Revisiting Confessional Rededication
Remember the Bishop from way back, like, chapter 4? No? Well, that’s fine. Just read this one with me. It’s from book 5, We Can Never Go Back. Chapter 2, I think.
I waited for Shelly to sit down. That’s Shelly without an E between the L and the Y. So we’re talking about the Bishop here, if you remember her. If not, she’s kind of like my spiritual advisor and that’s all you really need to know at this point.
“What’s on your mind, child?” Bishop asked.
“Anger,” I said.
“Mmm. That one’s been with you a while, hon.”
“Well yeah, I thought it was because of D, you know?”
“But now that he’s gone, there’s only me. And it turns out it was me. You know, I guess. It was me all along.”
Who’s D? you might ask.
Don’t worry about it, I say.
But if you press me, I go, He’s like my evil twin, alter ego, dealie. Sort of. Anyway …
“And what does that mean for you?”
I didn’t have a fucking clue. Nothing good.
“I don’t know. Nothing good … I’ve prayed about it the past few days, asking God to lift it from me. You know, to cure me of this rage.”
I pause and look up at you feeling a little embarrassed. Yeah, I say, I used to be a tad religious. It’s, you know, humiliating or whatever.
You may very well be religious yourself, in which case, I don’t say any of that. I just do the look thing, then go back to the book.
“Do you think God does things like that?”
I wasn’t even sure there was a God, much less that They would or could do things like that. But I’d spent a long time on both sides of the fence and atop the fence and looking at the fence from orbit … this metaphor’s getting away from me. You get the idea. In the end, I realized I always felt the presence of God, even if it’s just because I was raised that way, so maybe. That’s the best I had.
“Maybe,” I said.
“I think God lets us choose our own messes.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that one too,” I said.
Which, you know, I have. Many, many times.
“But I’m not here to tell you what to think, child, nor what’s on your heart. That’s your truth, not mine,” Bishop said.
I appreciated that, truly.
“I appreciate that, Bishop. Thank you for saying so.”
“I guess what’s on my heart is that I feel like I’ve dedicated my life to understanding this anger as a sickness and finding a way to cure it. Largely that’s been trying to get rid of D, but …”
“Have you?” she asked.
“Have I what?”
“Have you dedicated your life?”
I felt some anger surface, like it knows we’re talking about it. I suddenly missed D’s snide remarks. “Yeah, Bishop. I believe I have.” That’s what I said.
“If that’s true then,” she said and leveled her elder’s gaze at me, “then you must double your efforts. You must rededicate.”
“I’m afraid that’s what the problem is. I keep trying to cut it out instead of working with it. I mean, it must be there for a reason.”
“Perhaps. Perhaps you’re just used to it.”
There’s some truth to that, I thought. I went back mentally—not temporally … I didn’t slip …
I explain, ‘Slipping’ is this way I talk about accidentally traveling in time. It becomes this whole thing in book 5. But, don’t worry about it. Like, don’t get distracted by it. Let’s carry on.
—to that morning when I’d woken up and gone to ruminating on all this. That’s what had led me to prayer. And in that prayer I felt the potential for the anger and rage to leave me. And I was scared.
“I’m scared, Bishop.”
“I’m scared that if my rage leaves me, I won’t be able to protect myself.”
“And other people will hurt me and ignore me and just walk all fucking over me. Excuse my language.”
“This is God’s house, child, speak your heart. All words are Hers.”
“I think it’s just how I’ve stood up for myself for so long.”
“And now it’s time, child.” She put her warm and worn hands on mine. “It’s time for you to heal. To let love in. That will be your new strength.”
I felt the burn of tears down my cheeks. “But how?”
“I don’t know. That will be your surprise. But you can do it. I see it in you. You can let it in. Try now.”
I did try. I felt my chest start to expand, and my tears rolling in larger volume. “Please … I just want peace …”
“Of course you do, we all do …”
“And I just want a place to rest without fighting …”
“Yes, child, say it …”
“And I want to be the home I could never have.”
“Ah … there it is, child. There’s your wound.”
I let the tears come, and she let me lean on her, crying.
I close the book, and you catch me wiping my eyes.
“Yeah, I know,” I say. “I’m the kina bitch that cries at their own stories.”
You say whatever you say, do whatever you do.
Then, if we have this kind of relationship, I say, “Kiss me?”
If not, then you can tell I need a hug. Up to you to offer one or not, but if you do, I’ll hug the shit outta you.