Westboro Baptist church gives Baptists churches a bad name. Asshats. I went to church today. Speaking of hats, a few church ladies still do wear those hats and stuff and they all seemed to be sitting on the left side of the church. They’re adorable. Guess what I wore? A huge pink flamingo hat with purple plumes, a mink stole and white patent leather pumps, three inches high. I DID NOT wear that! I wore the same clothes I’ve been wearing all week. God doesn’t judge me for it so neither should you.
The minister is the best. I haven’t been there for a couple of years, but I ran there today. I couldn’t take the shit going on in my head about the children in Newton. I still haven’t seen one news report or read any media on this. I’m a mess without it. When I go to Aol to get email, I look to the right, away from the media crap. I think the media needs to be pulled in. I hate them now.
On Saturday, I called my Auntie. She’s also the best. She’s a minister. Really down to earth and like a social worker I guess you could say. Very easy to talk to. That helped.
Today Rev. Jessie T. Williams delivered — I tell ya what. The altar prayer was also amazing.
I’ve mentioned it before that this minister is intellectual, and he definitely has the spirit. Intellect and spirituality are not mutually exclusive. Some philosophers will tell you that.
He broke it down today! I almost feel that what he says coincides with science.
A man came late to the service and sat down between a woman and me. Not only was he fidgeting the whole time but he was chatty as hell toward the end. I wonder if he was trying to get his rap on. All I know is I flew up out of there when it was over — didn’t want to find that out.
My father and I went to a funeral where the minister berated us. He told us all that we only came to church for funerals and holidays. He shouted bible passages at us and said little about the dearly departed. My father sat two rows behind me. I had floated around saying hello to people and was sitting next to a long-lost cousin when the service started. Did the…minister just say that we were going to…hell? I had to look back to see dad’s reaction. He raised a brow in suppressed glee with a hint of a smile. I looked back again and saw him gleaming.
I didn’t cry at my father’s funeral. At my father’s funeral there was just a headshot of him that my step mother blew up. Dad had been cremated. The life behind his eyes leapt out at us from the photo.
People got up to pay tribute to dad — one advertised his business between the tribute. Why not pitch a sale to all of the grieving potential customers? I looked at dad’s gleaming eyes in the photo and stifled laughter. What would dad say to this? Dad had a sly sense of humor but would also have compassion for the absurd need of this poor soul.
I also don’t know how he would have liked the song that a lady from the church had sung. For my taste it was too sweet and generic. But as you know I’m a weirdo. I looked at dad’s picture during the song. While he would have appreciated it, he gleamed impishly at me from the photo. I would have chosen “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War. The fantastical lyrics remind me of him. The group also had a grimy sensibility like my dad. My sister cried during this lady’s sentimental song. My sister and I were the first ones out of the church after the funeral. “I can’t be-lieve you cried during that song,” I said. She looked at me with her tear-streaked face and we burst out laughing, standing at the top of the church steps.
While dad was in a coma I cried walking down the street – in the middle of talking to people. I always thought that if my father died, I would just drop dead. How would I live? No one would ever love me like this again. I used to hear him in my inner-ear while he was still alive, just calling “Sandee. Sandee.” There was a black hole now.
I had prayed while he was in a coma. I guess it worked because after the initial mourning, I felt spiritually revitalized. They say people born under the sign of Scorpio experience renewal upon death. Interesting, because it happened to me. Aside from that, one day the thought came to me, If dad died, it can’t be a bad thing.
Maybe I’ll go to church. I’ll have Sundays free again because my job ends in December. My family church is a Baptist church in Harlem. We didn’t go often but when one of us died this is where the funeral would be. My parents were married there. It’s where I was christened and baptized. I went once as a kid with my mom and a woman started hollering, “Yes Jee-susah! Oh Jeeesus yessuh!” She ran into the aisle, rolled on the floor and foamed at the mouth. The church nurses grabbed her and calmed her down from the Holy Ghost. This scared the shit out of me. I started hyperventilating. The service wasn’t full of people like this — thank God!
Nowadays the church discourages this. Although at one recent service a woman got ‘happy’ and ran laps around the pews. I laughed my ass off as did others. But generally the services are more subdued. The people wear jeans and the minister is intellectual and has a Ph.D.
My dad’s funeral was there and the minister back then appealed to reason. He spoke in a conversational voice then built up slowly to a fervor. This minister was why I wanted go again. But then he died.
I volunteered there feeding the homeless for Thanksgiving once and had heard that the next minister was just as good. I checked out a service and it was true so I started going regularly. I was still drinking so a couple of times I was drunk from the night before, crying with my mascara all smeared. Then I stopped drinking.
Sometimes I felt that the spiritual energy there could levitate the building. Although ministers are human, I believe that some are vehicles for God and that it’s their job to transmit messages, even while they are flawed the way everyone else is.
At first I thought I’d use church as a placebo. But basically, I felt that the collective energy all directed likewise would be an effective healing mechanism. For me having a spiritual advisor works, otherwise I might hear God tell me to do things the way that a cult leader does because I’m demented.
While I appreciate that there are different ways people get in touch with their spirituality, this worked for me. And I know organized religion has its ‘issues’. Recently I talked to a man who had a personal spiritual advisor.
Church and praying doesn’t always have the immediate effect on me the way that liquor did. It seeps slowly into my consciousness and informs some of my actions without me thinking about it. I’ve even left church feeling fear and negativity. Sometimes having a spiritual session or praying just unearths some of the ugliness, which is later dispersed. But it comes back. I’m just glad to have a spiritual advisor as a counter-balance. I may not go to church every Sunday, but it will be nice to be able to go back now and then when I want to.
I said in Le Clown’s comments that I dated a chick with a dick, and he and Jennifer Worrell said I should write about it – thanks guys for suggesting the material – here it goes:
[First, let me deconfuse you – I refer to Beverly in this story as Beverly, him/her, he/she, he, she, him, her – they’re all the same tranvestite.]
I went out with a chick with a dick – what?! We met in the Tiki Bar or whatever the fuck the name of that place was. We talked for the longest. Though the bar was dark, this was clearly a man dressed like a woman — long blonde wig, white head band, tasteful muted dress cut slightly above the knee, and white go go boots. He/she was a white man, about 6’ 2”. Beverly hipped me to the fact that he was just a man who liked to wear women’s clothes, but that he liked women and didn’t want a sex change. We flirted with each other because I loves me a man dressed up in women’s clothes. I told him/her that I wanted my ex-boyfriend to dress like a woman but he said hell to the no! I think always of that sexy Tim Curry in the movie version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
We left the Tiki Bar or whatever the fuck it was called, and went to the Cancun Bar. He/she asked if he could kiss me at that bar. We sat at a small table. Hells yeah! Wow! Beverly the man was the shit! Beverly was the best kisser! I met him/her another time at the Tiki Bar and I got soooooooo plastered, that he/she said I should take a cab home. I slurred my address to Beverly and she told the driver and poured me into the yellow cab.
He/she called the next day and we made a date to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I would have liked if we kissed on those big stairs where all the students and tourists like to hang out. But Beverly couldn’t make it as it turned out. I forget what happened to him her. This was quite a while ago and I was drunk. I wanted to have sex with him/her and write about it and/or tell alllllll my friends. I told my relatives at Christmas dinner last year about this — including one of my favorite Aunties who’s a minister – well all my aunties are my favorite – anyway, they didn’t judge me and they did laugh and ask lots of questions, which I liked, seeing as I could provide the x-mas entertainment and all.