Friday, February 04, 2011

This is your brain on drugs.

I wonder why some days, the monkeys break a dozen eggs on the kitchen floor and it's only yolks and whites, nothing more. And other days, it makes me write a sad-enough sounding post that my mother-in-law calls to see if I'm all right.
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I went to Cornerstone in 2000 to see a speaker. It was a week of electric guitars, dust and heat and mohawks. I went the other years to see the ska shows, to hear the punk rock, to watch people dressed entirely in Tooth and Nail stickers do the robot to experimental noise. But that year, it was to see John Paulk. He was going to talk about deliverance from sin, how that which entirely consumes you can become as small as a fly that you flick away. Always filthy and always wanting to land, but small.
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I once had a classroom where it was difficult to avoid breathing in maggots. One section was doing a urine lab, so there were jars of pee in various shades of yellow on the back counter. Ground up pig testicles were in petrie dishes. Dead raccoons and other road-kill extra credit were in the freezer. Some were on the counter, thawing out to be cut into. My teacher had permed bangs and an extremely assertive smile. You just did what she said.
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My class was doing an experiment involving worms, trying to see who could keep them alive the longest. We each had a pop bottle full of trash. We'd go and add a squirt of ketchup, a few dribbles of syrup, whatever was left over from our lunch trays. Had my worms died, it would have been the end of it. But they lived on and on and on, and every day I'd hold my breath and walk through the cloud of flies to give them their lunch. They laid there on a soft mound of fungus and mold, looking kind of sulky but fat.
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If temptation is a fly, I wonder if mine lives in a warm, filthy bottle of Coke. I wonder why I feed it trash and then act surprised that it multiplies. I wonder how I let myself get to the point that I blame God for this.
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That year they taught us about worms and they taught us about drugs. Most likely a few other things too. They brought in a nice, friendly cop to scare us. Self control is not enough, he said. You've got to stay away from your addict friends, notice what makes you want to light up and address it, stay a few steps ahead. Had it been a Christian school, he would have pulled out Ephesians 4:27. Maybe he would've preached on the whole chapter.
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This is so simple. You will laugh at me (but please don't.) When I smile at my babies and play with them, they smile at me back. When I take Tylenol, my headache goes away. When I go to bed early enough, I'm not tired. When I clean the house, I don't spend all day thinking about Every Bit of disorder in The Entire World. When I look straight-on at what I'm actually tore-up about, I don't mistake it for my kids.
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Did I shake my fist at you, God? I am sorry.
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There was a huge rainstorm in 2000. The dust turned thick; people much more punk than me ripped doors off the porta-potties and slid down the muddy hills. Our tent leaked; I laid my head down on a pillow that felt like a sponge left too long in the sink. I laid there listening to some band finish its hardcore set, watching the mohawks wilt, thinking about what he'd said. He was a cross-dressing homosexual man. I am a housewife. I didn't know it would take me eleven years to realize we are the same.

8 comments:

rolli said...
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rolli said...

Beautiful post--amazing that's the feeling it left me with, really, in detail it is very full of maggots and mud. Really, it is full of grace.

I am the same, too. I am simply another equal, another "whosoever" in "whosoever believes in Him will not perish and have eternal life" and no other adjectives are applied to Whosoevers in that verse. John 3:15.

Did you see P.O.D. play that year and when the ambulances came and had to drive through the crowd? In looking it up, I see Sonny is now a band "The Whosoever."

The Goodfellas said...

yeah, i was at that show. i was actually a couple 10 feet behind you, which i didn't realize until the crowd got too crazy and they asked if someone could come up and play some worship songs - they didn't want any more people to get hurt. and walt (was it walt?) yelled that you could do it, and you stood up on their stage and played. that was awesome. i was there in 96, 98, and 2000. i always thought i'd go back one more time but now i can't imagine wanting to. haha.

The Goodfellas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nikoniko said...

I feel like that I am saying this all the time to your writing (at least in my mind?), but it is beautiful. You make me aware that I am not a writer, and in the same time, you make me glad that someone could express what I think and feel in 100 times more beautiful way for me. (So I realized that my gratitude to your writing makes me your fan.)I love your articulate but poetic illustration on sin. It reminds me of the book "the little prince" describing on sin.(it's in my profile info's favorite quotation.)

The Goodfellas said...

nikoniko!!! now i know who you are! i thought you were someone else for a little while.
have never read the little prince but i would like to. hope i see you sometime. i miss you.

mark and monsita! said...

awesome Jenny, you always make me wonder and think!!!!

Bethany said...

I agree with what Nikoniko said.... I also feel like that I am always saying that your writing is beautiful & breathtaking... but it is. And I too am thankful that someone could take the words of my heart & express them so magically. You amaze me, as always sweet Jenny.