The DEVO energy dome I bought for $30 in Costa Mesa, California. I was with Nick and he was having a terrible time. Nick was thirty- nine years old and had lived through the original L.A. punk rock scene and was already disappointed with it as I was coming of age during the third-wave punk scene. I bought the dome and Nick got a t-shirt one size too big; he was a small man simultaneously masculine and feminine, rough and smooth, dull and artistic. He bought his shirts one size too big to give an illusion of girth that simply wasn’t there. Nick’s size never made me feel insecure, though it should have. I was a size 14 and he was the equivalent of a woman’s size 6. We broke up and I started dating around, got left, worked two jobs, acquired a hemorrhoid, got fired, and soon found myself curled in Nick’s lap like a fickle cat.
He was running his hand over my back and I was trying to remember how to talk to him. Nick and I were always quiet with each other and I really liked that about our relationship. I didn’t tell him about the hemorrhoid or the other guys, I just slumped there coiled around his legs. He ran his fingers along my side, “Gosh, I can feel your ribs,” he said. And I smiled; we were both a size 6.
Before I believed that Jen would die, she told me about her hair. She showed me pictures of what it was before and I remember thinking it was sort of big. The pictures showed a thirty-something Jen with yellow hair that made me search my mouth for hops.
Jen, in her forties now, told me that the first time cancer took her hair she thought her sex life was ruined. She laughed, sipped her tea, and shifted to tell me a secret. Jen told me that when the cancer took her hair it struck her like a bell and her whole body sang out in protest when her hair grew back gray.
The mornings in Connecticut are pink and bright and I salute every sunrise with a shitty cup of coffee and then christen the day by stabbing the yellow eye of an egg.
Losing your faith is traumatizing; furthermore, discovering that you have been traumatized is absolutely horrific. Even after years of a lapsed faith I am still burdened by a familiar ideology, the sort of thought that covers wounds and cancer with the fall of Adam and masks the cruelty of God’s omnipotence with the stupidity of man’s free will; the old “pillar of salt” jingle, you were perfect until you fucked it up, you were a Christian and then you weren’t. It’s the fall. It’s my fault. I think I need a new theology.
And so, I return to the morning, I fall back on what I know: when I was a Christian my mornings would consist of reading and prayer when I was afraid of being ugly my mornings would induce jogging. Now that I’m finally comfortable, be it pagan or ugly, I will toast the day, stab an egg, put my hands to work, and listen.