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October 14, 2004

Lost

If there's one thing I've been all too good at in my life, it's losing friends. And in most cases, it wasn't even my doing that led to it.
It ties largely into religion. I'll preface this by saying I'm vaguely religious. I'm not confirmed or baptized or anything -- my parents wanted to let us make our own decisions -- but I attend a local church on holidays and whenever else I feel like. Being as the belief system of that church is rather progressive, I've never had a problem with it. There's another church I do have a problem with, because I lost two good friends to it. K was a good friend, a great friend. He was always there, he had the same sense of humor as I did, and he was part of the inseparable trio composed of myself, C, and K back when we were all Boy Scouts. But then life just started weighing down on him. He was suicidal, attempting repeatedly to kill himself. I can't say I blame him, knowing how things were. But then he lit his bridges on fire, chopping them into little pieces along the way. K told his mom that my friend G and I encouraged him to finish what he had started after harassing him to see the marks on his wrists. Never had a grosser distortion of the truth been heard -- he was excitedly displaying his sutures, telling us he tried to kill himself. We were aghast and concerned about him. Apparently his brush with death (though truth be told he was using a plastic knife, didn't cut deep enough, and didn't cut the right direction to actually mean it) brought him closer to God, because he then went off the deep end. The next thing we all knew, K was gone as a person. He proclaimed G was going to hell for not accepting Christ into his life (G was Jewish) and that G's parents were going to burn in hell for raising him a Jew. My pastor was going to hell for making fun of the church. One day some of the guys were practicing rock music in the band room, and he -- no joke -- ran into one of the soundproof practice booths screaming about "get[ting] away from the devil music," and curled into a ball. He was absolutely gone. K was no more. G, J, and I were distressed by this. But none of us thought it would happen again -- until it did. This time it was J who went off the deep end. He was the quintessential preacher's son, trying to get in a little trouble here and there to shed his squeaky-clean image but never doing anything too bad. He had one of the raunchiest senses of humor I'd encountered; he was fun to be around if not a little over-the-top at times. Just all of a sudden one day, nobody in our circle of friends was Christian enough for him any more and we were all going to hell. I have no idea what happened there; maybe he caught me checking out one of his friends. At any rate, the Baptist church had claimed two. Years later, another one of my friends got caught up in an entirely different religion: homosexuality. I do say this with tongue somewhat planted in cheek, before the hate mail rolls in. Seriously, though, the mysterious "gay lifestyle" of legislators everywhere is a religion to some, who feel the need to live up to the stereotypes in every way possible. L was one of those girls. After coming out as bisexual (and attracted to my girlfriend at the time, no less), she went off the gay deep end. Newfound slutty ex-con out girlfriend (who was actually a raging closet case), bedecked in rainbow gear from stem to stern, new lesbian friends to replace her old friends... Sometimes I'd swear the only reason she kept after me was that she'd had a crush on me for ages. We ended up parting ways for two reasons: one, she wanted me (and/or M) so badly that she repeatedly tried to sabotage my relationship with M (girlfriend); two, she told me I wasn't "gay enough." Two just annoyed me to no end, but one actually culminated in a spectacular falling out -- inexplicably with four of my friends at once -- when she thought she had information I didn't. And them's my crazy soap opera war stories: lose two friends to the Church of John the Baptist, lose one to the Church of Fabulousness (and coveting thy neighbor's goods). You couldn't write better stuff. Sometimes life is far too much like being trapped in a "very special _Blossom_." (Kudos to anyone who actually gets the reference.)

Posted by Colin at October 14, 2004 9:14 AM

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