Monday, April 02, 2007

An Easter Story ~ Part 1: Gethsemane

An Easter Story ~ Part 2: Faith of our Fathers

An Easter Story ~ Part 3: A Man Hath Friends

An Easter Story ~ Part 4: Cock Crows Thrice

An Easter Story ~ Part 5: The Empty Tomb(final)

He vacillated between fragility, elation and sadness during those days. I wondered at times if he was moving too fast. But once he had told me, he seemed to need to tell others.

His family and his faith continued to be the most torturous part of this process. He had built up inside of himself fears and nightmares that were the worst case scenarios and had convinced himself that they could not help but come to pass. And there was some evidence that could happen.

He came home from work one day, his arms stinging from nickle spray from the factory where he was working. He was feeling good that day. The anti-depressants were taking effect and he felt somehow light and free with bluegrass music blaring from the radio. As he pulled the white pickup truck into the driveway, he sensed suddenly that something was wrong. Someone had been there.

On the side of the pink house in the hollow, someone had spray painted "FAGGIT" in big ugly black letters.

He felt the violation wash over him in waves. He reached his large hand out and touched the atrocity. It came back wet and sticky like tar.

"Fucking oil base." He thought to himself. His fists clenched and he bit his teeth together hard. But he did not cry.

His landlord came up from the house down below to help him clean it up with turpentine and paint thinner.

"This too will pass, Scott," Jerry told him, "This too will pass. You can live here as long as you like. I'm okay with it."

He had met a local pastor with a gay brother who offered him counseling. Scott eagerly agreed and went to each session.

"You know, I have to try to talk you out of this." The pastor told him.

Scott nodded and said, "Let's give it a few months and see what happens."

They met each Thursday to pray and go over bible scriptures.

Every once in a while, Scott would run into the pastor and he would clap Scott on the shoulder and say, "So how's it going, Scottie?"

"Still gay, I reckon." Scott would say back.

But he really was trying. He was fully into the bargaining stage. At one point he asked God to give him a sign.

"Oh God," he prayed, "if the next message on my answering machine is a woman, I will truly know Your Will."

It didn't work out that way. But there was a spate of calls, sometimes a string of 20 messages a day, from a rather drunk and stoned woman he had never met who wanted to "hook up" with him. When he didn't call her back, she had her sister start calling him.

"Maybe that's my 'sign'." He said to me after replaying the crazy set of messages.

"Dunno, Scott." I said. "Sounds like a crack whore to me. My God doesn't usually speak through crack whores. Does yours?"

Then one Sunday he went to his pastor friend's church. He wore his best overalls, new and stiff, over a button down shirt. He polished his shoes. His hair was perfect and he carried his worn Bible and hymn book that he always kept close.

The church was already filling up when he sat on the left side in the fifth pew from the front near where the singers were and bowed his head in prayer. When he raised his head, he noticed that the entire congregation was moving to the other side of the church.

They all stood in unison and turned their backs on Scott. They would not let the service begin. His pastor friend looked on in dismay.

He approached Scott, sitting, shunned, all by himself on the left side of the church.

"Go on home, Scottie. Just go on home and I'll call you later."

Scott gathered his Bible and hymnal and stood. He ducked his head to hide the wetness that was gathering in the corners of his eyes. He left the church with his shoulders slumped and his head bowed, not in prayer, but in pain.

As he drove home to the pink house in the hollow down the bumpy gravel road of The 15th, his stomach hurt. Tears blinded his sight and his knuckles were white on the steering wheel.

He was barely aware of pulling into the driveway of the pink house in the hollow and sat there with the engine running, the radio silent. The pink house greeted him with all of its shabby, nearly un-inhabitable silence. No smoke came out of the chimney and he knew the fire had gone out. He shut the engine off and stumbled into the house, shaking in sadness.

Only when he had curled his nearly seven feet into a ball on the worn couch did he allow the great whooping sobs to emerge. But he felt no enmity for the parishioners or the pastor who had abandoned him. They had only done what he, himself, had been taught to do to people like him. And he wondered to himself, and felt with great certainty, that his family would do exactly the same thing.

But I had met his family back before this all began. They were all lovely people and I felt warmed by the love I felt they all shared. They accepted me, a total stranger, as one of their own and included me in their Christmas celebrations. I could feel how much they loved their Scottie.

I couldn't...I wouldn't believe that they, too, would do this to him.

But Scottie was not as sure.

And I wasn't sure what would happen if his family denied him as his faith had.

The pieces would be too numerous to pick up from such a shattering.

6 Comments:

  1. Jbeeky said...
    I can barely stand to read that it is so painful.
    Jbeeky said...
    BTW, excellent title.
    Abraham Lincoln said...
    This story is familiar. I like it. And want to thank you for a nice comment on my blog. Thanks.

    Brookville Daily Photo
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    Manerva said...
    Heart Breaking! How can so many people sit in church and say they are religious and then act like that?

    This is a prime example of the many reasons I chose Pagan life to my Catholic up bringing!
    Karen said...
    this breaks my heart...
    Pissed OFF Housewife said...
    Breathtaking in it's cruelty.

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