reading the bible is not enough

sarah and i bopped out of work at five o’clock exactly and caught a bus to downtown san rafael, walked to the rafael film center, got tickets, and waited very patiently for “getting to know you” to start.

what a wonderful movie. heather matarazzo has been my favorite new actress since “welcome to the dollhouse” five years ago, and she only impressed me further with this performance. the entire cast was strong, and the writing was sharp, the direction brilliant. this is one of the only movies i’ve ever seen that i wanted to see again before it was even two-thirds finished.

afterwards, we had a stellar dinner at a nearby sushi bar – they gave us free sushi, free green soybeans, and free green tea ice cream – and talked a lot about family and sad moments, poignant ones too. then we walked towards sarah’s house, chatting about the atmosphere of our little town, about other little towns we lived in, about bible study in coffeehouses in those small towns …

and that’s when jesus arrived.

“hey,” said this guy behind us. he wants to sell us drugs, was my first thought. neither of us responded. keep walking, girls!

then a female voice, cheerful: “hey, i have something to show you!”

no. it can’t be. you mean to say i made it through three and a half years of birmingham, alabama, and it happens here?!

she told us all about jesus. we nodded and smiled, and sarah got off a brilliant line about how she’s a “complicated mixture of denominations”. we found out how jesus died for our sins, and how it’s not enough that we read the bible.

now, don’t get me wrong: i’m down with jesus. but preaching to me is much like telling me knock-knock jokes. i’m fascinated for a while, and then i realize i’ve heard all the good ones already. my eyes glaze over and i stop listening. or i start giggling, which is what happened tonight. we didn’t stop to talk to these people; they followed us for blocks while maintaining a respectful distance, of course, because they were well-trained. nothing offensive or demanding, just cheerily informing us that we were quite obviously retarded for not dropping to the pavement and exclaiming how groovy jesus is, was, ever will be, over and over amen.

i know they meant well – or hey, maybe they didn’t. maybe they were just brainwashed into thinking they gave a shit whether or not our souls were saved on august eighteenth, year two-thousand.

we laughed the whole way home.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.