Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lesson 019 ~Preacher Man~

Hey Lu,
I don’t believe in God, a bold declaration but is it not bolder to say that you speak for him and with his authority, talk about ulterior motive. So what brought this on, I figured Lady Lu I have been doing a lot of preaching as of late, makes me think about a new profession, relax, just a thought.

Here’s a history lesson, I was raised in the church for quite a while, even got to the point where there was this lady who said I was going to be a preacher someday. You know I have a reputation of being somewhat threatening, it’s called my existence but anyway I told her if she ever teased me again about being a preacher, that I would never step foot in a church again. It worked though I had no way of carrying that out back then, you know because of my parents, yeah I really had no choice in that.

“6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

Yeah, that would be my mother talking but bad news mom… not that she doesn’t know, hell they all know, I was freed of the whole religious sect and after that, better not to answer that maybe. Not that in the church my life was sunshine and lollipops, I may be stupid (yeah that would be my father talking), I don’t cater to a lot of black people (A.M.E.) and I learned to keep my mouth shut. I don’t think this was this the exact moment but, you know how I often talk about the moment I was told to shut up and I didn’t matter, it was my father in church the moment I declared atheism and told anyone that would listen to me.

“Fathers are supposed to show sons how to be a man in the world, but I guess the world is too much for you.” Nick, Fear the Walking Dead: Grotesque

Two things, first if we’re all children of God and Jesus himself couldn’t make it in this world, then how can any of the rest of us, I mean he literally came down to Earth on a suicide run. Secondly, my father wasn’t exactly the greatest role model, I mean I learned that a man looks after his family, that terror will always defeat reason, and whenever you’re in doubt just get angry, it helps.

“Once more into the breach, my friends, once more. We’ll close the wall with our dead. In peace, nothing so becomes a man as modesty and humility, but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with rage and lend the eye a terrible aspect.”- Kevin Costner, The Postman (1997)

I think I might have missed my calling Lady Lu, Philosophy, I always dig deep, now I could go on about my religious history but I think more to the lesson is power and leadership. Okay one more tidbit maybe that’s why I respected the reverend so much, I shook his hand every Sunday and he gave me a dollar, my parents stopped him but I kept doing it mostly as a dig but maybe I really did respect him.

“Heh, me lead you? Lady look at me, I don’t even know where the hell I am half the time!” Dogma

Most leaders these days I have no faith in whatsoever, that would pretty much be my managers and my father and I wonder why that is? If you’re asking me do I have faith… in the religious sense and again I’m an atheist but if there is something out there, something bigger and more powerful, and it has an ounce of benevolence I only ask that it be bestowed upon Braxton, if it takes care of my dog then yes I am blessed. As for myself being a leader, for the most part, no, who do I lead other than Braxton and half the time I feel like a negligent parent where he is concerned.

“I’m the enemy. Cause I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I’m the kind of guy who wants to sit in a greasy spoon and think, “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?” I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, butter, and buckets of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in a non-smoking section. I wanna run through the streets naked with green Jello all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to. Okay, pal? I’ve seen the future, you know what it is? It’s a 47-year-old virgin sittin’ around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake singing “I’m an Oscar-Meyer Wiener”. You wanna live on top, you gotta live Cocteau’s way. What he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Your other choice: come down here, maybe starve to death.

All right, then why don’t you take charge and lead these people out of here?

I’m no leader. I do what I have to do. Sometimes, people come with me.” Demolition Man (1993)

This is me most days, I do what I must for his sake because someone has to take command, someone has to accept responsibility and that’s something that most of the religious refuse to do. You take the hit, you take the lumps, I wouldn’t ask for God to save me because if he was going to… anyway, most days I know I’m going to Hell, which in another way is me being a bad leader because Braxton above all deserves better. Is it the journey or the destination; when it comes to people I look after me, except if we’re talking other “activities”, in life, in general, I don’t want anyone to be lost.

That’s another thing, walking by faith and not by sight, now this is a big thing with the religious but you know how people say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, that I do believe. Is that why I look down all the time, I keep bringing up “the incident” nineteen days in Luna but maybe I don’t want anyone to know how bad my soul really is; again atheist but the thoughts continue, deprogramming is tough.

“And all I ever wanted is to be a better man
And I try to keep it real with my homies land
For me to save the world I don’t understand
How did I become the leader of a billion fans?” I Wish, R. Kelly

At work, people ask me plenty and 9/10 I don’t worry about it because everyone thinks they can speak for me, or they think they know what I’m thinking, or I can’t help but imagine that I’m wrong. In the end I’m not looking to have faith in a deity, I’m looking to have faith in me, the kind of faith I knew when I won awards at church, did speeches, I didn’t brag about God I bragged about me, the faith I knew when I would walk through after church and walk out with twenty bucks, the faith that was stolen when I was in school and told a cop I believed in me and next thing you know I’m in handcuffs (long story).

“Being a leader isn’t about ability. It’s about responsibility.

Got it, sir.

No, you don’t, Beck. I mean, you’re not just responsible for the good ones. You’ve got to be responsible for the bad ones. You’ve got to be ready to make the shitty call.

What makes you think I’m not?

Because you’re so damn good. You haven’t hit anything you couldn’t beat. I mean, hell, you were the one who figured out how to save the space shuttle. You made me, you made the rest of NASA just look like an ass. It’s just you’re used to winning… and you’re not really a leader until you’ve lost.” The Core

I told you about that girl once I was with and we were “roughhousing” and I grabbed her wrists and it scared her so I backed off, Lady Luna there are parts of my life where leadership, power, dominance come naturally to me but aren’t acceptable every day. That’s my problem, simulated violence, horror, sex, exist in what is supposed to be another world and this one will have no part of it, so that part of myself is locked away, that confidence, that faith, that truth and I am left with what I am to everyone else. Superman becomes Clark Kent and I wish I could find that man again, flying to the mountain top rather than tumbling off.

Strange that I believe that somehow or another I’m going to make it, mostly because of the little dog staring up at me because without him I might have no reason to. I might not lead people daily but my words have led to actions, talk about leading men to the promised land that I might as well be Moses sitting there while everyone else enters. As R. Kelly said, just be a better man and for some reason, someone might want to follow, better someone might want to stand by your side, no way.

If I haven’t said this enough, being a writer gives you a taste of that sort of leadership, that sort of power, though I’m not sure many of my characters would agree. So I have learned today; that there was a point in my life I liked the sound of my own voice but yeah I was no Preacher Man.