modern Pharisees? Which is to say, if you were here today, would you overturn some tables?
4. When you lived on earth, did you have a dog?
5. Which pisses you off more, people saying “JesusFuckingChrist!” or people who use your name as a cloak of self-righteousness?
6. Are you really a virgin?
7. And in a related question, what’s the real story about you and Mary Magdalene?
8. Do you ever regret the whole “free will” thing?
9. Was David a “man after God’s own heart” because he was such an honest mess?
10. Gay marriage. Pro?
11. So when are you coming back, exactly? Is it a wait-and-see-how-bad-it-gets sort of thing, or do you already have it scheduled?
12. Why do you love me?
13. Did you think we’d do better than this, or did you expect us to fuck up the world this badly?
14. Faith. Hope. Love. Shouldn’t you have said that Love was the hardest?
15. Scarier political climate: Rome, B.C. or Washington D.C.?
16. How badly have Christians misquoted you, over the centuries?
17. If you were in a band, would you be the lead singer or the bass player? (And what would you call your band?)
18. Two thousand and six years later, have we completely missed the point?
19. What does Heaven smell like?
20. When it all comes down, in the end, will you give me answers, or will you leave me forever wondering?

-Lo, who thinks Heaven smells of violets in the rain, freshly-baked bread, horse barns, and Boy’s neck.

The Optimistic Pessimist

Mood: Wake and Ache
Drinking: Tea Time

I have no idea, really, whether the glass is half full or half empty. Seems to me that it’s changing all the time, so it’s difficult to accurately gauge that sorta thing.

Boy would probably say that my glass is half empty. And he’d be right, half the time.

I do tend to see the darker side of Sears. The monsters in the closet, beneath the bed, outside the window. But I have a soft spot for fluffy bunnies, too, so I don’t fit in the box quite so easily.

I have this thing, a superstition, really, that if I can imagine the worst possible outcome, then it won’t happen. When I drop Boy off at the airport, I imagine his plane will crash. When I leave the LeeLoo at home in the morning, I imagine she’ll be dognapped. When I’m riding my motorcycle, Shirley, I imagine a semi will blow a red light and smash us to pieces. Set me up with any situation, and I’ll take all of two seconds to think of the worst that could happen.

In this way, I’m protecting us all. Because if I think it, I’ll jinx it, and it won’t come true. Twisted logic, I know, but it works for me.

My superstitions don’t run the usual course of black cats and broken mirrors and listing ladders. Mine are much more violent than seven years of bad luck. But so far, my imagination has kept me and mine out of trouble.

So it’s not really a half-finished glass. I imagine the nightmare because I want the dream. And usually reality lands safely somewhere in between. I guess I’ve learned, over the years, that if you own up to all the terrible things that could happen to you, every single day, then you’re happier in the end because they *don’t* happen. So you’re grateful. You’re aware of what you have.

You don’t take your life for granted.

You don’t believe me? Here’s a recent example…When I broke my wrist in February, out in the sand dunes at Pismo Beach, I spent much of the agonizingly bumpy ride to the hospital imagining horrible things. Amputation. A shrivelly, withered appendage. Floppy, useless fingers. I covered them all.

So here we are, 6 months later, freshly discharged from therapy, and my wrist is decidedly not what it used to be. It works, but it’s not quite right. When I make a fist, it looks a little funny. My flailing hand gestures are much less eloquent, a little more robotic. I can’t get enough extension to ride a bicycle painlessly or pump out a pushup. And compared to my fully-functional right wrist, my left looks like a gimp. BUT. It’s not withered or useless or amputated. So! Bonus for me! It’s no dream, but it’s not a nightmare, either. So I’m celebrating in the middle ground somewhere in between.

Whatever works, right?

-Lo, who always thought a lucky rabbit foot wasn’t really so lucky for the rabbit.

Can’t Rain All the Time

Mood: Persistently Wobbly
Drinking: Diet 7Up

Do dark clouds need a reason to descend? Do they require flames or wind? Do they have their own secret almanac, their own private entrance? Do they listen to a mad-hatted psychic who tells them that now would be a fortuitous time to bring the rain down on me?

I’ll never know.

But I am far too heavy for my little world. Not just today, but for the past several. I cannot point a finger and make it land on a rational excuse. I am just here, and glowering.

Yesterday on the street, a strange man walking toward me bent and said, “Very beautiful woman.”

And I said, “That’s easy to say when you don’t really know me.”

But he cheered me up, anyway. Yes, I am that superficial.

Then I wandered on home and watched Howl’s Moving Castle. And when Howl bursts into tears because his hair is all the wrong color and throws a mighty wizardly tantrum (complete with oozing green goo) because he no longer feels beautiful, I allowed myself three minutes of self-righteous hypocrisy.

“Stupid ass.” I thought. “Blubbering because he thinks his hair looks stupid. What a pussy!”

Meanwhile, bombs are heedlessly obliterating Beirut and I am a silly American girl, letting the mirror dictate my day. Who’s the ass now?

Boy said he’s worried because I’ve been sad for weeks.

But the clouds are familiar, and I’m not afraid. I’ve been happy for so long now. A little rain never hurt anything.


-Lo, who has drawn maps of the doldrums.