I sat in church for the first time in 15 years on Monday.
Funerals tend to take place there.
It was for my grandma, a 101 year old (nearly 102) woman who was so religious she made Mother Teresa seem like Courtney Love. Her signature was sending me a bible every Christmas/Birthday for about 25 years straight. She is the reason that people call that region of the country the ‘bible belt’, and it comes with a big, ‘I love Jesus’ cross-shaped buckle.
You think you have her imagined and pictured in your head, but even my biggest exaggerations couldn’t describe her faith, the words don’t exist. I wouldn’t be surprised if St. Peter turns her away at the pearly gates because God has a restraining order against her. It’s believer fever.
…and I had to go to the funeral, at her favorite church and sit through all of it.
I could feel the stares, the glances, I was out of my element. I was back at the NOFX show and not looking ‘punk rock’ enough, and I knew a deacon would be along to shove me down and fracture my other arm at any minute…sorry I ruined your black panther party.
That uncomfortableness turns to anger after a while, especially after all the idiotic, faith-based remarks-
“God wanted this, it’s his plan.”
“She’s in a better place.”
“I almost envy where she’s at.”
“So lucky she doesn’t have Obama around in her new life.”
Yeah, I’m sure. She’s just sitting there playing Wii with Jesus, sharing a Four-Loko with the apostles, or maybe giving one of the Marx brothers a rub-n-tug.
Anger consumed me.
Get em, Steve. Tell them about fact. School that crying, 90 year-old lady about science, and fucking coincidence. Ruin that bitches day…
Sick balls, chopper.
Give her a donkey punch of Darwin followed by a Noam Chomsky reach-around.
Then it happened-
Everyone around me was tearing up, kleenex was disappearing like pro-athlete’s fathers. There was a deep and real sadness of true loss that gripped everyone, but I was so wrapped up in my own proud nonsense that I had forgotten it. So many people upset, but spiritually confident and relieved about where this woman was now. Everyone but me. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t happy. I was Novocaine. I was a robot, there were no tears, no emotion. No nothing.
My goddamn stubbornness.
So fuck you, Steve. You cynical, hipster, fucking douche.
“I was over her death before it was cool. Is the blood of Christ gonna be PBR this Sunday? “
How dare you?
Let them pray.
Let them get comfort from something you don’t see or feel.
Because you’re going to have a major loss one day, and you will have nothing to aide in the mourning. Science won’t ease your pain, evolution won’t help you sleep better, global warming isn’t going to wipe your tears.
I can mock and not buy into religion all I want, but at the end of my life I won’t have near the confidence she did. That’s not only respectable, it’s something I envy.
So go ahead believers:
Pray if you have to.
Light a candle.
Shake your dick at a tree.
Do a few hail Marys, while all I can do is hail cabs.
As long as it’s honorable, helping (and no one gets hurt) then fuck it.
There was not an ounce of fear in her when she died. None. In her mind, during the last days, she was going somewhere beautiful. The pastor described it as ‘no hate, no violence, love everywhere, angels, light, no war, etc.’
It was the biggest crock of shit I’d ever heard…yet, I will never have that safety net. So, who is the fool?
When I was 10, I went camping with my best friend, Jared. He was scared to be away from home, absolutely petrified. He couldn’t sleep, he was crying, hyperventilating, nearly convulsing. The fear was overwhelming to him, and annoying to me. Being 400 miles away from Reno, my dad, a doctor, improvised and told him that chocolate and orange soda(only thing we had that night) were natural sedatives. That’s right, the man lied through his fucking teeth…and it worked. Jared was out like a light, with no fear.
Maybe some people need a placebo sometimes.
We all need stories, and hope. We all need a mouse-ville. We all need a death chaser after a shot of life, especially since mine seem to be so bitter.
Because from what I could tell, there was a lot of Hershey’s and Orange Crush at her funeral…thank, God.