Tag Archives: books

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

(I started this on March 12. Thus the looking forward to California…)

Quite a lot has happened in this past week. But I don’t care about any of it, because in my head I’m already in Los Angeles. Getting all sweaty building things, chilling on the beach, drinking really cold things, and wearing flip flops and a tank top.

There’s a new pope. He is from Argentina, which I think is pretty cool. My dad tweeted, “The Conclave of Elimination based on Target Market demographics,” and that is totally true. My point of view in terms of religion is always changing, but that’s okay. I like to just stick to the words of the one, the only, Dick Van Dyke: “To live a life of love and compassion and to care about your fellow human beings and do no harm. I think that’s a religion right there.” And honestly, I think that’s all that really matters.

I’m taking a class this semester, and I decided to take it for three reasons. One, the course number is 3456W, and I like that. Two, it fulfills two LE requirements, and it’s an upper-level writing intensive course, of which I need three. Three, my final project is called The Porning of America, so the research is kind of fun. I decided to take it S/N because it isn’t for my major and generally, the fewer courses that affect my GPA, the better. However, I think I might try to change it to the A/F system, because I currently have an A because I dominate that class because I am super into it because it’s hella interesting.

That class is something that I just cannot wait to attend every Tuesday and Thursday. Every time I am doing my homework (which consists of reading an article, essay, or book assigned by the professor), my mind just has to prepare itself to be blown. It’s that cool. I end up reading these historical accounts or cultural narratives that completely, 100% support everything I ever thought to be true, from a completely fresh angle. I guess the reason I like it so much is because for the greater part of my life, I had people telling me that these things I thought to be true were wrong. Not only were they wrong, but I would eventually have to pay for thinking the way I do. They made me doubt myself, a lot. Obviously, these things that I am reading are carefully selected by my professor, so although we are not reading about his opinion, I doubt he would select things that contradict his own beliefs. But it’s still really cool to me that when I was in 6thgrade, people told me I was wrong, but taught me about Greek philosophers who actually think that I am right. My teachers just filtered out those philosophies that contradicted the version of reality that they wanted me to believe. And I don’t really like that.

Don’t get me wrong – I am eternally grateful for having attended Catholic elementary school. I’m just happy that I don’t any longer. I remember when I was in second grade, we were learning about subtraction. I asked my teacher what would happened if you had to subtract 5 from 4. She said that you couldn’t do it. I counted it out, and I thought it could just be 1 on the other side of zero, because I have always conceptualized numbers on a line, but in my head the line runs from right to left. I asked her if there was anything on the other side, and she told me there wasn’t. Then I entered 5thgrade, and all of a sudden you actually could subtract 5 from 4, and I was so pissed. Seven-year-old me could have totally handled the simple explanation of it resulting in -1, mostly because I already guessed that was what would happen. She lied to me because she didn’t think I could understand it, and that pissed me off.

In religion class when I was younger, we learned all about the stories of the Bible. We made our way from Genesis to Exodus through the majority of the Old Testament, and tackled the New Testament in 7thand 8thgrade. I’m really happy that I learned about all of that, if for no other reason than to understand where all of its cultural influence is coming from. People ask, “Well have you actually ever READ the Bible?!” Yes, yes I have. I get it.

However, when I was in 6thgrade, I asked my teacher how the world became populated without bestiality or incest if the only people created were Adam and Eve, and Eve only had two sons, one of whom killed the other. She then told me that the Bible isn’t supposed to always be taken literally. WHOA. HOLD ON. WHAT? THERE WAS NO ADAM AND EVE? WTF?

This was big news to me, as I had thought that the Bible was basically the final word on all things ever. That’s what they told me – it’s The Truth. To hear that even one part of it was something of a fable was a little too much for me to handle. My teacher told me to think of Adam and Eve as more of representations of humanity or spirits that were created. “Then how does God remove a rib from a spirit? Then is it okay for spirits to commit incest? If this isn’t true, then how to I know that the rest of the Bible is true? IS ANY OF IT TRUE?” I could not wrap my head around the fact that this may not be the truth. I was so confused. (I am still confused as to what she wanted me to take from that…)

Then we had an assembly from a Native American who told us all of these stories from his tribe that he told us provided them explanations for different elements of nature. In Social Studies (what my school for some reason decided to call our History class), we were told to write stories of our own to explain parts of nature. Inevitably, I decided to take a queue from the Bible and I wrote a story about how people came to be. It was something about the sun having nothing to watch as it crossed the sky everyday, so it created people and animals for its own entertainment.

In this culture class I am taking, we have read some (and read about some) pretty old texts from East Asian, Indian, Arab, and European cultures. I don’t really know how to articulate what I think about all of this, but I will try. Basically, even though many of these texts are super different from one another, one thing that they all have in common is that they offer explanations for things that had not yet been explained by science when they were written, and they create certain cultural laws for things that they are afraid of. They vilify the behavior of the “other,” and create laws to help maintain the balance of power (which was usually quite unbalanced). We have looked at the Old Testament (in the context that it is The Torah) in the same way that we looked at all of the other texts, and it’s become really hard for me to see it as anything other than just another one of those books. Another book, about another religion, about another culture, offering other explanations and trying to civilize and contain another group of people.

Do I believe in God? Yes, I do. The way I see it is that everything had to come from somewhere, and I doubt science will ever be able to produce a valid explanation for the existence of existence, so with that logic, there is a higher power that I call God (and that, for some reason, looks like the child of Corovado and The Statue of Liberty in my head) that created existence. But the God that I know is not the God that the vast majority of Catholics seem to know. Their God inspired a bunch of guys from a really long time ago to write a book that I can’t take seriously. But at this point in my life, that’s about all I believe in. I just find it really hard to understand a religion based on a book that was written so, so long ago by a culture so different from our own.

I think the one point that makes this hard for me to swallow is that as a Catholic, I am supposed to determine the way I live my life according to a book written by man. I have authority issues. This is no secret to anyone. “But a man didn’t write the Bible, God did!” No, no he didn’t. In the words of Russell Brand, “The Holy Spirit did not have a pen in its hand, did it?” No, no it didn’t. I do believe that the Holy Spirit could have had a significant influence in the writing of Scripture, but even with that little nugget of Catholic abidance, everything was still put through the impure filter of man. And that is one murky ass filter.

If you think about it, the fact that these stories were written makes complete sense (well…it makes sense to me). Of course there were stories written to explain the creation of man. Evolution wasn’t a thing. And when you don’t know something, chalk it up to the product of something of which you can’t verify the existence, problem solved. You now have an explanation that, although cannot be proven, also cannot be disproven.

There is also something that I never quite understood about Catholicism which is really just a question that was dodged like a flaming bullet every time I asked a teacher. What happens to the souls of unborn children, or children who die before being baptized? Whether in the case of abortion or miscarriages, I remember wondering what would happen to them when I was pretty young. We learned that everyone is born with original sin, original sin is only cleansed through Baptism, and that nothing impure can enter Heaven (it was in Revelation somewhere). So…then what? They can’t be damned to hell because they had never committed a conscious sin, but it doesn’t seem quite fair for them to remain in Limbo for eternity. In 11th grade, my teacher said that he personally believes that God would use extraordinary grace to absolve them of original sin and welcome them into Heaven, which seems reasonable, but that it not stated anywhere in the Bible. So based on that reasoning, anything I deem reasonable should be quite alright, which it is obviously not. These things perplex me.

I would just like to clarify, though, that I don’t think the validity of the Bible really matters when considering what we should take away from it. I think that when the Bible was created, The Golden Rule was created for a reason. Those guys were like, “Okay, we get that this is a lot of information for all of you illiterate folks, so if you take nothing else from this book, just remember this.” Coincidentally, I think The Golden Rule is stated in Leviticus, which is the same book that contains a lot of the stuff that people most often misunderstand. That could be wrong though, don’t quote me on that. My point is, even if it was a book that is 100% man-made, and 100% lacking any influence from a higher power, it’s still good to read something centered around teaching people how to be good to other people. Jesus was a real person, a historical figure, and even if you don’t believe in God and don’t believe that Jesus was his son, he still died to make a statement. He literally sacrificed his life to dig the point into people’s heads that he loved them and we should all love one another. Even if all of it is bullshit and the entire thing is lacking any kind of sacred influence, it’s still a message that people should take home with them.

The problem is that all too often, that is the only point that people do NOT take away from the Bible, or Catholicism in general. They focus on the footnotes, the mistranslations, and the parts that they find easy to abide by. No stealing or killing? Pssh. Cake. Treating others how you want to be treated? Not so easy.

I could go on about this for forever, but I have class and this post has been sitting idle for far too long so I am just publishing it.

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.” George Bernard Shaw

I was born in the arms of imaginary friends.

These past few weeks, I had been feeling a little restless and frustrated with Minnesota. It was finally getting to me. At the point when I had just begun to feel comfortable in my new surroundings, I had also turned the corner from the excitement and thrill of discovering a new place. It was like the point in a relationship after the initial buzz has died down a little. Then you start to notice all of the things that you actually hate about that person. He’s always late. She always smells like a French whore house. Those little things can really just pile up and piss you off.
That’s how I had started to feel about Minnesota. Well, not the entire state, but what I know of it. The little things started to really, really piss me off. I even drafted an entire blog post about it. As we are all well aware, I am a very emotional person, and my surroundings are quite a bit more important to me than they should be. Thus, my being pissed with my environment is very, very dangerous.
Last night I talked through it with some people who really get me, I had a wonderfully cathartic cry,  and I washed my face and went to sleep.
I woke up this morning, and I decided to go for a run. For those of you who don’t know this, Minnesota is cold. Like, really fucking cold. The kind of cold that instantly freezes the inside of your nose when you step outside. The kind of cold that just hurts, and causes actual pain if you’re not dressed appropriately. (Guys wearing shorts and flip flops- you’re not impressing anyone. No one wants to see your blue toes.) Therefore, my spontaneous decision to go for a run (outside) was a little out of the ordinary.
I put on my Under Armour and gloves, grabbed my iPhone, and decided that today would be the day to wear by bitch socks. Not only are they adorably sassy, but they have some pretty awesome memories attached to them. I laced up my Nike’s and set off on a journey across the Mississippi.
I got to the Sketchy Bridge, and I felt pretty warm. I stopped half way across the river just because the Mississippi looked so badass. It was so dark, but the snow around it was so bright. I don’t really know how to describe it – it was just beautiful. It was powerful. It was pretty cool…running across this huge mass of ice water, listening to the very best running song of all time. I then ran through the West Bank, and ran back across the Covered Bridge (I still don’t know their names. I just refer to them as the Sketchy Bridge and the Covered Bridge.) and through campus, and thought to myself, Oh hey. That wasn’t so bad. Let’s do it again! (The “us” being me and Sydney Carton…we do a lot of things together. He just helps me evaluate myself and helps me keep my cool.) So, we did it again. The second time I was crossing the bridge, I stopped again. There was no one else on the bridge, and it  made me feel so powerful. I then resumed my little run, repeated the same loop, and stretched defrosted on the yoga mat next to my bed.
I then showered for approximately seventy minutes, applied a Body Shop tea tree face mask, and moisturized the shit out of my skin because that run sucked every ounce of moisture from me. I then met up with two other students from my class to work on this week’s problem set. We did ours independently and compared results, and I had a completely different analysis from them. It scared the shit out of me, and I really doubted my ability to ever study linguistics because I came at it from a totally different direction, and these guys knew their stuff. The chick I was working with is really, really good at this, and she realized that the right solution was actually a combination of our analyses. I was like, Oh hey. I’m not dumb or useless. I’m actually a necessary element to this solution! High five, Sydney! I didn’t really know the girl I was working with very well until today, and she’s actually really interesting. She was all snappy and kind of frustrated with my immense lack of understanding in terms of her analysis, and she let it show. It made me so, so happy. Every time she let me see how she really felt about me (which is not 100% pleased), I kind of wanted to hug her. But I didn’t, because the Jackal would not have appreciated that.
After we successfully completed the analysis and I had finished my vanilla chai, I went to the piercing shop and got my lip pierced. Just kidding. But I did go to the piercing shop, because the second ear piercing that I got in September had been acting a little weird and I needed to get it checked out. The piercing guy asked me where I was from, and we started talking about his time in NY. He asked me what I thought of MN, and I told him that I liked it, and then he asked me which I preferred. He seemed like an alright dude, so I told him the truth – that I have no idea. I told him what I liked and disliked about each place, but that even if right now I am feeling a little bummed in terms of my relationship with Minnesota, I need to be here. He thought everything I said was pretty accurate, except for he was a native Minnesotan, and he doesn’t really fit the bill in terms of the (usually accurate) stereotypes. Piercing Guy then told me his story, and it was really cool. He told me that he felt the same way when he moved back to MN, and he couldn’t connect with a lot of his old friends because they were “bros” and he had deviated from the bro culture. He told me about a few places I should check out to find “more people like us.” I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, because I am not a man and I do not have neck tattoos, but it still felt good to hear some freaky dude refer to me and him as “us.”
The biggest issue with my relationship with Minnesota was that it just couldn’t really appreciate a lot of what makes up the best parts of me. I suck at so, so many things. I’m not that nice. I’m not that attractive. I’m not that smart. But there are a few parts of me that I know with certainty are awesome – the parts that make me happy with who I am. The people who stay in my life are the ones who can see that, and the ones in whom I see the parts that really shine. Minnesota and I were having a really hard time seeing one another that way.
One of those parts of me is my appreciation of things that are greater than myself. I can count on two hands the number of times in my life that I have literally been in awe, and could have just stared at something for hours. I can also count on two hands the number of times I have tasted something that I did not know could ever exist, as well as the number of times I have actually said to myself, “You will never, ever forget this moment.” I would try to explain some of these moments, and I would be brushed off as “Oh, well that’s just Marissa.” Minnesota would mistake my desire to express the magnitude of those moments and their importance to me as bragging or trying to seem superior, and it would not try to access or understand those parts of me. It couldn’t appreciate this part of me that makes who I am. Today on the bridge, I had one of those moments handed to me by Minnesota itself. A moment that I’ll be able to return to every time I get my lazy ass in gear and run across Sketchy Bridge in freezing temperatures.
Another part of me that I value is my ability to connect to people. Do you know how hard it is to connect to something that isn’t being honest with you? It’s really hard. I had been desperately searching for a person to be honest with me. “Minnesota nice” is alive and well, but I tend to forget that just because someone is being nice does not mean that they are also being honest. Minnesota does not like to offend me, and that’s fine. But when you cross the line from politeness to untruthfulness, it just makes me endlessly confused and frustrated. Today, Chick from Linguistics was brutally honest with me. When I wasn’t understanding something, she was frustrated, and she let it show. Not in a rude way, but in a way that revealed her complete transparency. It felt so, so good. To top it all off, even though she was tired of explaining the same thing to me over and over again, she kept doing it until I understood. She was transparent, but also determined to help me understand. She was both good, and honest.
Another part of me that Minnesota just really couldn’t grasp was my lack of interest in anything under the umbrella of “trivial” or “petty.” I don’t laugh at things that I don’t find funny. I don’t use sarcasm because it’s anger’s ugly cousin, and lying to me is no form of humor. It’s just deception. And I don’t find it funny. I spend way too much time thinking about what I want to happen to my body after I die, WWSD (What Would Sydney Do?), and how I can use whatever scraps of intellect that have been given to me to prevent bad things from happening to good people. Some would say I take life too seriously, but it’s just how I’m wired. I smile when I’m happy or when I’m trying to be, and I don’t feel the need to regularly validate my emotions by telling everyone on Facebook just how much I love one person. And I don’t know that much about him, but Piercing Guy seemed like he “takes life a little too seriously” as well. He could just be really weird and a good listener with a good story, but nevertheless, he seemed like he got it. Maybe he didn’t, but it seemed to me like he did. Maybe that’s what he meant by “people like us.” I don’t know.
It’s certainly no coincidence that the day after the Great Catharsis of Spring Semester 2013 was the day that I seem to have resolved my problems with Minnesota. I talked to a few people yesterday, a few of the ones who always know exactly what to say to push me over the edge and make me get over myself, and they all said that I had to stop looking at the bad. It’s such a cliché, but my life is 85% how I choose to look at things. If today had happened a few days ago, I guarantee that I would not have chosen to see the value in these experiences because I would have been drowning in my own pessimism and disappointment in Minnesota. Last night I made the decision to stop being a dick and to start being happy, so I saw all of the beauty of today. Today was beautiful.
Have a beautiful day.

(I just posted this, and stretched my arms back because I’ve been chillin in Starbucks for like 2.5 hours. I looked down, and far too many buttons on my favorite shirt had become undone to reveal the obnoxious pink bow on my bra. I have no idea how long my shirt has been like this. That’s the problem with hanging out with literary characters…they don’t tell you this shit.)

The Road.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite books. It was assigned by my English teacher last year, but I had read passages from it with my English teacher in 10th grade. The passages that we read in 10th grade were the inspiration for a really good essay that I wrote, which I still go back to reread sometimes just because I am so surprised impressed that those words came from my head. Thus, when my English teacher last year told me that we would be reading the entire novel as a class, I was pretty stoked.
Once I really began to think about what was happening and the message of the novel, I couldn’t stop reading it. One afternoon, it was raining outside and I had a cold and it was the perfect day to just curl up in the library and read something good. Not a light chick lit or Shakespeare or anything super difficult, but just something to really make me think. It was the perfect day for thinking. So I went to Starbucks and used one of the magical free drink postcards, crawled into the basement of the Marist library, found a super comfy chair next to a window with a view of the rain and the river, and I read the rest of the book.
The book literally changed me. I know that sounds so, so tacky, but it’s true. If you haven’t read it, you should. But you won’t get the full experience and you won’t be able to appreciate it for all that it is unless you can commit to thinking about it – a lot. Anyway, last night I watched the movie version with a friend, and it really was a good in terms of the transition from book to film. However, a huge part of why I like the book so much is the writing style and the way McCarthy used language and punctuation to emphasize the message of the book, but maybe that’s just because I am a language freak. I really think that the majority of the value of the novel lies in the language of the book rather than in the plot, so as a movie, I don’t think it was anything super special.
However, the film did remind me of a question I thought about a lot while I read the novel last autumn: What is suicide? Basically, the premise of the novel is that a man and his son are living in a post-apocalyptic world where most people have resorted to cannibalism, but the man refuses to do that (The “why” behind that is an entirely other theme of the book that I like to think about), so he and his son try to make it to the coast in hopes of finding some “good guys,” or at least more plentiful resources to help them survive. His wife committed suicide a few years after the apocalypse, and they spend their days walking and deteriorating, searching for food, running from cannibals, and there is really no pleasure in their lives whatsoever. A big point of the novel is that whenever they are in danger and the father is not sure of what is going to happen, he reminds his son that he must kill himself if he is captured. They have a pistol with one bullet, and the father does not want his son to be raped and suffer, so he always gives his son – who is probably around 8 years old – the pistol when they are in danger of being captured, so that he can use the last bullet on himself.
To me, this raises the question of what suicide is exactly. If they stopped searching for food, stopped trying to make it to the coast, stopped trying to survive, then would it be suicide? No, they wouldn’t be literally killing themselves, but they wouldn’t be trying to live either. When I was younger, I was always confused about the concept of a martyr. (I referenced this confusion a few years ago: Please don’t judge me. I was 13. Yuck.) I did not, and do not, understand the difference between suicide and martyrdom. Is there any difference between letting yourself be killed and killing yourself? If in Catholicism, suicide is considered a mortal sin, then why are some martyrs revered for their self-sacrifice (I say “some” because from what I have been taught, others did put up a fight)? I suppose some would say that it’s the “why” behind their death, but in the end, someone’s life was taken.
I think of it this way – cannibalism aside, the man and son had three options: keep “carrying the fire,” searching for food, and walking; stop searching for food and trying and struggling, and just let themselves die – most likely as a result of the cannibals or starvation/dehydration; or suicide (at one point, they did have two bullets). However, the way I see it, those three options only fit into two different categories: going on and giving up.
I have learned about quite a few martyrs in my nine years of Catholic education (twelve if you count nursery school), and very few of those that I have heard about put up a fight (according to what I was taught…maybe they just didn’t want us to realize that they were not exactly willing to sacrifice themselves?). The way I see it, they gave up. In letting someone kill them, they are forgoing any opportunity to influence the world. As a Catholic, shouldn’t that be their goal – to have a positive influence on the world? How are they going to do that once they’re dead? What good will they be then? We are taught to not take lives because only the one who created life has the right to end it – so why should they let someone else end it? And then why should we show deep admiration and respect for the people who let themselves be killed? I just don’t understand. Contrary to popular opinion, I think that there is a clear difference between being a good Catholic and being dumb, and unfortunately, I believe that the church blurs that line a little too much these days.
In relation to The Road, it confuses me because who is to say that it is the “Creator” or the man who would be taking their lives if they stopped searching for food. Lets say that they both died of starvation/dehydration – would it be suicide? They could have kept looking for food and water, and maybe they could have survived and lived a bit longer. Would it be their “fault,” or would it have been God who took their lives? If it was considered their own fault, then would it be suicide? If so, then would it be any worse if they did just shoot themselves? Would it be any more their own fault? If not, then how can they be committing a sin? I don’t know. These are the things that confuse me.
To circle back to martyrdom, what would be the difference between letting someone else kill you for the sake of faith, and literally killing yourself as a more literal self-sacrifice? The Creator is not the one ending the life, so does it matter who is ending it if the martyr is letting it be done to him? I don’t know. Maybe I am really really wrong about all of this, but to me, not trying to live with everything you have is suicide. That’s not to say I think it’s always completely wrong…but I definitely think it is suicide. I think there is a certain amount of energy one is willing to expend to gain a certain quality of life, and after a certain point, it stops being worth it. In the case of The Road, I may have given up. I don’t know, obviously, because I have never been in that situation, but I am just not sure exactly how much hope for a better life I would have for myself, and if it would be enough to keep me going.
So yes. That’s me and The Road. I obviously recommend that you read it. Beware, though, that it is a little sad and dark. Don’t cry to me about your nightmares.
Here are two completely irrelevant videos to make you smile. One. And two.

Eighteen Things

18 things I did not expect to happen that have happened during my first month of college.
-I really like my roommates
-I love community bathrooms (they’re always so clean and I don’t ever have to be the one to clean it!)
-I chopped off 9 inches of hair
-I got a tattoo
-I got another piercing
-I have the most attractive TA’s EVER
-I walk around singing this song: CLICK ME
-I eat salad every day (what can I say? I love baby spinach)
-I realized that Dr. Bronner was not kidding when he said that his soap has 18 uses
-I watched three different films in my Italian Culture Through Film class whose plots included an old ugly monk having sex with a hot young priest in exchange for a book, a young monk having sex with gypsy and abandoning her, a threesome (in which one of the guys gets jealous and murders the chick), unnecessarily graphic necrophilia, and the sex life of a castrato which always seems to include his brother helping him out
-I finished a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in two days. (Thank God I’ve been exclusively eating salad)
-I started writing a book
-I bought two pairs of pink jeans
-I burned premade cookies (my self-esteem is still trying to recover from that one)
-I lost my favorite soap and started crying about it
-I realized that the only way to focus during an 8pm lecture is to drink coffee and play angry birds to keep me awake
-I bought a bagel and literally threw it away because it was such a sorry excuse for a bagel
-I got really close to winning Settlers of Catan and was then cock-blocked from a perfect win

Osoanon Nimuss

Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Chops’
because that was the name of his dog
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and a gold star
And his mother hung it on the kitchen door
and read it to his aunts
That was the year Father Tracy
took all the kids to the zoo
And he let them sing on the bus
And his little sister was born
with tiny toenails and no hair
And his mother and father kissed alot
And the girl around the corner sent him a
Valentine signed with a row of X’s
and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant
And his father always tucked him in bed at night
And was always there to do it.

Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Autumn’
because that was the name of the season
And that’s what it was all about
And his teacher gave him an A
and asked him to write more clearly
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because of its new paint
And the kids told him
that Father Tracy smoked cigars
And left butts on the pews
And sometimes they would burn holes
That was the year his sister got glasses
with thick lenses and black frames
And the girl around the corner laughed
when he asked her to go see Santa Claus
And the kids told him why
his mother and father kissed alot
And his father never tucked him in bed at night
And his father got mad
when he cried for him to do it.

Once on a paper torn from his notebook
he wrote a poem
And he called it ‘Innocence: A Question’
because that was the question about his girl
And that’s what it was all about
And his professor gave him an A
and a strange steady look
And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door
because he never showed her
That was the year Father Tracy died
And he forgot how the end
of the Apostle’s Creed went
And he caught his sister
making out on the back porch
And his mother and father never kissed
or even talked
And the girl around the corner
wore too much makeup
That made him cough when he kissed her
but he kissed her anyway
because that was the thing to do
And at 3am he tucked himself into bed
his father snoring soundly.

That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag
he tried another poem
And he called it ‘Absolutely Nothing’
Because that’s what it was really all about
And he gave himself an A
and a slash on each damned wrist
And he hung it on the bathroom door
because this time he didn’t think
he could reach the kitchen.