Image via WikipediaMy old acquaintance from Whooping Jesus Bible College -- a very *slight* acquaintance, whose missionary visit to the Greater Bay Area was referenced a couple days ago, called again to make sure E. and I really did not want to have a meal with him.
I said I didn't want to. I said that "my years at (WJBC) were not the happiest of my life." We chatted for a while. He didn't know exactly what to say. I offered to have an email conversation about WJBC and my feelings toward it if he wished, but he seemed to just want to keep talking and let the spirit work.
I said "uh-huh" a lot and then told a beige lie -- I really did need to get going, or to make preparations for the getting of going -- and hung up.
E. had told me I should blame my unwillingness to take a meal with this fellow on her, that she was the stumbling block.
Oh great, I said. I am not a bold pagan but a pathetic pussy-whipped pagan. (Say that three times fast and then sacrifice a goat.) So I manned up to my own breach with god.
Now, the odd thing is I did not have that bad a time at WJBC, almost certainly no worse a time than I would have had at any college, beset as I was with pimples, style-free clothes inherited from my uncle and a severe case of ingrown personality.
I resented WJBC because it so completely encapsulated, summarized and exemplified who I was at the time, a hillbilly Jesus Boy terrified of a great many things, particularly thinking for myself. WJBC suited me so well. I have been a long time learning to think for myself and am not there yet.
The complexity of my disdain for Alma Mediocre is rooted in the fact that E. and I hooked up there. That worked out. We've tag-teamed our way through life, battling our heritage, roped together on the difficult climb up and out. As I said: It's worked out. If WJBC was the price of finding E. -- rather like one of those Lifetime romances about love among the ruins of war -- well hell okay.
But I will always associate it with intellectual and emotional paralysis. And I will associate that paralysis with E. because she was its antithesis, quivering with curiosity and indignation, just so damn alive intellectually and otherwise.
And that was just so damn sexy.