Thursday, January 01, 2004

"Why do we always have to sit in the same place?" Chinchin whined. "Shut up", I think. But I don't actually say anything, there is no need really, I am his senior and though he might question what I do, he always follows. I like sitting in the same place every time we come. Really, it has to do with comfort. We usually sit in one of the back rows in the small room, I make sure to sit next to wall. This way I can avoid too much interaction with the "brothers" and "sisters". Though, avid as they are, they always seem to make their way over to my private corner. And even though I had known each one of them all my life, I still did not feel comfortable with them. Because to feel comfortable you had to believe like one of them, think like one of them, understand them. I did not and I was not one of them. So, yes I smiled when they came over, the words effortlessly flowed out of my mouth, " Oh, hey Brother or Sister so-and-so. How are you today... Yes I am looking forward to today's meeting...." While on the inside , I did not want to speak to any one of them, much less smile at them. I looked around, and shamefully I feel disgusted at the place of worship. I dreaded stepping foot in the dreary building which had at one time been a church, but now was a recently converted Kingdom Hall. I thought, if I had to be there, they could have renovated so that the place was at least pleasant to be in. And then I realized that, maybe this place could never really be pleasant to me.

Even if the sun shined a little brighter, this place had no windows.

Because I was an unbeliever. Little did everyone else know they had an unbeliever in their midsts. As usual, it is about one o'clock, time to start the meeting, a Brother, most probably a guest speaker gets up and approached the podium. And finally I feel a slight ease, because as soon as he begins to speak, I can wonder off comfortably into my own world....

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

My mother was a big part of the problem. This didn't have to be a big deal. I didn't have to be undercover. But she made it so difficult to tell her anything. It was clear that she felt that this ... religion ... was all she felt she had to offer to me. And if I rejected it, I was not only rejecting everlasting life, I was rejecting her gift to me. I saw in her eyes the accomplishment she felt when she finished a lesson and she thought we'd learned it and accepted. She made me feel like I carried twice the burden any one else my age had to carry. It was twice the effort. Twice the alienation. Twice the deception. Twice, times, twice, times, twice.... What does all that equal?

Twice the dissappointment and twice the unhappiness.

Monday, January 01, 2001

- It seemed like everything happened double in my life.- If my mother wasn't difficult enough to handle. "The bible says this, Jehovah says that." My grandmother was double my mother. Actually my grandmother was double my mother in almost every sense of the word. She was literally double her size, she was two times as loud, double cautious, double the sternness, double as funny, and double as religious. My grandmother didn't allow any of her grands to call her grand- anything, we had to call her mommom. She was quite the character. Large as she was, she was missing all her front teeth except for one, and was going bald. She didn't mind any of it either. She was a self proclaimed fat girl, she smiled so large you could see all of her gums and her one tooth, and she didn't wear any wigs. She was also convinced that with in the organization she had found the truth. And this was the ironic part, the same truth that had set her free, made me feel so bound and controlled. How had she found the truth in something that did not make any sense to me? Something that I had pretty much scientifically proven impossible to myself. Well this is exactly what her goal was when she conducted her bible study with me. With all her might, she was sure to get through to me. To make me understand her conviction, to get her truth.
Today's study was about the 144,000. They were the one's the Witnesses thought would be going to heaven, to reign with Christ. These studies were harder than attending meetings. I didn't have the same amount of freedom. I couldn't let my mind roam like I could when the Brothers were giving talks. Mommom made sure to stay on top of me. And though I don't mean this literally, it was still a great load. Reading passages from the Organization's publication, following with exerpts from the bible, then asking me questions. She taught me, sounding like a preacher, the southern soul on her voice and all I could think about the annointed was that: I knew 144,000 other things I could be doing right now. 144,000 other people who claimed to be found- and that I was sure haden't. 144,000 reasons not to believe. And 144,000 not to want to . Please go try and talk to Chinchin, maybe then you'll have better luck. Because right now I have 144,000 reasons not to give a fuck. But of course none of that comes out of my mouth, I open my bible and begin to read.

She smiles.

Friday, January 01, 1999

So I'm sitting in the dreaded Hall, thinking about why I had to be the one to get stuck with this burden.... I just wanted to be free. I wasn't born with the freedom I wanted. So I took it into my own hands to have. I was determined to go out and have some fun. The difficult part was getting out of the house. I would figure out what excuses I would use to get out of the house, I could always think about what to do about being late later. I think this time it was the usual I have some thing due for school and I have to go to so-and-so's house. It wasn't that I wanted to go out and be crazy, you know, it was just the fact that I couldn't do what all the other kids were doing and as every other adolescent I would do everything in my power not to be different. Ofcourse there were questions that had to be answered, but I'd become a pro. -Quick- my mother would throw out a, "What kind of assignment do you have to do for class?" Just as quickly, I'd spit back, "science project," or whatever assignment I really did have due for class, but that I'd already probably finished.
And just as much as I thought I was a pro at getting the truth past my mother, she was right there with me being a pro at trying to catch me in lie. -Quick- "What kind of science project?" But, haha, I'd already done it so this one came easy. Oh, but the interrogation wasn't over yet.
-Quick- "Where will you be doing this project, How long have you had to do this project, why do you have to have a partner to do this project, you know you don't need to be associating with all those worldly people..." and the questions just kept on coming, and determined to fight back I kept on answering. I'd won this one, or so I thought. "Ok, I'll take you to her house, and I need her phone number, and I need to talk to her mother." Well, damn, can't you just let me win one easy, I thought. But I got it all covered and she dropped me off ... and in the short amount of time that I got to roam the mall, or go to the beach, or pool, or whatever with the other girls- the kind of girls my mom called worldy- I felt just a little more free- a little more worldly.