Did the rapture come after gay marriage, or is everyone at yard sales?
It’s morning. The air conditioner kicked on at 7:42. My husband, who calls sleeping in sleeping until 6 a.m., was gone from the bed. The new 400 count sheets were just as luxurious as the night before, but they were all twisted up, and where I slept was an outline in sweat of my last position. It’s getting hotter.
We set the air to turn on at 78. We used to have it set to 74, but then it never shuts off. Our cat, the one with seven toes on each foot, sleeps soundly next to me with the magnetic force that cats wield over their owners. “Don’t get up, you’ll disturb the cat,” she purrs.
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee
The call of caffeine is louder than the call to pee. Since we have switched to one of those overpriced single serving things, I can no longer tell if someone was up. My angel of a husband, who used to set the coffee up, no longer does because of the ease of the K-cup. Hmmm…
The counter is littered with a flat of Mason jars, a partially broken frame from a beehive, teething rings, pens, granny’s iPad, two jackets and bowl of tomatoes. One of the jackets is mine, the other is my friend’s. Just last week the temperature dropped to 50 degrees. We couldn’t sit outside and drink without coats on.
My first clue of someone else inhabiting the house was the hum of the dishwasher. It takes a good hour to wash and sterilize our stuff. He had to have been here long enough to push the button. Certainly it wasn’t my daughter. She can quote philosophers, but loading the dishwasher is not her strength. Her room is dark and I open the door slowly — she is not in her bed. For many an 18 year old, this is likely not alarming, but my kid is an academic, not a rebel. It’s hard to imagine her not home. I can’t remember if there was a band event or a 5K? I am just too foggy in the morning. At any rate, the house is empty and it’s too early on a summer’s morning for people to be out.
It’s Pride Day in San Francisco, and we have a lot to celebrate, but I don’t think my husband would go on his own to drive an hour to San Francisco for a Pride parade without leaving a note. The coffee machine is now warm enough to make a cup. I’m still bleary. It is so close to my teenage experience of waking to an empty house. No mom, dad or brother. Even the neighbors’, whose house faced ours, was empty.
“Oh no! God came when I was sleeping!”
I was abnormally consumed with the fire and brimstone on Calvary Chapel then. “You’ve been left behind” was a earworm in my head. Then, I was not bleary in the morning. I ran through the living room, kitchen and den, then back through the kitchen, this time kicking the dog’s water and wetting my socks. I threw the sliding glass door open and ran to the back of the quarter acre lot. Nobody was gardening. Nobody was weeding. Nobody was cutting the grass. Nobody was playing in the yard. It was slow and silent. I began to weep, then ran back to my room.
For all my prayer and righteousness, I was left behind. “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” I begged God from the comfort of my bed. “Why?” Snot bubbled out my nose. I was prone to emotional flights of drama and tears. When no message came, I got out of bed and went outside again. My nightgown was red and shaped like an ankle length football jersey. Was I not righteous enough? Was I not pure enough? Had I been mean to anyone of late? I had so many levels of self deprecation. If there was an answer, it was softer than the silence of the sky.
Back then, as in this morning, it dawned on me that what happened was — nothing happened.
When I was a religious extremist, I couldn’t wait for the destruction of the world. I mean, the sooner the better, right? Let’s get this God party started! This creepy, insidious mentality affected me on many levels. Why work hard at school if the world is going to end? Why apply to college when college won’t likely be there? Why pay off bills if the end times meant that I would be paying them in vain? The mark of the beast was everywhere, too. Oh, those little product bars for scanning — THE DEVIL. Books with magic in them — THE DEVIL. Basically, anything that didn’t fit in my narrow, indoctrinated world was evil, destructive and THE DEVIL.
It’s another hot day today, which doesn’t have any relationship to Prop 8, the Supreme Court or The Supreme Leader. Maybe it’s just hot. I gather that the whole self-centered idea that, “God IS WATCHING ME and my every move,” but has no time for poverty, genocide, starvation, injustice or famine, yet HE might raise a storm cell over politics, is just arrogance. Bloody Arrogance.
It’s about time the attention-starved Tea Partiers figure out the same thing. Maybe it’s not about you. Finish your tea, furl your flag and pull your head out of the nether orifice. There are bigger issues out there to work on, such as famine, rape, war, poverty and genocide. There is so much suffering out there. Go out and alleviate some instead of causing more.
PS. There’s some good stuff out there at yard sales!