Posts Tagged ‘love

03
Jan
11

Innocent Bastards (an excerpt)


(titled years before the film Inglorious Basterds)

Father O’Neill awoke under a layer of sweat.  The room was cold.  His feet were colder.  The crucifix on the wall glistened as though it had been dipped in freezing black oil.  The stillness of his room penetrated the layers of cloth meant to barricade his hands from his shame.  His tomb.  He quickly brought the towel from his bedside table up to his mouth, leaving his Bible to sit loudly alone.  The passages within, those treating fornication, had surrendered their darker shades of ink over the years.  The thick smell of a woman’s immutable desire knew what haunted him.  His gaze when cast upon his naked shame, an innocent mirror in the right place at the wrong time, both knew what haunted him.  He raised himself by the elbows, sat upright on the bed, crossed himself, and finished mopping his face.  He looked back apologetically to the watermark formed in the bare wood of his bedside table, his ragged hand lingered over his mouth as he blessed himself.  Haunting, how his penitence never fully absolved him before taking his place at the pulpit.  The eucharist was only an hour away.  Seventy hail-mary’s couldn’t pull the furrow from his brow in that time.
He rose from the modest bed, rejoined cloth and table, and though it was not nearly a biting enough wind to be faced this morning, he wore his winter undergarments for indeed it was not the biting wind he wished to silence.  These little efforts were all he had to quiet the army surrounding him.  Bathrooms mocked him.  Mildly bumpy car rides scandalized him.  Acrylic cherubs, saints of old, and the colorful mosaics of stained-glass light that made sleeping children blush or jaundiced the elderly, they all knew.
He admitted himself a deep, cleansing breath, before alighting like a ghost down the back stairs that led to the preparation room.  Rounding the worn corners of the stairwell he caught the smell of incense embalming his tardiness.  His still-damp hands squeaked as they guided him down through the patches of morning light which were stabbing into the house like blinding shunts of omniscience.  Only the few truly faithful would notice he was late, if he could appear before the final movement of the organist’s beckoning.  In the preparation room he was surprised to find his stoles already in place.  He didn’t recall putting them on.  As he shrugged off the confusion he kissed his fingers, and touching them to his chasuble he stepped purposefully towards the growing sound of the cathedral organ.  My God, my Father, guide me with your loving light in my time of darkness.  Let me not betray your precious children whom you have named and loved in your infinite wisdom.  I seek your spirit alone in humility and grace.  Blessed Mary, hear my prayer.  Holy Spirit, hear my prayer.  Father of light- The organ blasted as he hurried through the door –hear my prayer.  Though he kept his head straight and hid his eyes by walking in a stoop, assessing the size of his fold was ingrained.  He estimated fifty in attendance.  Could be worse.  Today’s sermon was aimed at the well-to-do, which made up roughly a third of the core congregation.  Saint Agnes needed money, badly.  Her plumbing would need to be redone before the dense tuft of winter pressed through the many wounds in her depressed beam roof.  Her roof would need to be redone.  He paused and let his priestly face through.
“Who among us is satisfied?”  His strong, warm voice echoed off the back wall and he thought he noticed his pulse slow, the tension in his forehead relax.  He fell into his role with ease.  “Is it you, the simple working folk, untroubled by vanity?”  He noticed some shoulders shift.  “Is it you, the owner of material wealth?”  Still more.  “Or could it be me, the decorated servant of the Almighty?”  He let his fingers splay out across his robes.  His eyes scanned faces with practiced efficiency.  They were listening.
Though his head was spinning from having to manage so much, he focused hard winning this small battle.  “I,” there was a cough from a woman in front, “I would like to believe all of us here- the faithful, peaceful, united followers of Christ’s love- to believe all present are satisfied.  Yet, this cannot be.  Here, in the house of God, we learn how to let go, but I know that some of us leave the church, returning to our every-day realities, and continue to hold on to false comforts.  To seek satisfaction of the flesh and ego.  Dramatic pause. If this church was destroyed, who would raise it back up for His glory?”  Shoulders up, down with a sigh. “Who would strain their back to hoist the sign of the cross for the edification of this town?  Are we so secure in our faith that we have begun to allow certain leniencies?  I know I am not the only one who noticed the brand new luxury car in the parking lot.”  There was muffled, but widespread laughter at this. “I’m sure without knowing the owner, I could pick them out right now.  How?”  He wrapped his thumb and forefinger with a wrenching motion around his wrist.  “They likely own a fancy watch, too.”  He smiled wide at the attentive heads, all pointing their noses at him.  “Of course, there is nothing innately wrong with fine things.  Consider the great Cathedrals, erected to evoke the transcendent glory of God.”  He moved to the side of the pulpit, feigned difficulty in walking for effect, and stopped, just short of the front railing.  A glimmer of blue caught the father’s eye, and he looked out into the graveyard, spotted a young man.  Stammering for just a second, he recalled his anecdote and felt composure return, joined by a bead of sweat he expertly detoured with a gesture towards heaven.
“Years ago,” he peered straight into the audience, “before coming here to St. Agnes, I mentored a young priest.”  He looked around at his congregation, front to side, side to back.  “This priest was, we’ll say, stuck: on wondering what his parish thought of him, the man.”  He turned back towards the altar, catching another glimpse of blue through the window.
Outside, the young man, whom the Father did not recognize, was slowly heading in a direction that filled him with panic.  There was a particular grave in that row, a grave he hoped nobody would stop at.  A grave he tended in secret.
“You see,” he cleared his throat, and grasped the rail with his right hand, leaning, “He was eager to please, or be seen as good.  Same thing really, and he tended to go easy on his flock for fear of turning anyone away.”
The worst had happened.  The young man was now caressing the lettering of the headstone.  HER headstone.
“His parish,” his now wobbling voice continued, “was one made up of seldom tried and rarely true, thin-skinned believers who had to be nearly tricked out of their money.  He had lost sight of the service of God and had given in to the temptation to entertain.”  Now the Father’s eyes narrowed.  Time to bring it home.
“However, I’m afraid that the lack of real guidance, in the end, proved a much greater curse than that of unpopularity; the parish divided and eventually closed its doors, and so I hope to prevent this mistake for all of us here at St. Agnes.”
The unwelcome man in the cemetery sat a bunch of white flowers upright against the grey marble.  And, it couldn’t be ignored: made no cross, did not bow his head.
“My vision… and I hope you share it, is that St. Agnes would be a comfort, a refuge to those who are needy, in any way.  That her walls would stand strong, and her faithful, here now, even stronger.  We cannot pretend to chase after these virtues if we are not willing to serve.”
The Father released his grasp on the railing, turned towards the altar, cutting his service short by more than half an hour, and prayed, spontaneously-
“Most Holy Father in heaven, hear our prayer…  blessed Mary, hear our prayer…  Holy Spirit, descend upon us and bestow now your mercy and healing.”  All faces pointed to the ground in penance.  “Lord we come to you today, in humility, and ask, how can we be satisfied who have not material comfort?  How can we be satisfied who come to this place of worship and, despite our wealth, feel no repose?  Lord, in your wisdom and grace, guide us now, and evermore toward your service, and may we all, rich or poor, with family or chaste, well labored or under skilled, find that pure and wonderful satisfaction of bringing your glory here to earth by our good works and service.  Amen.”
The elders of the congregation sat in confused hesitation.  The younger of the flock, eager to adjourn, lined up quickly as the organist made haste to her bench and launched a full battalion of organ pipes at the congregation, causing some to lean away as though a windstorm had blown in.
As he turned and received the sacraments from the altar boys, he glanced out again through the window, but the graveyard was empty of young men in blue coats.  He sighed without letting his shoulders sink or stomach retract.  Another in a series of mastered illusions.  Pleading to God for an emergency of any kind to empty the church, he turned back again, towards the crowded railing, and, vexed to near intolerability, pinched a wafer between the very ends of his thumb and forefinger.  He looked down upon the first in line and saw her mouth already open in anxious obedience.  It made his stomach not only turn, but lurch.  Her mouth agape, he could count her fillings.  Saw she was a smoker.  Tried not to gawk or gag at the tongue hanging white-striped out of her mouth.
He gave a slight tremble.  The woman kneeling in front of him lifted her eyes out of self consciousness, wondering what was wrong.  Father O’Neill nervously, almost as slight-of-hand, placed the wafer on her tongue.
He wanted to vomit right into their mouths.  He wanted to urinate himself within inches of their noses as he held out the next wafer after another.  He wanted to shave the altar boys’ heads and slip Beatles songs into the hymnals.  He wanted.
As his guts tumbled inward on themselves, the clouds outside broke, and a sunlit Christ beamed down upon Father O’Neill in a wondrous rushing wave of stained-glass glory.  His eyes transfixed on the words under Christ’s feet:  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not…
The good father regained himself and delivered the next blessing.
As he hurried, robes clenched in his hands up the stairs past the kitchen and the unnaturally scuff-free walls of the hallways, he puzzled over the graveyard visitor.  Why her grave?  Was there someone he did not know about?  Could it really be him?  He considered that it might have been a distant relative.  It would explain why they came a day early, on a Sunday.
“Father O’Neill.”  He almost knocked her straight over.  She half curtsied, the brim of her habit barely swiped his chin in the narrow stairwell.
“Sister Josephine.”  He nodded.  She was pale and looked tired, but peaceful nonetheless.  He saw that they both shared in their perspiring and he feigned illness in his voice when he replied to her tilted head.
“Oh, bless me,” he coughed, “I’m feeling a bit under the weather and,” sniffled, “I wonder if you couldn’t bring tea to my room?  I shall be turning in early, don’t set a place for me.”
She more than half curtsied and returned to the kitchen bowing deep enough to hide her rolling eyes, facing him until the door swung shut between them.  Finishing the last flight of stairs, the father paused, and smiled.  St. Joseph, in his sanctified and disinterested wisdom, gently smiled back upon him.  He kissed his own fingers and placed them upon the wooden saint, hanging there guarding the border between his sleep and death’s reach.  “Bless you” said Father O’Neill, and made for his room.





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30
Aug
10

saying grace

control control control control control control is power control is power not you you are not the power you do not have the power you are in control of the power control is power control the power you are not the power you are not the power you are not the power the power is control you are in control of the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power the power is not in control the power is control power is control power is control you are not the power you are not the power you are not one with the power the power is control the power is the power the power is not in control the power is not one with control you are not one with the power you are not the power control the power the power is control you do not power control you control the power control the power control the power the power is control
27
Aug
10

Evolution and Filial Piety

Sometimes I dream of success.  Not of rock-star or oil executive success, but of real personal success.  The end of these dreams is always the same, though, which is me realizing that I haven’t paid my dues yet. 

I am currently leaning towards blaming my parents on this one.  I get a chuckle out of saying it too.  I don’t actually believe that we’re all just attempting to heal from our parents and grow our own way, but some of the learning you get as a child must be shed; and paying one’s dues is a lesson my parents had ALL WRONG.  I was taught as a child and young adult that it was not really one’s dedication and acquisition of skill that caused one to succeed, no, the version I got was that God would come down and turn you into a well hung virgin raping CIA agent who drove five racecars drunk on Dom as long as you just kept your faith long enough and were sure to tithe.  Loyal members always get perks I suppose.  And even though I am largely purged of this indoctrination, the idea that my good intentions or behavior would some day pay off like a loaded slot machine never left me.  I have been coasting by like a blind sailor completely oblivious to the nearing reef.  I was sure to sink, in the most dreadful and pathetic fashion.  At any rate, I let this belief stay for some reason.  I accepted credit card offers with the idea that some future reward for my good behavior would cover the costs.  I let women fall in love with me knowing the whole time that that is all I wanted from them; to see if I could get them to love me.  After I had their love I tossed it over my shoulder and walked on thinking that what I gave them was of such value that surely it was a net positive.  I hacked out music to roughly a third of its potential simply believing that people would be so impressed by the evoked emotions that someday I would profit enough from the sales to finally take recording seriously (like a record label jesus coming down to give me $5000 and an 8-ball).  On top of all that, I used my psychological intuition to land jobs I wasn’t qualified for, and with that boosted confidence I started quitting jobs at my leisure, only to grab another one in an industry I had no knowledge of.  Now I can’t get an interview to deliver pizzas.  I guess I thought that someday I’d simply charm my way into a financially secure job should it ever become necessary.  It has, and 300 plus applications later, I am unemployed.  Of course, I did get a wealth of real world knowledge you just can’t be taught from working so many different jobs for such a variety of organizations, but for what?  I can’t take writing seriously enough to even commit to an hour a day… because some day publishing jesus will come down and give me a cabin in the woods stocked with nothing but twelve year old scotch, chronic and typewriters waiting for my genius to ravage the ink ribbon.

Sorry folks, but this was a big one and I hope that less and less children are taught this.

19
Aug
10

We’re all selfish. That’s the bottom line.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

19
Aug
10

A Serious Problem

I imagine that more and more heterosexually coupled males and females are going to be running into a serious problem that my feminist wife and I have discovered: the battle of emotions versus rationality.

I believe the reason this is going to be made apparent, soon, is because its a discussion that is appropriate for modern young couples faced with this seeming dichotomy.  I leave out homosexual couplings because I am not familiar enough with homosexual relationship dynamics to either include or exclude them with any intelligence.  However, I am sure something similar could crop up in any relationship where one person approaches conflict emotionally, and the other rationally.

I want to quickly stop you here and clarify the question already forming in your mind; is this guy about to assert that one is better? No.  The first mistake my wife and I have discovered about this discussion is that the initial problem is having emotion pitted against rationality in the first place.  It is counter-productive to start from there.  Both emotion and rationality have distinct and necessary functions in our human development.  However, one theory I am now leaning heavily toward, is that emotion is also a sort of genetic leftover from when humans were subject to more predators than Big Business or general systematic oppression.  I’m talking about the days of “I win because I am larger.”  You know, before we realized we could flourish with technology rather than our biology.

Understandably, you are thinking I just shot myself in the foot by suggesting that emotion is an antiquated, useless leftover of our primitive ancestors.  Maybe, but before you react, do YOU know anything about our historical and genetic development?  Additionally, both emotion and rationality have a dynamic weakness in communication when used one without the other.  For example: in an argument, person X becomes emotional and begins yelling insults.  While the insults do not invalidate person X’s need to communicate, person Y has an easy rational out by simply criticizing person X on the grounds that they are simply excited and acting like irrational.  But… but: person Y didn’t actually say anything at all to the point of person X’s initial concern.   Likewise, if person Y attempts talking about their feelings rationally to person X, who is more resonant with emotion, person X will more often than not try to re-orient the discussion around emotional realities, when that is not what person Y wanted to discuss; therefore, they both lose.

So what should the modern heterosexual couple do about this problem?  Shut up.  Both of you, shut up and think about what you are ACTUALLY TRYING TO SAY.

Good luck.

15
Oct
09

today i die

i am leaving.  Whoops!  I’m back.  Shit, that was fast.  Did I already write this?

this is confusing.  there’s no joy to be had in time.  we must run from it.  if we adapt our bodies to night/day, light/dark chaos it could possibly save the species.  we must adapt our enjoyments or risk losing enjoyment as a motivator.  human creativity is suffocating itself to death, we must fight soon.  time is a motherfucker not to be trifled with, but, how did it get this power?  i smell an oppressor.  i’ll be first and zealous in the slaying of the defenders of time.   defenders of quantity and measurement.  they are the evilest, vilest and most sinister lot, those, while they undo our creative instinct, molding it with time.

fight this bullshit oppressor however you can.  write fiction on office time.  have everyone on your block get night jobs and have bar b-ques after work at 7am.  get a tivo.  sell your tivo.  make your own bread.  spazz out about nothing in the most loving way you can and then hide in the bathroom.  find peace in rejecting zen.  make samyama on the mundane.

Most important, give yourself a chance.

31
Aug
09

back to school

Don’t read this if you’re not a voyeur, it’s going to be very uninteresting and journal-ish.  I may just be documenting this for my own decompression’s sake.

Mondays are going to be very tough for the next 13 weeks.  I learned that today.  I (should) get up at 6:45, work until 2:30, go to classes from 3-8:30, and then brave the bus or take the not-so-scenic 40 minute walk home.  I chose walking.  Now I am finally relaxed in my ‘fort’ with a glass of wine and some herbal platitude feeling the desire to write but not necessarily have to think about it.  I figured imnotme was the place to do just that.

So, this semester I am taking Intro To Writing Fiction and Asian Philosophy.  Both conceptual walks in the park, though I have been additionally blessed by two extroardinarily competent instructors who are also both gifted facilitators and lectors.  This, of course, translates into more challenging work, and more challenging work.  Not what I had hoped from the course titles.  I figured I could doodle my way to a 4.0 for the term.

Oh well.  A. and I have been living in the aforementioned ‘fort’, which is our office turned snuggle-pen via streaming netflix movies on my computer aimed at the bed that was not always in the middle of our office.  It’s a cramped, but cozy place.  So cozy we even watched 2 seasons of Family Ties.  And liked it.  This is also the only room in our ginormous apartment that has air-conditioning, which neither of us are huge proponents of, though it’s aided the desperate-crack-addict appetite we’ve had for fits of snuggling and various other pillow-and-blanket oriented tasks.

Getting high does improve both my writing, and my reading.  I’m sure of it.  Hehe.

I’m going to abandoned this now and go let my friend in the house.




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