Flee to Jesus

April 23, 2000


Sorry I haven't written in so long, but that Christian holiday that rings changes on the old resurrection trope rushed up on me sudden-like, with a last-minute decision to go to my hometown, and with packing and plan-changing I didn't have the necessary moment to reflect.

But have I ever been reflecting this weekend, what with that 5-hour drive both ways, and I'll give you a little of what I got...

I was in an ugly mood when my Saturday began. I'd had a couple of trying days-- I won't get into laborious details for fear of re-depressing myself, but I

1) Saw the only person in the world that I actually (actively) hate, when I thought he'd vanished from my life for good,

2) Got my new laser printer, which should have made me happy, but which only annoyed me because my cd-rom drive spontaneously broke down and my computer isn't connected to the internet so I couldn't install the drivers, and then in addition when I picked up the toner thingy it spilled open and dumped (very expensive) powdered ink all over my carpet,

3) Had allergies,

4) had a crappy time at work.

So I'm going to Goldsboro (In eastern North Carolina, flat tobacco swampish country), in a really bad mood, trying to get in a better mood and failing. Then I pass through an intersection and see an old sour-faced man in a pickup truck waiting for traffic to stop, and get this, he's shooting the bird at ever car that passes, and it cracked me up, this grumpy old guy giving the finger to everybody, and I probably had an expression on my face identical to his. I felt better. Perspective always cheers me up. Whatever was getting to him, it had to be worse than my annoyances.

I proceed onward, and pass through Samson County (where much of Clive Barker's Galilee is set, oddly enough)-- where, affixed to a speed limit sign, I see a hand-lettered cardboard sign that reads "Flee To Jesus!"

I knew then that I had come home. Ah, fair bible belt, how tightly you gird the collective waist of your people!

The visit was good, by the way. My grandparents cooked a pig. This may be a southern thing-- I know you can't get good barbecue in, like, Michigan or California, and in Texas they think beef is barbecue, but North Carolina barbecue (with vinegar, you tomato-based heretics!) is the absolute divinest, trichinosis be damned, never mind that pigmeat is condemned by More Major Religions, I don't care. There are different ways to cook a pig (and yes, you leave the head on). You can bury it in hot ashes and let it cook all night. Or, in the modern age, you can put it in a big metal pig-cooker (oft made of a barrel cut in half and hinged)... and let it cook all night. They started this pig at 4 a.m. yesterday, I believe.

Then, to eat it, you go up to the laid-out split-open pig, stab some meat with your fork, put it on a plate, add sauce if desired, and chew. It's more or less all edible. I feed the fatty bits that glisten to the ever-present hordes of small dogs my grandparents keep, but you may eat the fat if you prefer. It's your arteries.

In other words, my little brother, seven years my junior (I'm 23, the arithmetic I leave to you), has come to spend the week with me. I'm excited about this. We'll play pool, hike, have lovely (wholesome) fun. Fear not on that score, Mom. He's watching SLC Punk with a couple of my housemates as I write this, so he's not bored... don't worry that I'm neglecting my entertainment duties on his first night here...

There's other stuff I want to talk about-- Amy and the tornado, words of wisdom from Anna Medinger, my old writing group, my pattern of whims, sacred places, flat places, B-ball with Bobo... but the hour grows and so on. I'll save that stuff for later.

Oh, but for those who're counting, I've written another thousand words or so on the novel since I last mentioned... I don't think I'll update the big word count anymore... I'll let y'all know when it's done, and the total, and I'll probly mention if I have a crazy 10K-word day or something, but otherwise...

Good night, all



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