What will make me happy?

A question which I often ask myself as I lie in bed clicking through my rolodex of internet disappointment.

One option, Ladies and Gentelmen, the Bible, by Jonathan Goldstein of CBC’s Wiretap fame. He takes traditional Bible stories and turns them into little 20 page obscurities that read something like this:

It was as a child, while watching Jonah sleep one night, watching his face-breathing, dreaming-that it struck Vito very hard: Just as I am me, he is he. I could have been born Jonah as easily as I was born myself. And how did he punctuate this epiphany? By touching Jonah’s penis. Right on the tip. And as he did so, Jonah’s eyes popped open. In the darkness Vito’s other me stared at him blankly, his mouth hanging open.

It probably isn’t as funny/resonant to people who haven’t read the Bible. Actually, it’s probably especially resonant to someone like me who once read the Bible very morosely and intently and has a surviving fascination with it.

A lot of people know that I used to be a Jesus freak, but not a lot of people know why. I’m not sure even I know why, why I made that decision and why I went back on it. It would be easy to say that it began and ended with Jade (who was the first girl to pay attention to me after a five year, self-imposed, infatuation-driven celibacy – leading me into a religion that drove a two year, self-imposed, shame-driven celibacy). There are a lot of things I can point to in my life that contributed to my exploration of America’s beloved, gay-hating, George W. Bush loving (I never went that far) pastime, but I’m sure it all stems from what feels like a supernatural terror of death. I always liked to think I was special. I still pray to Jesus, I’ll admit that. But I don’t think anything’s going to happen.

Ok. Option two. Go to sleep. Well there’s that supernatural terror thing. But, yes, it will be necessary. Bedtimes these days are most frequently accompanied by Bill Simmons, whose nasaly tones fill my head with thoughts of Aaron Rodgers and not of the infinite oblivion of hereafter.

On one of my, ahem, excursions, I was walking in downtown Seattle at approximately 9:15 pm when I was accosted by a pixie-ish, 5-foot nothing street tough from Bellingham who had been accosted himself, somewhat more violently, from the look of it. I let him use my telephone and after cringing through the suspicious glances of passersby and a convicting moment of hearing a needy young man sob on the phone to his ex-girlfriend, he said, “Sheridan, this really nice guy is helping me, he looks exactly like Jake Gyllenhaal.”

After we had located some of his friends in the city and taken him to safety in front of a bar on second avenue (I know), his dad called me and said, “you’re a good man.”

The reason I absconded from Christianity is because I didn’t believe in God. I still don’t. I don’t think I ever did. I think I became friends with a large group of people who accepted me and seemed to like me and who I could explore a new iteration of myself with and once I had fully realized who that person was I realized that I didn’t like him and I didn’t like the people he spent time with. Actually, and less self-aggrandizingly, I think I didn’t have anyone around that summer to tell my to go to church with them, but I did have someone around telling me to come spend the night in her apartment, so I went with Bathsheba over Saul’s daughter.

That joke is funny for multiple reasons. It’s funny because Bathseba is a funny name. It’s funny because it’s a biblical reference in a post in which I talk about biblical references and religion. It’s funny because David had to supply 200 foreskins to marry Saul’s daughter. It’s funny because Saul’s daughter’s name was Michal, which is kind of like a boy’s name. It’s funny because the story in Jonathan Goldstein’s book which pertains to David and Bathsheba proclaims that David’s entire motivation was to make people laugh, and it’s funny because I know it relates to all of those things and it’s not funny to anyone else, so it’s mostly funny because I’m weird.

But more than anything else, it’s funny because Jade never liked me that much, and Jen did, and they’re the Michal and Bathsheba of this story, and they were both pretty bad for David.

It’s funny because I like explaining things, especially things that are funny.

“You’re a good man,” he said.



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