Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Knockin’ on Barren Nothingness’ Door

I don’t waste my time arguing about the existence of God for the same reason I don’t sit around arguing about the existence of Santa Clause. Because I am a man of results. And back when I was still a believer, I asked Santa for a Lamborghini with my name on the license plate, just like the poster I had in my bedroom. And he got me a hot wheels. Real funny. So instead I asked God for the Lamborghini, figuring I might as well cut out the middle man. The next day at school (the very next day!) I find out that Christine Aguiar won the science fair competition because my Plexiglas display on the workings of series and parallel circuits looked like “my dad helped too much,” even though I drew the entire poster board myself.

That’s when I first knew that I was all alone in this world, and that if you want something you have to go out and get it for yourself. Or just dial down your expectations and shoot for something more attainable, like a 4-door Saturn or a new TV. Or, better yet, just stop wasting your time on with ambition – because you can’t fail if you don’t try.

But I understand that it’s a touchy subject, which is why I keep my opinions to myself.

And contrary to popular belief, a Godless life isn’t all that bad. When other people cheat on their taxes, they’re all, “I’m going to hell,” and you’re like, “Eh, I’ll just pay the fine if I get audited.” Or if they stub their toe, they shout, “Jiminy Christmas!” and you shout, “You’re a fag.” It’s just easier, in a way, to not constantly have the holy spirit looking over your shoulder. Right now, for instance, there is a father kissing his baby daughter on the cheek at the table next to me in Starbucks. And it would be cute, if he wasn’t making these obnoxious puckering noises while he does it over and over and over and over and finally you’re just like, “Why don’t you just eat her!” And if the holy spirit was over my shoulder I would have to feel sorry for such a mean-spirited reaction, but instead I’m kind of happy with myself because now every time I look over I picture the father like a preying mantis sprinkling salt on his daughter’s head before taking another bite. And that’s kind of amusing.

But then the other day, I was coming back from a walk with Puppy and as we approached our car parked out front of our apartment, I noticed a piece of paper in the windshield. My first thought was, “YOU COCKSUCKER PIGS, I’M GETTING THE FUCKING LICENSE PLATES TOMORROW.” But as I got closer, I noticed it wasn’t a ticket. So my second thought was that some beautiful woman had seen me exiting the car earlier in the day, and now she left me a note saying something coy like, “Ur cute!” or “Do you like to be choked?” But then I unfolded the paper and saw this:

LastScan1

So first I thought, “Wow, she’s really wordy. And her handwriting is awful.” Then I realized that it’s not that her handwriting sucked, it’s that the note was in Spanish. And even my high school Spanish was enough to translate “Santo apostal San Judos, amigo de Jesus.” (Translation: Stupid apostle Saint Judas was a pal of Jesus.”

Right away, I’m thinking that this flirtatious note is getting off on the wrong foot. But, you know, the whole “revirgin” thing is big right now so what the heck. But the more I study the note the more I realize that it is, in fact, a full on prayer. Not like a prayer to get into my pants. Just a straight-up prayer for the salvation of my soul.

I wonder: Why was this left on my car? I scan the other 20 or so cars parked on the street, and there are no notes on their windshield. For some reason, whoever left this note decided to leave it for me. Most nonbelievers would chalk this up to dumb luck, but for some reason (maybe it was the way Puppy cocked his head staring up at me, or the stiff vodka tonic I had before I left) I took it as a sign. Of all the cars in all the world, you had to leave a Spanish prayer on mine.

Since then I’ve been trying to live better. Being nicer to people, a calmer driver, more tolerant when I’m standing at the counter in CVS and the girl who is supposed to be ringing me up is carrying on a conversation with a co-worker about how her underwear is riding up her butt so much, and then she excuses it all by shooting me a look like, “When did you get here?” meanwhile she’s been price scanning my toilet paper for 30 seconds now. And you know what? It’s felt good. Real good, in fact. I even tipped the waitress when picking up a take-out order the other day. And when I did, I looked over my shoulder and winked at the holy spirit that I’m sure was smiling down with a tear in its eye at how another one had been saved from the eternal damnation of hell.

Then yesterday Brooke came home after running some errands and we had this conversation:

Brooke: “I jut ran into our neighbor. She was telling me about this crazy Spanish prayer that someone left on her car.”
Me: (trying to act surprised while my faith crumbles) “Oh, really?”
Brooke: “Yeah, she said like five cars on the block had them stuck in their windshield.”
Me: “Well I guess that means that no one’s special.”
Brooke: What?”
Me: (running to the bedroom and slamming the door) “Never mind!”

So now I’m back to a soulless existence, which is totally fine. Because being holy was hard work, and it got in the way of lots of things I had to get done. Like picking up my new license plates. So yesterday when I went out to the car and saw another piece of paper on my windshield, I wasn’t surprised that it was a ticket; I was just happy things are back to normal.

24 Comments:

Blogger Derek James said...

great post. but why wouldnt you keep up your recent change in behavior just for the fact that it feels good? forget the spiritual part of it and do it cause its altruistic?

May 21, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EDT  
Blogger fort knocks said...

But you always have the sinking feeling that God really is there, watching you, waiting for you to come back to him. Maybe that's why you can't sleep at night.

Me? I can't sleep that well either, but that's usually because I ate too much for dinner and I'm sleeping on the floor. Mortification, bitches.

May 21, 2008 at 11:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Hollywood Sucker said...

Don't think of yourself as being unspecial...think of yourself as being only one of 5! You are one of the chosen few.


Or maybe just start your own religion by writing notes and putting them on strange cars.

May 21, 2008 at 12:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Amanda said...

I SO enjoy finding other non-believers! I'm glad you weren't convinced for long! hee hee

May 21, 2008 at 1:04:00 PM EDT  
Blogger pearlsandchocolate.com said...

I hope you get your lamborghini!

May 21, 2008 at 4:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Moose said...

I only believe in god when I want something. Like a parking spot. Or a new job.

May 21, 2008 at 5:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger A Wanderer's Heart said...

I'll be different and say that I believe in God all the time.

Also, I enjoy lurking on your blog because I find it really amusing. Especially because I'm a Floridian who just moved up north. Fun, fun.

May 21, 2008 at 7:26:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zooey rules. Glad you like her jams. Beats the crap other actors/actresses put out. Yes, i accidently said 'put out'

May 21, 2008 at 8:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hector said...

On the question of existence Saul Bellow once said, "Whatever the truth is, it's strange." Even if there is no God, the explanation for why the universe bothers to exist at all is undoubtedly stranger than we can possibly imagine. That insight has the benefit of knocking the smirk off the face of the religious person and the smug atheist, too. Great, there's no God. Fine. But I'm still waiting for an explanation.

So when did this joint get all deep and shit?

May 22, 2008 at 12:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous paul said...

"because you can’t fail if you don’t try."

These are pearls of wisdom, my friend.

May 22, 2008 at 8:03:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Alexander said...

Santa Clause?

Oy-vey. If you don't know what's wrong with your spelling of jolly old St. Nick's name, then you've been watching too many Disney movies.

May 22, 2008 at 5:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dan said...

SORRY, MY SPELL CHECK IS JEWISH.

May 22, 2008 at 10:22:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

so wait, is there or isn't there a god?

May 22, 2008 at 11:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Audi said...

okay I just ready your sidebar. You didn't know Hugh was British. You should go on Youtube and watch some of his old comedy stuff. It is so funny

May 23, 2008 at 3:08:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Towely said...

Well done. Had to get up at 4am today for work. This was the first time I laughed today.

May 23, 2008 at 11:42:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous JustinS said...

This exact same thing happened to me once!

Except that it wasn't a prayer so much. They just wrote "Wash your fucking car, ass hole!" in the dirt on my window.

But it's totally the same sentiment.

May 23, 2008 at 6:16:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Santa likes to get chocked. It comes up in every Christmas Carol:

He knows when you've been sleeping
He knows when you're a awake
The mutherfucker likes to get chocked, so be good for goodness sake.

May 24, 2008 at 4:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger zenya said...

this post of yours reminds me of a story they told me a week or two before.

But it's in Russian and basically you have to know the language. Guess I'll just say what is funny and where the laughing is expected.

So there is a little child. Boy, 2 or 3 years old. And his grandmother. A progressive and pretty modern one, she is not religious at all and even kind of atheist.

One day the parents are off to work. Granny stays with the kid and everything is just perfect.

It is perfect until the boy comes up to granny and commands her "Molis i Kaysya! Molis i Kaysya!!". It means "Pray and Confess!" in Russian.

Well the grandma feels weird. And she's scared a little as the child keeps his 'Molis i kaysia! Molis i kaysya!' .

Now as the time passes boy gets more and aggressive. he demands MOLIS I KAYSIA!

Progressive atheist granny is severely scared by now. She doesn't know what to do, the situation resembles some horror movie. It all sounds like a scary omen.

So after another hour of wild crying of the kid, grandma finally locks him at home and goes to a nearest church, and she does pray and she does confess. She decides to change her life and she understands deeply how wrong she was about church and religion.

When she returns home feeling blessed , the boy continues his MOLIS AND KAYSYA, but the granny is too tired to even get scared.

Then the child's parents come home. They hear the boys weeping and they say, oh , he's asking for his favorite cartoon dvd, 'Malysh i Karlson'. So the boy gets his cartoons and shuts up satisfied.

and that cartoon, here it is in case youre interested.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjQmTe8R5ms

May 24, 2008 at 5:11:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

I don't think anyone has managed to make atheism sound this funny.

May 26, 2008 at 9:06:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous JD said...

For some reason, I think you have a religious-less soul, not a godless soul. I think you have plenty of spiritual beliefs to go around to live a healthy life and to keep your head sane while also nurturing what others would call "inner" needs.

That being said, there's religions for every types of people - even for the godless folks (check Universalist Unitarian - although they're far too few in Miami) and then a little step up - Unity (more pronouncely Christian). And then the next step up is into the doctrinal realm that we all would recognize more as the Church (in this case though, it's a very liberal one - United Church of Christ or UCC).

Yup, I did my research as I was in the same boat as yours. But then again, you can ditch it all, say "to hell with it" and just live life just fine without ever really thinking about the need to belong to some community that shares the same "faith" - whatever it may be.

May 29, 2008 at 8:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tessa said...

All these months I thought your collar was popped in your profile picture but I finally clicked on FULL SIZE and to my delight, it is not. My level of respect for you increased, like tenfold.

May 30, 2008 at 1:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD. Dan's not religious-less. He's plain old god-less. Doesn't believe in the big man. at. all. Unless the big man is J.J. Abrams, because, man he LOVES "Lost."

May 30, 2008 at 12:20:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bex said...

Like Amanda, I LOVE finding other non-believers. I live in the deep South and often feel like I should learn the words to "All By Myself..."

At least the people in So. Flo don't talk about it as much. Although they do (apparently) leave weird Spanish notes. Whoever she is, what a weird way to spend ones time. When she gets up she's like, "Hmm. Today, I'll take a shower, watch a little boob tube and then go put 10 anonymous Spanish prayer notes on strangers cars." What a wacko.

May 30, 2008 at 2:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger classy & fabulous said...

this made me laugh.

May 30, 2008 at 10:45:00 PM EDT  

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