Thursday, November 6, 2008

American Christian.XIII - I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

Forget about the dirty looks
The photographs your boyfriend took
You said you read me like a book, but the pages all are torn and frayed


He sits in the quad and watches everyone pass by. One or two folks come and say hello to him. He says hello back and they ask how he's doing. He smirks and asks if they really want to know. The one wearing her "Acquire the Fire" shirt gives him a funny look and walks away, but the other stays and says he would like to really know.

"I have a headache from the acid trip I was on last night, which I'm sure came from when I fell on the floor after freaking out. I dropped the acid to try and escape the gnawing emptiness after having slept with about nine different chicks in the last month and a half. One of 'em says she missed her period but everyone else says she's a habitual liar and uses that kind of stuff to secure a relationship; I don't know what to think. I met her at a party and we were drunk and I didn't have any protection but she said she was on the pill so I don't know and I'm a little freaked about that."

The listener nods his head. "That's heavy, man. I'll be praying for you." He gets up and leaves with the derisive laughter of our hero following him. Throughout the day a few more people stop by and inquire of him and he repeats his tale to them all. Some respond with the offer of prayer, some tell him he needs to get right and repent, and one asks if he's doing okay. Our hero looks deeply into the inquirer's eyes and something within his mind clicks.

"No. I'm not okay." For the first time he utters the words; for the first time he articulates exactly how he's feeling and the actual state of his spirit. He's overtaken by a sense of relief and a burden loosened, yet not lifted... He falls back laughing. "I'm not okay at all! Everything's awful! I hate my life! And now I feel better! HA!!" The inquirer is certain our hero has lost his grip on reality and leaves him in the quad as the sun sets.

Not too long after, a Bible study leader is walking nearby on the way to his car and sees our hero lying in the grass. He calls out his name; our hero jolts up. They strike up conversation; the leader is filled in with our hero's oft-repeated story and the most recent development: the feeling of "okay" in admitting his not being such. The leader smiles.

"I know what you mean." Our hero looks at the leader and knows he's telling the truth. "So now what?" Our hero has no idea...

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