When I was a kid my thoughts were haunted by the presence of God. I tried my best to suppress my lurid thoughts but I would slip. I was convinced I was destined for Hell.
These thoughts were shared by a conviction that I would grow up to become a super hero. In the 4th grade I got a new pair of tennis shoes I was convinced gave me the power to run as fast as The Flash.
Beatle Bob has been posting a lot about The Flash lately. I have a feeling he had the same childhood I did. Sometimes I think it’s a little hard for him to let go of. Why should he?
I’m not sure why God had such a grip on my childhood. My dad was atheist and my mom was, at best, agnostic. Once a year my grandma took my brother and me to Sunday school for Easter. I never realized what an active member of her Lutheran church she was until she died.
The stories they told us seemed like they came right out of comic books.
Every now and then I get a look at what this kind of thinking can lead to if you take it into adulthood and it ain’t pretty.
Last week was filled with Catholic funeral masses. They were tedious. I got the feeling the idea was you had to suffer to truly mourn. One was for my friend Sue, who strangely was an atheist. I know she would have preferred a party in her honor.
My friend Dominic grew up a good Irish Catholic altar boy. When we were teenagers he told me he wanted the ultimate Irish wake when he died. He wanted a taxidermist to prepare his body so that he would be standing with his hand extended to greet all who came to his party.
Something about that reminds me of Finnegan’s Wake. (Those Irish!)
As a child I was obsessed with death, and now that I’m aging it’s all coming back. What do we leave behind when even our friends who have memories of us die? Life goes on until it doesn’t anymore.
Right around 6th grade I realized I wouldn’t become a super hero. I think my sense of reason must have been developing. I began to think the idea of God judging my thoughts was becoming a real drag. God was becoming an annoyance! One day I snapped.
I was with my friend Geo Ramsey and for some reason I was really mad at him. My anger welled until I could no longer contain it. “F*&K YOU Geo Ramsey,” I yelled.
All of a sudden a lifetime of repression disappeared. I felt light as air and free. I couldn’t believe how good reason felt. I would learn that a profound sense of loneliness would come with that feeling.
What is what you make is!