Thursday, August 15, 2013

Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam

I wasn’t raised to be religious, but when I was a kid our local school district was very bad, so I did go to a private Christian school for 2 years.  My dad was assured by the principal that they wouldn’t manipulate me with religion, like that they don’t have primers that are about how you’ll go to hell if you don’t obey your teachers, and he told me to let him know if the teachers ever said anything manipulative along those lines, so I knew from the outset that I didn’t have to obey any of the religious principles, but I was really young, and this early exposure did turn me into a semi-religious, privately practicing Christian.  I prayed every night and when the house made a noise at the same time I was having a dirty thought, I thought it was Jesus warning me to stop.  Then one night when I was at dinner with the family in sixth grade, I got one of my occasional sinking feelings of depression, and this one was really strong, and I just knew that God and the afterlife weren’t real.  I telegraphed one last mental message to Jesus in case he was real, letting him know that I was through with him, and that’s the end of that.  But sometimes when I have panic attacks I get scared that God and the afterlife are real; it’s a really common theme that runs (and runs and runs, at top speed) through my mind during panic attacks, in fact.  One instance of this, in particular, stands out – I used to like Marilyn Manson, in a tongue in cheek way, in high school.  My real favorite music was Bikini Kill and David Bowie, so I was too cool for Marilyn Manson, who is after all a mainstream band, Satanism and all.  But I really hated Christianity in high school, so I appreciated the band’s stylized blasphemy.  One night, though, shortly before I was leaving for college, I had a really horrible half-awake panic attack, and the whole time, I was just fixated on how I’d been so wrong to listen to Marilyn Manson, and I was worried I was going to go crazy and kill myself from having listened to them so much.  My second notable hell-related freak-out happened on Monday.  Oh god, I had to go to the ER for a migraine again.  I try to always be very brave, but the pain of migraines is a pain I find completely unbearable, so while I always feel embarrassed and depressed about the state of my well-being when I end up going to the ER for a migraine, it’s happened more than once (twice for sure, but maybe as many as four times).  I usually get panic attacks when this happens.  I finally saw the film This is the End on Sunday, and it was hilarious.  It was about movie stars who aren’t transported to heaven when the rapture happens, and who consequentially are witness to the flood, fires and demons that destroy the world.  The movie is very clearly irreligious, and I didn’t even think twice about it, like, it wasn’t titillating or naughty-feeling at all, because disbelief is much more common than belief, and while I could never be good friends with a Christian, I don’t hate religion anymore and am only slightly disdainful to neutral about Christianity.  The only reason I hated Christianity so much in high school is because all my bullies were heavy duty Christians.  But the stupid Christian hidden in the recesses where my soul would be if I had one must’ve been spooked by this movie, because as I had my Monday morning, pre-ER, migraine-fueled, diarrhea and vomit-filled, death-scared panic attack, I kept thinking of the movie and feeling certain that there really is going to be a day of reckoning soon, and duh, I would definitely be going to hell.  Just last week I ran over and broke the hazard cones a tree-trimming company had set up in the road, very much on purpose, making eye contact with the trimmers all the while, because I was pissed off that they were parked so dangerously and were making me drive on the wrong side of a narrow street around a blind corner.  Yes, of course I’m right, but only a stone-cold sinner acts on her urges like that.  Anyway, that movie and my guilt over having liked it and my fear of the rapture were weird and constant thoughts I had all Monday morning.

On a side note, lately I wonder more and more what life is like in a small town as opposed to the big city I was born and raised in.  I always assume that, wherever I am, anything goes and nothing is shocking.  This is often a good life to have, but sometimes I think, “Does anything leave an impression on anyone anymore?”  That’s what I was thinking in the ER, which is always a really devil-may-care environment in my experience of Los Angeles and Philly emergency rooms, having never been to one in some small town in the Midwest.  On Monday’s visit to the hospital, there was a drunk guy who kept threatening violence, and going to the bathroom to throw up, and then on the way back from the bathroom, standing like 3 feet from my bed, silently watching me, in full view of the nurse and security guard on duty, and they didn’t seem to notice or, if so, to be bothered.  For my own part, I pretended to be asleep whenever he did this.  Part of me knew he’d be drawn to me the second I started hearing him bellow.  Another weird thing is that there was an emergency button on the wall right outside where my hospital bed was, and apparently it had stopped working, so like 3 electricians crowded into the space where I was holed away crying and closing my eyes, and they were just pressing on this button that makes a siren noise over and over again, and talking as loud as possible, with me right there.  Are there just too many people in L.A. to start caring about strangers?  I started trying to desensitize myself to everything at a very young age, because the world is a bizarrely dangerous place, but maybe I’m actually deficient in de-sensitivity?  I do cry every time I watch a Harry Potter movie (aka once a day) but I’d always chalked that up to craziness.      


Harry Potter

No comments:

Post a Comment