The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
Maybe I write because I want visibility and invisibility, each on my own terms. I want you to accept these paragraphs as photographs from my mind, and I want these photographs to tell you something useful about me. Yet I don’t want you to see me.
But then I accidentally bite into one of the sour, acrid parts of quarantine. It’s easy to forget, when you live four hundred miles away, that your mother’s temper can be sparked by something as benign as family movie night or a run-in with the Hertz rental-car dealership.
After this friend left, I excused myself to go to the bathroom, where I shut the door and fell to my knees, shaking and crying. I wished that my brother had been different. And I wished that I had been more forgiving and compassionate. I wished that everything between us had been different. I was on that floor for a while.
Which of us has never broken a law? / I died for you — a desperate extravagance, even for me. / If you can’t be merciful, at least be bold.
Below me the world turned slowly through the night, unaware of the multilayered geopolitics my coffee-jangled brain was imposing upon it. I could find reasons to forgive Judaism and Islam their present-day sins. Christianity was another matter.
Maryam: And then the soldiers — oh, the soldiers. I’d take my time with them. I’d do to them everything they did to you. Maybe I’d leave one or two alive so they could learn how life can be a long nightmare.
Yeshua: I tried to make people see that all we have to do is turn around, leave that whining precious self behind, let it go and see the wholeness of God’s Name, but people want magic and miracles and kings—
A miraculous experience, a mixed-faith couple, a big fat question mark
I suggest that a powerful antidote to the manufactured past now being created for us is the secret history of Indians in the twentieth century. Geronimo really did have a Cadillac and used to drive it to church, where he’d sign autographs.
But he’s not getting caught on this trip, he says. He’s packing his stash wrapped in tinfoil, sprayed with deer urine, and taped to the inside of his engine, as per a YouTube tutorial.