The Overcast Sunday of God


The ultimate
Elephant in the
Living Room

On this lovely, overcast Sunday, I contemplate the strangeness in life. I would contemplate the normalcy in life if I knew anything about being normal.

Behaviorists try to bring people to an acceptable level of functioning in society. Tolerability (if there is such a word) is not the same thing as normality any more than having 4 fingers and a thumb on each hand means your fingerprints will be the same as everyone else. A suicide bomber may be wearing the same coat as the man in front of him, yet he has one focus in life while the man ordering coffee who is on his way to see his daughter play soccer is just about to have his last soy latte.

If you saw me walking into the local grocery store on a sunny day, you’d see a woman in very dark glasses wearing a blue denim hat. In the summer, I’d be wearing jeans and a t-shirt with flip-flops I’d bought on sale at the dollar store for 50 cents the previous fall, or a pair of moccasins. You might notice a twitchy face or strange sniffing but with 2 arms and 2 legs and a slender body, I don’t look much different than 1/3 of the country. The other 2/3’s of the country are either overweight or obese (if you don’t believe me, look up the CDC fast stats).

What’s the difference then? Take off the glasses and I get a blinding headache. I might even add in an extra little something as I vomit all over your shoes. My personal suicide bomber isn’t standing in back of me at the local coffee shop, it’s inside my brain–but it’s no match for a determination that continues to drag my anxiety in back of it kicking and screaming through life.

What controls my tendency to turn into a pile of rubble on a daily basis?

A suicide bomber walks into a Richmond coffee shop and asks, “Do you have a match?”

The man in back of him says, “My daughter’s soccer match is in 15 minutes,” and turns around to order a soy latte.

The coffee shop explodes in a ball of fire as the spirit of both men look on.

“I will now ascend to heaven to be with my 72 virgins,” The bomber says with certainty.

“Are you calling God a pimp?” A rumbling voice echoes from above.

“Why are you smiling?” The bomber asks the soccer dad.

“Look at the 71 people standing back of you.”

“71?” The suicide bomber turns around to find George Washington, Ella FitzGerald, Booker T. Washington, George Patton and Pat Robertson standing in front of 66 other people.

George Washington says, “The soccer dad is a Virginian, too. You try screwing with God and you will meet the same fate as the last suicide bomber!”

“What fate?” The bomber asks.

The spirits of 72 Virginians and the bomber appear next to a soccer field where latte guy’s daughter is scoring a goal. A painful scream, a slur of Arabic curses in the distance and the ball is again it motion, stopping in front of the newly dead bomber. She rams her foot onto the ball. It screams for mercy to Allah in Arabic.

“I do not understand,” The nervous bomber says. “I was to have 72 virgins in heaven. But I am met with 72 Virginians? I was told our women are our property yet my brother in arms is tormented by a girls soccer team? Why?”

Booker T. Washington says,”God has a sick sense of humor.”

“Why would you say that about Allah?!”

“You can fool Allah the people some of the time, some of the people Allah the time, but you can’t fool Allah the people Allah the time,” The booming voice laughs.

Pat Robertson is laughing so hard it takes him a moment to speak. “Don’t you get it…yet?”

“Atheism is a non-prophet institution, just ask George,” The voice booms.

“Just ask George?” The bomber wonders.

“Don’t look at me,” Washington says.

Ella smiles and tells him, “George Carlin said that about atheism.”

“…and he bombs out…again!” The booming voice laughs. “What a dunce!  The soccer ball told his friend that his wife said no to sex and he was forced to sock her. Get it? soccer?”

“Allah! Please! Release me from hell!” The bomber pleads to the sky.

“This is heaven,” George Patton says. “Jim Carrey is God. Praise the Lord it ain’t Hillary Clinton.”

Yes. I just made that up.

The one thing that beats the anxiety to a pulp like Ali in his prime is finding the humor in the situation and writing about it.

If that doesn’t work, I have a shirt that says, “If you love something, let it go. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it.” What I like about that shirt is it symbolized the moment I finally DID love my nemesis and let it go. I was devastated by an emotionally wrenching breakup, listening to songs that made me cry, reading books about love lost that made me cry, and just crying because crying made me cry. The breakthrough came when I picked up that stupid shirt expecting it to make me cry but instead I laughed so hard I thought I was going to have to change my pants. It was like bursting out of love-lorn prison and back into living again.

So then, what happened to the suicide bomber? He was soy sorry.

Yes, that was bad…even for me.