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Noli me tangere (no, seriously!)

14 Oct
Noli me tangere (no, seriously!)

I won’t deny it: at first I thought it kinda cute.  Flattering even.  Granted, all the attention was a little much, a bit overboard for sure, but I was feeling lonely at the time – I can hardly be blamed for that.  But history, I am confident, will show that I did nothing to entice it; didn’t ask for it, didn’t encourage it.  Yet how quickly it started to spiral out of control!  So I did what any self-respecting person in my position would do: I called the cops and got a restraining order on Jesus Christ to leave me the hell alone already.

You see, a couple weeks back I was on the road driving alone out west to visit some friends.  It was a last minute thing, and in my haste I forgot to charge my iPod or remember to take with me the cigarette lighter adapter.  On day no. 2 already its battery dissipated to empty.  With at least another three days of driving ahead of me, I had no other recourse but than find something on the radio.  And that’s when it began.

At first Jesus was a little reticent.  I think He was shy or something, because like when you’re at a bar and the friends of some guy who’s got his eye on you come over and tell you he’d like to buy you a drink, there were all these radio personalities – both hosts and guests of countless shows – who kept telling me over and over how interested Jesus was in me.  I didn’t pay it much attention at first.  (I’m embarrassed to admit this, cause it’s probably gonna sound totally lame, but I swear every time the word “you” was used, as in “Jesus loves you” or “Jesus wants to save you,” etc, I just assumed it was “you” in the plural, like you guys or y’all.  But no matter how many times I turned the dial, listened to different stations, all the commentators kept asserting the same thing: Jesus was always saying or doing these things for “you,” meaning me.  It got pretty creepy.

But whatever, I could shut the radio off, right?  (What’s that, you ask?  Listen to music on the radio?  Are you kidding me?  Have you heard the shit that’s passed off as music these days?  Please!  And besides, half the songs in so-called “secular” music themselves seemed like addresses to the divine.  Just take a listen and count the times you hear the words “God” or “Jesus” or “angel” and tell me I’m mistaken.)  But not even five minutes in silence until I was bombarded with His intentions again, this time visually.  Subtly at first, I’ll give Him credit for that.  I think it started with all the crosses.  (Another embarrassing confession: it wasn’t until much later, though before I pressed charges, that I learned what that fucking crucifix actually symbolizes.  More on this later.)  I had no clue what they were all about the first time I spotted them.  A kind of scarecrow, I wondered.  Nope.  A gravestone maybe?  Not exactly.  I kept seeing them though, no matter where I went.  Always individual, never en masse; atop a hill, on billboards, in abandoned fields, on the backs of trucks, on bumper stickers.  The waysides were the worst: I couldn’t even piss in peace without seeing some crudely scrawled cross on the bathroom stall wall.  Don’t get me started on the messages either.

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but I barely knew what I was getting myself into til the detective who helped me fill out the paperwork was wearing a cross on a necklace.  Like he’s gonna lift a finger and help my sorry ass!  He’s in on it, part of the problem.  Well, thank God for Jews, is all I can say!  Talk about saviors: the law firm of Hirsch, Horowitz, and Weissbaum did a wretch like me right with nary a word about love or sin or death or kingdoms of heaven; just a straight up settlement with a no-nonsense injunction, thank you very much.  How do you spell peace of mind?  T, R, O, that’s how.

Like I said, it gets lonesome on the road.  Plus traveling solo on the highways and byways carries with it certain inevitable concerns for one’s safety and well-being.  I don’t think it too terrific a stretch of the imagination to appreciate my initial susceptibility to His charms.  I’m not gonna lie either: He’s a handsome fellow alright – those rugged good looks, that self-deprecating nature about him.  That beard!  I defy someone not to feel at least a little flutter in their heart.

Looks like the guy from Iron & Wine, right?  Mmm, hmm!

He’s a sheep herder, too, right?  I mean, He’s always leading lambs or at least clutching one to His chest.  He’s gotta have a gentle nature, probably good with kids…  Plus doesn’t He have a background in carpentry?  Economy like this, that’s a useful skill to possess.  Probably a handy guy in general, knows how to fix things around the house…  I’m just saying.   Sorry, I don’t mean to sound defensive.  It’s just that this whole thing’s got me kinda freaked out.                                   

Like when I kept hearing that His birthday is on Christmas, my favorite day in the whole wide year.  Or that He has this association with doves, my favorite animal.  Was this some kind of star-crossed fate?  Or was the fucker stalking me?  I don’t know anymore; I’ve run through it so many times in my head, it’s all a blur.  I’ll say this much though: the guy’s determined, and His henchmen-friends are damn good sales pitchers.  I mean, true enough, my mother always warned me about seedy guys, instilled in me that you can learn a lot about someone based on the company they keep.  But I’ve always had a soft spot for rebels, the troublemakers, challengers of the status quo.  And shit, I’ve always been into the misfits, riffraff, and rug rats of the world.  I mean, yeah I went through a punk phase; anyone who didn’t isn’t my people.  I had a crush on guys like Johnny Cash, Jello Biafra, Robert Smith, Chuck D – I still do.  And didn’t Jesus like have a total smack down in a money-lending temple?  (I know He did; I heard a whole radio show about it.)  That’s pretty hardcore.  I mean, how different is that than today’s Occupy Wall St?

But just because my favorite Beatle is George doesn’t mean that I want to marry the guy.

Look, I can be curious all I want and still be plenty discreet.  So I poked around and snooped some.  And not to sound all preachy and judgmental or whatever, but holy shit, when I looked Him up on Facebook and saw all the folks He’s “friends” with, I could feel a lump in my throat, my body filling with dread and panic.  There were dozens of lepers alone!  Yes, lepers!?!  Sorry, but that’s more than a little gross.  You know, volunteering every odd weekend or so at the nursing home or ICU is one thing, and pretty awesome of someone at that, but leper colonies?  Totally grotty.

But that’s not even the half of it!  There’s this one guy who “liked” His profile, left a comment in His “Activities and Interests” swearing that he was raised from the dead by none other than Jesus?!?  Shhhure…  I know, right?  There’s a catch to bring home for dad to meet!  The guy whose hobby is necromancy, nice!  Look, I know pop culture’s gone a little agog with the whole zombies thing, but really?  Or if not hanging out with the undead, He’s turning loaves of bread to fish and water into wine.  So He’s got a drinking problem, too.  Awesome!  (Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t even want to know what he does with all those lambs!)  And did I mention that His best friend is some sort of end-of-the-world hermit whose diet consists of locusts and honey?  I’ve already done the whole dirty hippy thing, shrooms, dreads, sandals and all, and I’d like to think I’ve learned something from that mistake.  Next thing I know is Jesus will be hitting me up to borrow ten bucks for weed every other day.

There was even a hooker named Mary or something.  I mean, fine – nothing wrong with prostituting yourself, I guess.  But is this the best the guy could do?  Does no one hold a 9-to-5 desk job anymore?  Or maybe I’m all mixed up, because there was another Mary, too – His mother, I thought.  But oh, and get this: on His Wall is all this stuff about coming into this world as the first-ever “virgin birth.”  I can’t even wrap my head around whatever the hell that means or implies, but this much is clear: His mother got knocked up by someone (or something) not the man she was married to, which, you know, is whatever.  But apparently His dad is totally OK with that!  You know any men like that?  Yeah, me neither.  Unless they’re swingers and into that kind of thing.

Not my kind of crowd, regardless.  A little too cultist for my tastes.

But the line was definitely crossed (so to speak) when He sent me a text with the following photo.  Whoa!  Seriously, dude?  I mean, oh man…  I’ve had men do some pretty stupid things “for” me, or because of me – like there was that one guy, Tony, who tattooed my name across his torso, and Fred who went to Spain to do that stupid running of the bulls thing and nearly got gored to death to show how macho he was.  And who could forget Jean-Claude who not only flew a plane and had tailspun “Willy U Marry Me?” in the sky but even dove out with a parachute that read “S’il vous plait!” from a birds-eye-view?  But holy fuck, man!  Sending me yet another photo text with your shirt all billowy, a little bit of a strip tease, wherein your very own heart is (a) illuminated and glowing like the treasures of Fort Knox, but (b) has a little slit in it?!?  Like that’s what I need now: a guy who’s gonna cut himself because of me!

(Why can’t I just find a physician or a chef, a junior high science teacher or a bartender to go on a date with?  Instead, I get this weirdo with the world’s most raging Narcissistic complex!  I mean, shit, how much more grandiose can you get than thinking yourself God…?)

And, not to sound superficial, but look how much he’s changed!  Gone are those dashing Semitic features the likes of Lenny Bruce or Leonard Cohen or Dustin Hoffman, so easy on the eye.  This guy now looks like a doe-eyed Geddy Lee on the back of a water-logged Rush album cover crossed with some loser still living at home with his parents and playing Dungeons & Dragons all goddamned day!  I bet His best friend is his pet rat, a white rat with beady red eyes.  Yuck!  That’s the kind of guy He looks like, you know, that guy at jam band concerts with those juggling Devil sticks.  Not my “some day he’ll come along” man I’m gonna love.  Trust me.

Fortunately for my sake, I had already arrived at my destination when I got that last text from Him.  I was so startled by it I had to show my friends, and with it the whole backdrop; what ensued ranged from derisive laughter to sheer horror; either this was the sort of thing that was always happening to me (not true btw) or drop everything and call the police.  I didn’t want to overreact or come off as a basket case.  Besides, finally being with my friends served as a huge distraction that was totally welcome.  I thought the whole thing would die down once I wasn’t so preoccupied with it anymore.

Big mistake that turned out to be!  Huge, as it turned out.  Apparently because I was out having my own life and fun He needed to notch it up a bit, up the ante.  The day I was to set out on the return drive home I found this email from Him in my inbox:

Jesus Christ, right!?!  Are men really this stupid?  Like getting yourself impaled is gonna make me want to be with you?  I already know your judgment ain’t even fit for a flea.  Like I wouldn’t have some serious trust issues with that?  If these aren’t red flags, I give up!  And I don’t know if He meant to do this, but there were others CC’d on that email; turns out I’m not all that unique after all.  So how would I know if Jesus were to tell me “Hun, I’m just going out to the shed to finish the molding and trim on those cabinets” when in truth He’s stealing away to go die for someone else who caught his fancy?  Men like that, they’re dogs.  I’d have no faith in Him.

The email read: “Jesus loves you, so much that He died for your sins.  Accept him and you will be saved.  Forsake him and you will perish for eternity.”  Some love!  How is such unsolicited grandstanding that never once chimed in for my own opinion or say in the matter tantamount to affection?  What an egotist!  I didn’t ask for his attentions anymore than those of my own uterus; but I have a heluva lot more respect for my own periods than this psycho who dares have the audacity to be so chauvinistic as to suggest that He can save my soul.  Gimme a break!  What’s so wrong about my soul anyway?  I’ve got plenty of it, you dig?  And talk about ultimatums!  Isn’t that basic extortion?  Why not just put a gun to my temple and ask me to “choose”?  That’s a surefire way to score with the ladies – be a bully about it!  Real smooth!  “Perish for eternity,” geesh!  So dramatic!

But He obviously wasn’t dead-dead, since I got the email.  And if He can raise someone else from the dead, why not Himself?  (Furthermore, after this episode He’s left me more messages, though fewer and farther between; enough to remind me that He’s still around without being genuinely actionable evidence.  Such a prick!)

So I finally acquiesced to the advice of my friends and went to the authorities.  To be expected, the cops were far from sympathetic.  I could tell from the first sneer and knit brow by the detective that they were all siding with Jesus.  Good ole boys club, I figured.  They tagged me as hysterical, of course.  A tease probably.  Just another man-hating feminist.  Not even that grisly photo of Him all poked and bleeding, or the veiled threat in the body of the email fazed those assholes one iota.  One even scoffed, “How can there be a restraining order against someone who’s omnipresent?”  Good point, I had to concede, but that’s their job, I reminded them, not mine.  I signed this and swore to that and left with that hollow feeling that this was all a waste of time, the whole charade making me feel more pathetic than ever.  But I’d sooner expect a camel to go through a blah blah blah than the cops take my side over Christ’s…

So the bottom line is this: I know Jesus needs help, probably a big hug.  Actually, the dude’s in need of some serious psychotropic meds.  And then a big hug.  But I’m not the right kind of girl for that.  I’m not.  Jesus is the kind of guy who’ll always be getting involved in one thing or another.  He’ll probably even run for president some day…  But I just want to live my own life, enjoy cocktail hour, go shopping.  If that makes me woefully fallible, then so be it.  Frankly, I have no interest in associating with someone who just makes me feel imperfect and guilty all the time.  There are teenagers and Republicans who do that enough as it is.  If I’m wrong, then so help me God.  Just kidding!  But if ignorance is bliss, then the flipside of that is this:  No Jesus, Know Peace.

© Tcorkbow – All rights reserved

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