Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Gospel According to Thom

Part Three of Three

(The exciting conclusion) (It's kind of awkward reading these archived, since you've gotta go to the bottom of the page to begin with part one...but I don't know of any better way. So do it. Unless, of course you've read parts one and two, then please go ahead, you don't have to read them again, since doing so would only create some kind of infinite loop, just reading parts one and two again and again because a silly preamble told you to. If you've figured it out, I'm just trying to build suspense for what truly is the exiting conclusion to the trilogy...which is actually just one story that I split into three parts to make it more internet manageable...enjoy.)
The miracle lasted about a week before my sight began to blur, but the momentum Frank had gained from that one incident was unstoppable. He had begun to hold what he called “Disciple Meetings” every Thursday night with his closest friends. They discussed what was to be done with the world, usually over a game of Halo or Mortal Kombat.
I wasn’t allowed to attend.
While Frank preached what he knew of forgiveness and kindness, the disciples called me the doubter or, more often just the simple epithet, heathen; and it was because of my being barred from these gatherings that I didn’t know Frank had cancelled what would have been the fourth Disciple Meeting.
I walked through the front door, expecting the venomous glares of the disciples. I was carrying a bag of groceries and a Styrofoam box containing leftover Guac-o-molay Extreme from work. It was then that I saw Frank with a rope around his neck, standing on a stack of Gideon bibles, each one lifted from a different hotel, which they claimed to read at the meetings. The groceries and Guac hit the floor, the latter of which left a green stain which remains to this day.
“Oh my God no,” came my frenzied whisper.
“I didn’t want you to have to see this,” Frank said, tears welling in his reddened eyes, “I tried it earlier, but I just broke the ceiling fan,” he added, gesturing first to the mutilated fan on the floor, and then to the hole in the ceiling, through which he had tied the rope this time firmly to a wooden rafter.
“Frank, I need you to stop this,” I was trying to be calm, but it wasn’t working. I broke down and cried out, “Take that damn rope off your neck, now!”
“What’s the point, man? Just look around you, I mean, the world isn’t even worth me saving it anymore!”
“Just come down here and we’ll talk about it, come on,” I said, inching towards him.
He wasn’t listening anymore, “I mean, a few hundred years ago,” he was crying now, but he continued, gesturing frantically. I remember being so worried that he’d fall off, that each movement would be his last, “even just a hundred years ago, the world would have been worth it…but now it’s just full of so many bad people doing so many bad things, that, they just outnumber the good now, and I’m just going to let it die, it’s not worth it.”
“Frank, come on, you can’t be—“
“No. Stay right there, dude. There’s nothing more that you can do here. I’m just going to martyr myself right now, tell Dad what I told you, and He’ll forgive me.”
He jumped.
The first second; I stood frozen, just watching him there dangling helplessly. I wanted to throw up.
The next second; I ran to him in slow motion, hoping to get there before—
The rope snapped. He fell to the floor with a crack and a thud as he went through the coffee table.
Two seconds after that; I knelt next to him, taking his head in my arms. His forehead was bleeding, but his chest was still moving. At this point we were both crying.
Frank sobbed, and after several minutes said, “I’m sorry.”
I sobbed back, “it’s okay,” and we cried there until both of our shirts were wet with tears. Neither of us remembers who fell asleep first, sitting amongst stolen bibles and ruined furniture, and looking back we really don’t care.
A week went by, and we didn’t once mention the events of that night. Frank dissolved the disciples, telling them finally to worship someone else, and that he was a terrible Christ. We had the hole in the ceiling repaired, explaining to the landlord that we were hanging wet clothes from the fan when it fell, breaking the table. I thought that the whole mess was behind us, when, on a Sunday morning, Frank looked up from his bowl of cereal.
“You know, I was thinking,” he said, pointing at me with his wet spoon, “I didn’t go to church this morning, because,” crunch crunch crunch, “because, well, I slept in, but they never talk about J.C. sleeping in…but they were always talking about him going to temple, so I think I’m gonna start trying harder.”
I lowered the classifieds and stared at him incredulously, “I can’t believe you’re still doing this,” I said, giving him a death stare, “Frank, you tried to kill yourself…twice, over this thing, aren’t you ready yet to give it up?”
“But dude, it’s destiny—“
“I don’t give a damn about destiny anymore,” I said, “and I don’t care that you think that you’re the messiah! I don’t want to hear any more of this crap from now on, I’m sick of it!”
He pushed his chair back, stood up, and pointed angrily at me from across the table, “I don’t care what you’re sick of, I know what I was told—“
“by an escaped mental patient!” I shouted, standing also.
“—and I’m going to do exactly what he told me…and…and, you know what?”
“Look behind you.”
For the first time in over a decade of atheism, I prayed. Standing before me, engulfed in light too brilliant to look at directly, was the form of a man, and Frank was right; wings and a halo, whole bit. He was right. I turned my head towards Frank, who was smiling triumphantly, bathed in the light emanating from the angelic form before me.
He then pushed his hair out of his eyes and said, “Thom, I forgive you,” slapping me on my shoulder, “but I freakin’ told you!”

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Gospel According to Thom

Part Two of Three

Later that night, I walked home with purpose. Clutched in my hand, wrinkled from the wear of several readings, was the day’s newspaper. I walked through the door to find Frank sitting on the floor, hard at video games. I didn’t care that I still smelled strongly of Frijoles Locos and Queso Bacon Bombs; I had something to say.
“Read it,” I said as I threw the paper down in front of him.
“Aw dude, it’s the boss,” Frank moaned helplessly, “just read it to me.”
I didn’t need to read it, I knew exactly what the article said, “It happens to be the story of Chet Jenkins, who, after escaping from the mental health clinic on 43rd, reportedly ran through this neighborhood before being found this morning, asleep in a trashcan.”
“This affects me, how?”
I delivered the coup de grace, “and, when they dug him out of the garbage, he was wearing paper maché angel wings!”
Frank’s character on screen had apparently suffered a gruesome death, because for the first time in the conversation, he turned around to look at me. He said, “You have so little faith, man,” as he crossed the room walking towards me he said, “Take off your glasses and close your eyes, I wanna try something.”
So shocked by his sudden gentle forcefulness, I complied. With my eyes closed I could hear him take the last few steps and stop. The sound of him spitting into a cupped palm came next, but for reasons unknown to me, I kept my eyes closed, and I waited. He put the tips of his fingers on my face, rubbing what he would later call “the liquid miracle” into my eyelids.
Finally regaining my sense, I opened my eyes and pushed him away. I meant to yell at him; to tell him that he’d gone too far with this Jesus thing, that I proved that his angel was nothing more than a crazy hobo, that he’d gotten spit and cheeto dust all over my face, but I couldn’t. He was there, walking toward his room, and I could see him. He disappeared through the door, flashing a peace sign with two fingers and all I could do was stand awkwardly with my mouth open while I stared at him with new eyes.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Gospel According to Thom

Part One of Three

Dude, wake up.
This is how the story starts: with me, Thomas Hargrove, being wrested from my peaceful sleeping state. I still remember his voice, echoing through darkness as I fought to stay asleep. Sometimes I do wish that I had stayed asleep that morning, never hearing what he had to--
Thom, come on.
--what he had to tell me, but more often I realize that fate would have thrown me in with him anyway, regardless of anything that I would do to try and stop it. So what happened to free will? Whatever. But since so many people now want to know the story, this is how it started:
“Dude, seriously, stop being so dramatic, get up.”
I was awake, “What do you want? Wait, the door's locked, how’d you get in here?”
“I had a key made, but that’s not important now.”
The room was still dark, except for a sliver of light from the open doorway. I didn't care who was trying to wake me, I just wanted them to stop it, but, whoever it was, he obscured the light for a moment as his silhouette moved toward the light switch.
“Wait. Hold on now, don’t do that,” but my words came too late. The blinding light enveloped me, causing a very painful headache and the blurring of my already unfocused vision. When I felt that I could safely reopen my eyes, I found that my roommate’s face was now positioned just inches above my own, and although it was impossible to make out any of his features due to the brilliant halo of light surrounding Frank’s face, the shoulder-length blonde hair was a clear indication of his identity.
The face confronting me moved away, flashed a smile, and said, “Thom, come on, no fooling around, grab your glasses and meet me in the kitch, I’ve got something really cool to tell you.”
It would be unfair to call the room a kitchen. More accurately it would be called a glorified hallway, which happened to contain an oven. It served to connect the living “area”, which was not even large enough to be called a room, and the two bedrooms, scarcely more than two closets. But any apartment was better than nothing.
Several minutes after my awakening, I shuffled into the kitchen to find Frank, staring intently at the Mr. Coffee as it worked its magic. Wondering how a man could be so intrigued by something so simple, I deposited myself in a chair.
“So what’s this thing you’ve got to tell me?”
Without taking an eye away from the coffee pot, he replied with the utmost sincerity, “I spoke with an angel last night.”
My eyes rolled as I let out a sigh. I was not in the mood to hear another one of Frank’s drunken bar fondling stories, but, being the good roommate that I am, I played along, “Did you at least get her number this time?”
Frank spun around, apparently shocked at my misunderstanding, “No dude, an angel visited me last night. While I was asleep,” he corrected as he turned to watch the brewing process once more, “Wings and a halo, whole bit.”
I closed my eyes, fondly thinking of sleep. The sound and smell of black coffee filled my senses and I realized that suddenly there was a steaming mug in front of me. I must have nodded off.
“But the craziest thing,” Frank continued, “is what he told me,” he leaned forward then, as if he were about to tell me the vault combination at Fort Knox, emphasizing every single word to make sure that I was grasping the gravity of his situation, “he told me…are you listening?...that I’m the new Jesus.”
I stood, leaving my mug of coffee untouched, walked to my room, and slept.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Nerd Jokes

Well, I'm working on a short story for creative writing right now, so all of my inspirado is going into that. But here to pass the time...are some jokes, most of which only I will get.

"So there's a CIA spymaster who decides to teach high school algebra. He's a very stern teacher who tends to dramatize most of the assignments. One day he says to his class, 'Alright students, I'd like for you to do these averages...by any means necessary.' "

What's that? No more math jokes? okay.

"There are two things that put Chickasha on the map: one is the annual Fesitval of Lights, and the other is cartographers."

What? No geography jokes either?

"If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the precipitate."

Ah, come on, you don't like chemistry either?

"...so the electron says to the positron, "Wow, due to the particulate interaction of a photon with that magnetic field, we've split up, except due to the fact that energy has to be conserved, we lost a neutrino along the way..." to which the positron replies, "You can say that again!" "

that one is just silly, photons don't react under a magnetic field...except of course if you're counting virtual photons, but as of now they're purely mathmatical abstractions...oh, well I think the punch line was somewhere in there...

anyway, more is coming soon.