Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The 5 Love Languages

I'm one of the facilitators for a high school retreat this Thursday-Friday, and at the training for it, I found one exercise really interesting. It's called "The Five Love Languages" and talked about the different types of expectations people have when giving and receiving love. They are:

Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
Acts of Service
Physical Affection
Words of Affirmation

When I read the brief descriptions, I immediately thought, 'I'm definitely words of affirmations'. I write and talk about my feelings all the time, and I feel accomplished when people praise my efforts, so I thought this was a no-brainer. Then I took this quiz, and it told me I'm 'bilingual': I had identical high scores for Quality Time & Physical Touch. Words of affirmation didn't even come close. Then I thought about it in terms of what I tend to take away when I start to feel taken for granted, and it's not the kind words or "I love you"s. What I stop are the unexpected kisses in the car or the rubs on his back when I walk by, and in a fight or tension, the biggest thing that makes me feel unloved and uncared about is when the other person leaves.

And I guess that's why this weekend was hurtful for me. Because leaving to me signifies that I don't care about him or he doesn't care about me. Because I think that even though I'm upset or angry, it's not enough to not want his presence around in some capacity. When for other people, it just means giving space and letting things cool off. Which is perfectly normal. If Physical Touch and Quality Time weren't your main love languages damnit. We sometimes think love has to be packaged a certain way, the way we think it should look like, so we get disappointed or overlook it when it's shown differently. I can speak English, Tagalog, Spanish, Portuguese, and some German, but I should work on these five languages too.

L'amour n'a pas de, frontiere (Love has no boundaries)
Restes car je t'aime comme tu es (Stay because I love you as you are)
J'ai traverse l'ocean du verbe (I crossed an ocean of words)
Et je t'ai trouve (And I found you)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

what is it about nights that are blood?
colors that wont fade and emotions that flood
my heart in rivulets
of silver?

i allow whispers of skin to define an already ephemeral evening.

how do i reconcile the enigma and loss of icecaps? the blueness speckled in spiderwebs of sea foam. i miss solitude and pregnant gazes. i miss soft spoken and stifled hunger, restrained passion in quietude. i miss the breath away from you, concentrated heat and desire and questionable fulfillment. and i wonder how i will return, embracing glaciers and nuzzled in your chin, a world away from anything i've ever known?

(i am angry with myself)

She distracted herself with daydreams of travels, of crumbling noble histories, of good cheap wine, cramped hostels and dirty cobbled streets, of 13th century monasteries in Tuscany, gawdy street performers and large painted red mouths. She imagined the surrealism of Spain, Dali's birthplace, Picasso's hometown; she dreamed of art in every whisper and aroma. These fantasies prevented her from remembering the only boy who had given her the only kind of love she wanted to believe in, and she had asked him to leave because she did not know how to receive it.

Green has replaced the color blue in her visions. She did not know how to tell her new lover this. She did not know how to do a lot of things at the time.

(i am angry with myself)

i am thinking of african revolution songs in swahili. chechera uneva kuseca, kumenya gondo

the melancholy has dulled, caramelized like boiled sugar crusted in the bottom of a pan.

sometimes i smoke to feel the tendrils of smoke lining my throat, stifling the screams in the back of my mouth. sometimes i prefer a psychological tangle of flesh. sometimes adults have thoroughly fooled us into thinking things are important. sometimes it hurts, loving like mad and writing about the pain.
he asked, "so tell me. how does it feel to be so beautiful?" and she will always wish to have answered, "i don't think about it much. i find it's only an accessory to my intelligence." but instead she had replied, "...i don't know?" And he looked at her in a way that revealed all the other things people assumed about her because she never knew how to say the right things at the right time.

(i am angry with myself)

because my head is bending distractedly
because i think of the warmest clearest ocean waters off the coast of mozambique and my heart aches to be there
because i wait for others to offer more while i concentrate to keep my own desire from escaping ripe lips
because with all the poetry i read and write, all it really takes is for someone to say, "if i could i wouldn't ever let you go."
because i know this completely contradicts who i am.
because i want my mother back
because i never really knew my father
because i don't believe i'm as strong as people think
because when people hold me, it only makes it worse
because i don't know what "it" is
because in the end, they all walk away
because in the end, so do i.

"im the breathless woman/the hurried woman/im the girl with unquenchable thirst."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Triple Thanksgiving

Back in late September, the Americorps girls had an early Thanksgiving dinner that was fabulous. Turkey, pierogies (which I was introduced to by my Polish foster grandparents), stuffing, the works. I didn't think Thanksgiving could be any more satiating. But yesterday, we had a Thanksgiving lunch of turkey, asparagus, cranberry sauce, and crab dip at my house-sit followed by a pre-Thanksgiving at the anthropology professor's house on Douglas where he served Mimosas and homemade Sockeye salmon smoked the Tlingit way and then a Thanksgiving extravaganza at his friend's house complete with an 18-lb. bird, pumpkin soup (yum), carb overload, and topped off with homemade chocolate ice cream, pumpkin pies, and pear tart. And it doesn't end there; there's 40 pounds of turkey at the Vista House waiting to be cooked this Sunday.

I asked Seamus to accompany me to the professor's get-together and as soon as we walked in his house, we saw his picture on their coffee table. He's acting in this burlesquepade this weekend called Queen Isthmus Christmas. It's a parody of King Island Christmas, a well-known Alaska holiday play, and the paper did a 2-page layout on it. The photograph covered the entire front and showed Seamus in his Boy Scout costume looking up in his usual sensual expression of abject fear mixed with curiosity at a giant pair of fishnet-covered legs on stage.

So the professor's friend is the president of Glacier Grotto, a caving club, which I've been interested in joining. He said they'd start meeting in January and gave me his contact info, and him and the professor recounted stories that ranged from harrowing bear attacks to funny film crew anecdotes. They invited me to join them on their expeditions for a week next summer and promised to get me caught up on the techniques and equipment over the winter. There's also an upcoming deadline for abstracts for the Alaska Anthropology Conference which my professor wants me to attend next March. If I wrote a paper, it would be about the subsistence patterns of the Filipino community in Juneau and Ketchikan, researched from a possible "internship" with the AK Dept. of Fish & Game. So while my boyfriend is out gallavanting around Italy in short shorts or God knows what, I'll be freezing my butt off on a skiff doing participant observation among fishermen. And still, I am thankful for these things.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My friends want me to file for a stalking protective order today. This guy is crazy, but lately, he's been threateningly so. He's already joked that he'd cut me in pieces and feed me to his dog. He's told me he'll make my life a living hell and that "the shit hasn't even begun to hit the fan". Not to mention all the nasty insults he calls me. And that he's followed me home and pinned my arms and told me I was his. As my friend Karen says, "The mall's open, but no one's shopping." My stomach is in knots. I feel like leaving Alaska until winter break. But where would I go? Besides, I have this trip to Yakutat for work in December and a retreat next week to help facilitate. I just keep hoping this will all die down and go away on its own. Imagining the courthouse and a judge and police, it just seems like such a scary, serious thing.

Which it is.

I guess I am just in denial. I keep wondering how it got this bad and why. I am simultaneously overwhelmed with anger and guilt and sadness.

Monday, November 21, 2005

"And when I fall, as I always do, I'm crushed by the absence of you."

I couldn't have said it any better than Steens so I won't, but the season's changing and not just the weather although the maelstrom outside is apt symbolism. Elsbeth, Jack, and Dave have already left. The friends we've made here, they're not the kind of people who head for one destination; they go to the world and other places. Elsbeth is on an around-the-world trip in 80 days, Jack docked his boat in Hoonah and is flying to Germany, and Dave has a bike trip to Mexico in the future and wants to teach English abroad. Soon, Seamus will leave for an acting gig traveling around Italy, and Brad will return to Ohio. My heart is heavy, but this is nothing new. I am most surprised when a day passes, and I don't feel the weight of it. Like I said, Steens already described the feeling perfectly: you're not supposed to feel left behind when you're in the middle of your own new adventure. And yet here we are looking out from the midst of our own and wondering what we're supposed to do now.

I haven't talked about this guy who's obsessed with me. He told me he loved me after 3 days. Some days I get 10 messages of him just repeating it, sometimes with guitar accompaniment. He calls just to hear my voice on the recording. Dave said the drama will escalate before it subsides. The cops have already been called, and my cell phone's turned off more often than not. Regardless, my inbox is full so I can't be distracted with 31 text messages a day. His brother was killed. I don't really know why I mention this, except maybe because of another reason why my heart hurts lately.

"Why didn't you tell me?"
"... Because I'm a bad person..."
"No you're not. You're my favorite person."

I miss my pot-bellied pig aka my pitbull, Talk of the Town Tara (the kennel named her). She's still in Cincinnati because it costs a month's salary to fly her up here and pay the animal deposit at my place. That sounds like a lot, but I don't get paid much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"By the Book or by the gun, there's fear inside of everyone."

Read this tonight in a book about losses of childhood. Not that I would ever or have ever read psychoanalytic feel-better-by-scapegoating-your-parents literature, but at my house-sit, the other options include 22 Keys to Creating a Meaningful Workplace and Bonsai: The Art of Dwarfing Trees:

"When our first connections are unreliable or broken or impaired, we may transfer that experience, and our responses to that experience, onto what we expect from [others]. Expecting to be abandoned, we hang on for dearest life: "Don't leave me. Without you I'm nothing. Without you I'll die." Expecting to be betrayed, we seize on every flaw and lapse: "You see--I might have known I couldn't trust you."

"Studies show that early childhood losses make us sensitive to losses we encounter later on...Emotional detachment is one such defense. We cannot lose someone we care for if we don't care. The child who wants his mother and whose mother, again and again and again, isn't there, may learn that loving and needing hurt too much. And he may, in his future relationships, ask and give little, invest almost nothing at all, and become detached...

"Another defense against loss may be a compulsive need to take care of other people. Instead of aching, we help those who ache. And through our kind ministrations, we both alleviate our old, old sense of helplessness and identify with those we care for so well.

"A third defense is a premature autonomy. We claim our independence far too soon. We learn at an early age not to let our survival depend on the help or love of anyone. We dress the helpless child in the brittle armor of the self-reliant adult.

"These losses we have been looking at...established in me the habit of waiting and expectation which makes any present moment most significant for what it does not contain. Absence can become gigantic and multiple."

I've grown to see the philosophy of my own mistrust,
We all have our faults, mine come in waves that you turn to rust,
Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it's all just the way that we cope with our lives.

I've been hanging onto something,
You keep laughing awe-inspiring.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

my weaknesses are being tested

What is currently occupying various spaces in my mind (in no particular order):

the frustrations of 2 of my closest friends, my desire to ease them, & the paralysis of distance
TarTar Binkerbutt
a dream I had the other night
our death trap's need of snow tires & proper tire alignment
November 18th
fighting the urge to push the red button
my need for words when words can mean nothing

In a manner of speaking
I just want to say
That I could never forget the way
You told me everything
By saying nothing
In a manner of speaking
I don't understand
How love in silence becomes reprimand
But the way that i feel about you
Is beyond words
give me the words
Give me the words
That tell me nothing
give me the words
Give me the words
That tell me everything
In a manner of speaking
Semantics won't do
In this life that we live we live we only make do
And the way that we feel
Might have to be sacrified
So in a manner of speaking
I just want to say
That just like you I should find a way
To tell you everything
By saying nothing.

In a Manner of Speaking - Tuxedomoon*

*from Chloe's blog

mark your calendars

Last night, I attended a lecture at UAS about radio astronomy and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I find this kind of thing extremely fascinating and besides, my best friend studies astronomy in Vienna specifically for this purpose: to be the one who finds The Signal that would shatter the glass. The speaker works for SETI in California and had studied under Carl Sagan. He bet the audience a cup of Starbucks coffee that we'll hear something by 2027. My best friend would be ecstatic.

When opened up for Q&A, a woman came up to the microphone and said: "I just want to say, I love the Matrix!! Machines rock! But anyway, um, why are we putting money into this when people are starving and dying? I just wanted to mention that."

The reply was commendably handled. Firstly, he said the budget for SETI when funds still came from the government (and has since been eliminated anyway) came up to only 3 cents a person per year. And if you took the entire budget of NASA, which does use tax dollars, and put it in health care for example, it would amount to just 1% of their current finances. Regardless, he said, basic research is essential to society. Core problems of survival have always existed, but it's the periphery which drives the future.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Life isHigh onMe: your breed of soul is too rare to give away on a whim

Life isHigh onMe: if you were my woman i would make you stand in a bikini on the corner in the dead of winter doing vanna white poses

Life isHigh onMe: that is how you treat a girl if you want to keep her

"one wild night"

My roommate Rich won a radio contest and gave me the (sur)prize: two free tickets to the U.S. Men of Steel Male Dance Revue!! Sweet! One Night Only! Awesome! At Marlintini's! Oh.

If you've read Steen's post about the kind of girls who frequent the Viking, imagine their delinquent mothers and you'll have Marlintini's demographic. I may foolishly hold my ground against knife-wielding dudes but those women with bad root jobs, eyes heavy with black eyeliner, and a history of substance abuse scare the living crap out of me. Still, I wasn't about to pass up a free show. My only other experience attending a male revue was Thunder from Down Under for my cousin's bachelorette party in Vegas. All the females in my family were in attendance, yes including my grandmother, and the men were handsome, buff, and only a couple were obviously gay. I had been pulled on stage by the cutest one where he simulated a 69 dance routine over my prostrate and highly embarrassed body. Despite it all, the show still seemed professional and.. "classy".. in the sense that the guys appeared to actually just enjoy dancing instead of auctioning off their dignity for a wrinkled buck.

So when Caroline and I pulled up to the bar, those were my expectations, and they were immediately disappointed when we coincidentally arrived with the U.S. Men of Steel group. They looked just like that group of sad middle-aged guys who stalk hip nightclubs pretending to be younger and cooler than they really are so they can score a hot blonde coed but who invariably end up going home with the 40-year-old train wreck mumbling to her 5th stiff bourbon. You know the bunch.

Half an hour after the show was supposed to begin, the MC finally commanded the stage and attempted to enthuse the crowd, and we happened to be sitting next to the most eager woman I've ever seen in my life. The MC would shout, "Who's hot and horny??!!" And she'd jump and raise her arms and topple her seat over in excitement as if the MC was psychic and reading her particular mind only. I'M hot and horny! How did he know that!? Woo! Spring Break '99! And in case her exultations failed to prove to everyone just how hot and horny she was feeling, she even lifted her top, and I thanked my lucky stars I was sitting behind her.

The actual performance was the raunchiest meat market I've ever witnessed. I don't get flustered easily, and I'm the first to make inappropriate jokes that could easily be a sexual harassment suit waiting to indict me, but this shit was ludicrous. The strippers didn't just approximate wild sex positions; they literally dug their faces and fingers right in. I guess it's one thing for me to joke about doing and it's another to be demonstrating it to some ugly woman bent over a chair so you can make a dollar that she should be spending on food for her 5 neglected children.

Equally absurd was when the MC said, "We've been touring for awhile now, and we've been up and down California and around Alaska, and JUNEAU IS THE PARTY CAPITAL!!!" I about choked on my beer. We do have a lot of bars, but it's sorta more like a crisis than a party.

So after half a minute of choreographed dancing, the stripper would disappear backstage while the MC begged women to give $10 for a 10 second lapdance. Anyone who wanted it were to sit on chairs arranged in a line on stage. The most popular guy, Fernando, garnered a decent take, and I thought, I bet he looks up there and all he sees is $80 and 8 ugly bitches. But of course, an outrageous grin was plastered on his face, and he still wiggled his face right in some woman's crotch cuz a boy's gotta eat I guess.

Needless to say, we left very early but not without stuffing my purse full of flavored freebie condoms first. At a going-away party we went to afterward, they were unwrapped, put over empty beer bottles, and passed around for condom tasting if you will. We volunteers do our raunchy things for free.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

a day of escalating dares

I had once lamented to a good friend how the future wouldn't hit me again for another 578 days. I had just moved back to Cincinnati from grand adventures and was feeling the oppressive weight only your hometown can give you. I had grown accustomed to waking up and turning my life on its head, to hopping on a train from Lisbon to Barcelona for the hell of it, to working with Cambodian refugees picking weeds on rows of ginseng plants that stretched wearily for miles, to befriending a street kid in San Diego who comforted me because I was broke... to the ease of a cowardly "freedom". Then there I was back to the beginning, staring at a year and a half of life-fermenting routine. He'd said, "Val, I'm not worried. You're the kind of person for whom the future hits every day."

"something significant"

The church bells are ringing. If I wanted, they could ring for me. But I'm not wearing anything special, let alone something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Then again, I was told simply, "just wear clothes."

I kid about marriage a lot. Let's elope. Let's go to the Justice of the Peace. We could pop into a Vegas chapel. When? Right now. Tomorrow. As soon as possible. I don't know if it's purely a joke or a test, a little of both maybe. I have been proposed to twice before. The first, we were walking along the banks of the Ohio River, and when I'd said no, he told me, "No one can keep you Val. Whoever does is one lucky man." The second one I'd seriously considered for weeks. Then he flew 5000 miles to surprise me, and all I felt was a violation of personal space, and if I felt that way already, I knew I couldn't hold out on an answer any longer. So I told him no too, in an empty kitchen, while he buried his head in his hands and felt like a fool. He wrote me a 7 page letter describing how a relationship with me had been like climbing the steepest mountain. He knew there was a high probability of falling to his death but the slightest chance of making it to the very top sustained him, would be the reward he'd been looking for all his life. Sadly, this mountain had a mountain of her own to conquer first.

"Why don't we get coffee first?"
"Nervous are we?" he asked.
He calls and says softly, "I will get coffee with you."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I am a dreamer of words

Words are written, erased, then written again. Seeking perfection through repetition. But why bother? I will just lost my name like raindrops of time dried by the sun. what do they care if I am young or old or believed in what I wrote?

For the past month or two, I've noticed that my dreamscapes have changed. Before they were, more often or not, a Mission Impossible action-packed montage of being chased and flying and villains trying to blow me up. Since moving to Alaska, I dream about the next day, walking to work, talking to the people I always talk to. How mundane in comparison. And yet the colors are so rich in hue and the details of pictures and posters so vivid. Lately, I've even been dreaming of words which I can't recall ever having remembered upon waking before.

Last month, I dreamt of a blazing orange sky, cloudless, the sun immense and searing. A round spaceship was moving slowly along and inside were me, my roommate, and a teenager we'd rescued from a bad home; I could even see our faces peering out of the windows. Suddenly, words began to write themselves on the scene, and it read: "As they passed the left side, the mushiness of the pulp met the sweetness in the middle." I read and reread the sentence before awakening, startled.

Last night, I dreamt I was in a packed schoolbus. I'd ridden it multiple times already and had noticed the buses having odd slogans and advertisements. The posters, instead of talking about bus safety or rules, read strange warnings like: "Everyone knows you never tell your frog that Bozo burnt the books." And these signs kept stressing the words everyone, no one, always and never on them. So this last bus had a large announcement painted on the front end, above the driver's rearview mirror: "Do you need to go back to where you started? Because we look forward to asking you!" Bizarre, huh?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

just like you, i'm scared

For you, I would tattoo me
With lines crossing into a hand, And a heart that would never bleed.
The twilight and the horse
Drawn on my arm
Standing for an addiction,
Pray we go unharmed.
Here is my love and anger
These are my gods, these are my scars.
Here is my love and anger
My arms are burning, but they're open wide
Some things, I hold too tightly,
Some things, I'll never I'll never touch.
I'm wearing down the stones
In the river
All my life, i've painted
With anger's brush
Here is my love and anger
These are my gods, these are my scars.
Here is my love and anger
My arms are burning, but they're open wide

Oh, you precious kid
I have a motion just for you.
A warrior, barefoot and dancing
With tears of pain and beauty
All of this is true for you

Here is my love and anger
These are my gods, these are my scars.
Here is my love and anger
My arms are burning, but they're open wide
Pointing out the graveyards
I will be the reaper
If you will be
The keeper of my heart

I am reminded of another weekend years ago. I kept walking away from a boy who did nothing but give me patience and understanding. Even when he discovered my unspeakable secrets, when I was certain this would scare him off, would maybe make him hate me, he drew me closer still and said he loved me. This was a boy who did not take declarations or promises dismissively. Unlike most people, he considered the things he said carefully and at length, and if he finally concluded that yes, this was what he really felt or wanted to do, and he could do good on it, only then would they be uttered. I cherished him for his absolute candor and the weight he afforded words, so unlike with most people, I believed it when he told me, "I love you."

But back then, my confidence was mostly painted on--a very convincing mural. You could only see the fissures if you looked very, very closely. The infrastructure would reveal crumbling plaster, the patchwork of temporary repairs that held the whole pathetic mess together. My life was a performance even I'd convinced myself of.

I don't know why I kept walking away from him. Partly out of fear, cowardice, chaos. Partly for the assurance he would always follow behind me, tap me on the shoulder, arms outstretched to welcome me back. I will be the first to admit this trust test was abysmally constructed. But once, I pushed away too hard and walked too far.

"Do you really mean what you're saying?" he asked me earnestly.
"Yes," I'd responded because I couldn't stop myself. A little girl pirouetting too fast.
"That's a shame.... but I respect that. And I want you to know, I respect you still."

When I finally let myself turn around, all I could see was his back walking the other way, walking that way ever since, until there was nothing at all left of him in my life. I had thought at the time that he'd failed the test, that he did not really love me. But I understand now how he felt--the conviction in his words and the torment in his leaving.

I cannot keep chasing as much as it would break my heart. We are not made to pursue people but to follow ideals and dreams, hopefully together.

I have watched eyelids soft in sleep and loved him; I still do.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I cannot wait for the rest of my life.

Steens and I went to the (Southeast) Waffle House to work on our stories and ended up having mutual writer's block. To inspire ourselves, we played a game of MASH. This is a popular way to pass the time and predict the future, especially if you are of elementary or middle school age. What you do is have these categories such as "Husband" and "Occupation" and you provide 2 possibilities that you really want, and the person doing it for you gives 2 of her own. When you've exhausted the different groupings you want to predict, the person doing it either starts making tick marks or swirling a curlicue until you tell her to stop, and then you count the number of lines. You go down the lists crossing off the options that land on that number until everything is narrowed down to one. Your fate. My number today was a lucky 7:

I'm married to that guy from 28 Days Later. Anything after that was moot since I really wouldn't give a damn as long as Mr. Hottie McHotterbutt is looking at me with his beautiful blues and gouging out the eyes of crazed zombies to protect me. I've apparently reconsidered my desire not to have children because we have 6 little ones together. He's a good musician, and I become a Maxim model although my steady career is as a best-selling author. Our honeymoon is a hot air balloon ride over Macchu Picchu, but we settle in Alabama.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

osteology dropout

The professor for the class I TA for, Biological Anthropology, was absent today, so she had me supervise the class tonight and be on hand to answer any questions. They were supposed to work on a study guide for their final exam, split up in groups working on different topics. I barely remember this stuff so I start doing what I do best: play Yahoo! Euchre.

Suddenly, one girl looks to me and says, "Hey! Stop playing card games online! You're supposed to be a smarty pants right? You already graduated? What's the super orbital torus?"

Ergh, dropping that damned Osteology grad course has come back to bite me in the butt. I input "super orbital torus" in my mind archives and come up blank. I try "orbital anything" and a hazy image of a skull feature pops up. Sweet. "It's part of a skull," I replied, relieved to step up to the plate when called out.

"We already know that. But what IS it?"
"It's here," I answer, simultaneously brushing my face behind my ear, smoothing an eyebrow, and rubbing my forehead.

Must. Review. Australopithecines.

The Pancake Bandits

There's a different kind of gang in my neighborhood. I don't think they have colors unless it's a batter brown. We got this in our mailbox the other day, and so did our neighbors: a palm-sized pancake with the typewritten message a la chinese fortune cookie with it that read: "Los Pancake Banditos Est. 2003". I imagine masked people wearing black and white stripes (for some reason, this imagery sticks, maybe because of Mickey D's Hamburglar) sneaking around in the moonlight to drop these off at our houses, using baked goods to brighten our evenings like mad Martha Stewarts. Never before has a pancake tickled me pink. I am hoping for miniature handwoven spruce bark containers of maple syrup to accompany these treats.

In other food item news, Moose baked me a chocolate cake with, "I cheated! Spank me!" written in white icing. I devoured most of it before I thought of taking a picture because it was tasting pretty darn yummy, hence only the "ted!" being visible in this shot. The message was referring to a rigged drinking contest he'd initiated last week when he mistakenly thought he could scam me into cooking him sinigang. We both got our just desserts from that one.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

my after-school special...buddy

I really need to stop baiting people for my own amusement. They enter the conversation innocently, and I start asking weirder and weirder questions, probing and seeing where their limits are. Today, I was speaking with the school janitor, and we were discussing Sodom and Gomorrah. Because that’s the kind of icebreaker I like to start with when getting to know complete strangers.

Him: They were doing bad things with animals. And to each other, like brother and sister, stuff that’s supposed to be taboo.
Me: Really, what sort of bad things?
Him: You know what.
Me: No, I don’t.

Him: Well that's where they got the word sodomy from you know. (I did.)
Me: Is that also where they got gonorrhea?
(Pause. My officemate is giving me shut-up looks, and I ignore her.)Him: Well, I think people are just people. There are bad people and good people.
Me: What makes a bad person?
Him: Hurting other people.
Me: Like… killing someone?
Him: (laughing) Yes, that constitutes being bad.
Me: What about killing in self defense? Does that make someone bad?
Him: … The Bible says you should protect your family.
Me: Oh okay. So what if someone told a “Yo Mama” joke?
Him: (not laughing) I’ve heard those jokes. They’re not very nice. But you shouldn’t take someone’s life over it. You just tell them that’s wrong.
Me: I see… So, you’re Christian?
Him: I trust Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, yes. But I don’t try to ram it down anybody’s throat. Some people don’t realize that doesn’t work. Same thing with those Moslems (he says it mos-lems) blowing us up and putting airplanes in buildings. They’re not going to turn is into Moslems; it’s just gonna make us mad! I know what Rome did to those Moslems, way back in those Crusades, weren’t very nice. Rome wanted to set up their church in Jerusalem, and it didn’t happen. People make mistakes and hopefully we just learn from them. Some people are really mean.

Him: In China, they throw kids away a lot.
Me: (looking up from keyboard hoping he doesn’t realize I’m typing exactly what he’s saying) Wait, what do they do in China???
Him: They throw their kids away. And the missionaries would take care of the kids that were thrown away, and they started doing things the way that Jesus did it. Not like ‘do things my way or I’m gonna blow you up’. The Spirit’s gonna go where it’s gonna go, and you can’t do nothing about it.

At this point, I sort of wanted to ask him what he thought about other things like hell and who goes there and if he thinks the shroud of Turin was really Da Vinci. But it was past 5 so I just told him my Spirit was heading to the bar to get some Sodom if you know what I mean, and what’re ya gonna do?