Winter

This morning I awoke to discover my environment had been murdered by icy white particles from the sky.

1

I’m safe in my room, curled beneath a heavy blanket, holding a cup of instant coffee. I huddle close to my overheating laptop like it’s some futuristic fire. There is a certain serenity in the snow outside my window.

2

Back in middle school, when it snowed, kids would still wear shorts. Their legs never seemed cold. I shivered beneath three layers.

3

In high school, I drove to school on icy roads that made my wheels spin. The icy roads stretched out towards infinity, with sidegaurds so small you wonder why they even put them up. People slid off the road all the time. It was so easy to do.

4

It was the day I was to be confirmed into the Catholic Church. The roads were pure slick and my mother was scared. We had an old green van with worn-in tires and two-wheel drive.

I was stuffed into this ugly brown-yellow suit all boys are forced to wear to at some point in the lives. I was sick with either pneumonia or strep. All I remember was I felt like death and my lungs hurt and my face was hot. And that I really, really wanted to be confirmed.

5

The road grew worse as the world grew darker. My mother’s voice was terrified. I took out my rosary and began to pray, silently. I knew that if God were to choose a moment in my life to actually listen, it had to be this one.

I understood why he’d ignore a prayer for me to be thin, or for me to have friends, or for somehow one to lead into the other.

God had his reasons.

6

But this was different. This was about him. This was about entering his church. If there was one moment in my life where’d he choice to intervene, it should be this one.

6a

When my mother lost control of the vehicle, everything slowed down. God made sure I saw every instant between the road and the ditch, and made sure there was nothing I could do to stop it. But I didn’t stop praying.

7

It wasn’t the last time I’d prayed, or even the last time I’d prayed and believed someone was listening.

But it was the last time I prayed and believed anyone cared.

I never made it to my confirmation.

8 9 10 11 12 14 15

16

~Fin

Dealing with Jesus Bros

So on my campus there’s these dudes that sometimes come up to you. I think there might be girls too, but so far only dudes have come up to me, and they always say something like “can I ask you a question real quick?”

Shit1

They always say “real quick” or “real fast” in order to emphasize how brief the time you spend together will be, like I’m expected to believe the dude chatting up strangers doesn’t have a lot of free time.

SHIT 2

Back in early years, when I was naïve and optimistic freshman, I actually tried to listen to these guys. We’re all part of this beautiful collegiate learning family, aren’t we? Why shouldn’t I listen to what my brother in education has to say?

SHIT 3

As it turns out, they only cared about one thing…Our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christmas.

SHIT 4

I have dubbed these men the esteemed title of JESUS BROS.

Now, Freshman Me was never a huge fan of organized religion, no matter how ripped and delicately draped in loincloths they made their personal saviors. Even as a kid, I was pretty sure that Jesus looked less like a Hitler’s ideal swimwear model and more like the people we were at war peaceful conflict mission with.

Nevertheless, I thought that these people might have something to offer me, so every time one of these guys approached me on campus I tried to listen.

FIXED shit5

Pretty soon, however, I began to realize these guys didn’t share my platonic concept of open dialects. Instead, they liked to hit rhetorical passive aggression statements like “If you had the chance to save your soul right now, only a fool would pass up this opportunity, right?” or “If someone loves you with all his heart, shouldn’t you at least try to love him back?”

I began to hear these key phrases repeated so often, in such analogous order, that I grew suspicious if my side was being listened to at all. And then, just as one of these Jesus Bros was about to hit the climax of his speech, it came to me…

Shit6

Shit 8 Shit 9 Shit 10 Shit 11

And so, like those before me, I began to descend the long road towards cynicism…

Shit 12 Shit 13 Shit 14

~Fin