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:
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.”
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.