Today’s card is a die with a devil or sorts stretching out of the pips. I tend to think of this as the “Guys and Dolls” card because the the combination of dice and devils reminds me of the song “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.” Anyway, this piece doesn’t directly connect to the card, though you could say I explored some of my own demons with it. It’s a reflection on the religio-political undertones of my relationship with one of my oldest friends, Max.
Four Lies I Told You as a Child
1. The first time I went into your house, my mom had not given me permission. I don’t know when the lie became a truth, but I guess even at age six, I knew it never would it I waited for that to happen the traditional way. Gaining independence would always be a sequence of well placed silences.
2.When you asked me if I was a Christian I told you I had accepted Christ as my savior, and that wasn’t a lie, really. I had. I had followed you to church out of the promise of a father who always listened, but by middle school, I knew that gift would always sit two inches away from my outstretched fingers. I never told you that I spent years begging God to accept me into Heaven over and over because I was never sure he heard me.
3. This is not to say that I think church is a bunch of brainwashing horsedung. Every day, I watched God cradle you in his arms because your faith in Him and yourself and the goodness of the world seemed effortless. You could leap from a cliff knowing God would catch you, but most days, I couldn’t trust a chair to hold me. I learned I would never have the faith to believe in a God enough to see him, but I could never develop a lack-of-faith strong enough to see him nowhere. This is why my atheist friends and I so often argue. I have seen God, just not in myself.
4. When you found out the actor who plays Gandalf was gay, I said nothing. You thought it was gross, and like Peter Pan when he is bit by Captain Hook, you wore a look of first time betrayal. You had learned that ever the sweetest candies have rotten centers. And so had I. I didn’t want you looking at me like that.