Thursday, August 23, 2012
Ideal landing quadrants are hard to find, especially when you don’t necessarily have a pilot’s license or a quality aircraft. I was stuck with a grimy green rust bucket that chugged rather than floated across the skies of South America. Screaming permeated the winged demon instead of quiet chatter and all flight attendants had selfishly taken refuge in the small cabin lavatories, leaving the rest of us poor souls to flounder and panic amongst each other.
Trust was a hard commodity to come by when hurtling through the air at 200 mph while everyone around you strangled each other to get to the emergency exits, forgetting the societal rules of etiquette and decency. I watched open mouthed as an old couple brutally clothes-lined anyone who tried to pass them en route. A Mexican mother abandoning her kids to scramble closest to the exits.
Naturally, while all this was happening I was still strapped in securely and clutching my seat for dear life as I prayed to any higher power that would listen. Me, the agnostic and part time atheist; me, the one who faded in the background.
I know I’ve never been especially devout or at all thankful for your presence, in fact I spent a lot of my youth denying your existence. But being raised catholic has its lasting impressions and I can’t help that you’re the first person I turn to when my life takes a turn for impending doom. As my trip to Colombia turns to shit, I can only picture the worn pews which I was forced to sit upon in adolescence. Stained glass windows depicting the story of Christ in the way that only the church could ask for; light pouring through high raised windows down upon baptized babies and their newly wed mothers.
I was the only child who attended mass in jeans and a hoodie. The only one who stayed upon the pews during communion. Alone. And in that time I learned not to judge those who stepped around me to receive the body and blood of Christ, but to give them the middle finger. To say, “Hey, I don’t need that stale bread or dry wine. All I need is love for myself and fellow man.”
Jesus, Hollowed be thy name, Christ, let me complete the most sacred of catholic acts that I have previously spit upon so that I don’t go straight to hell when this plane lands face first into the ocean. Before I topple into the great blue demise, probably full of sharks and giant squids and other death machines, I feel I should confess. Confess so that if there is a heaven… I may pass among the pearl gates.
Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned; last month I killed a male stripper.