Inspired by an old friend of mine–Steve Brisendine–and in desperate need of a more consistent writing habit, I’ve decided to 1) finally get a website with my name on it and 2) write something on it everyday for a year.
I’ve always been dubious of the notion of blogging as it starts with a loud and throaty “Look at me!” followed by “This is IMPORTANT STUFF and STUFF LIKE THAT!” (something like that) and that’s typically followed by “Why is no one reading me?” and hours spent studying site analytics and tinkering with SEO tricks. (A friend of mine assures me that “Britney Spears” and “thong” are useful keywords to include for SEO, although that was many years ago.)
It also assumes that I have enough to say. Unfortunately, I typically have no problems talking and talking and talking about things–and no problems swearing (you have been warned)–which has led to a number of problems I’ll probably write about some day. Writing about stuff, though, that’s different. And a bit more permanent.
What’s got my attention now are odd coincidences. A while back, a colleague of mine who is a vocal fundamentalist atheist, made a snarky comment about Mormons–I work at a company that was once owned by Japanese Mormons–and this made me think of the Mormon family that used to live across the street from me in Hayden, Colorado. That made me think of the sisters who used to live farther up the street and who used to go to church and Sunday school with me at the First Baptist Church in Hayden.
Although I had a crush on both of them at one time or another, and they had stayed at our house in Kansas for a night as they were moving across country, I couldn’t remember their names. I could only remember an incident involving a country song. The Sunday school teacher, who’s name I also don’t remember, was explaining the evils of popular music and was using, as his text, sort of, a country song about a woman getting drunk on tequila and waking up next to a man “presumably after having having slept with him” (well, duh, but he meant “slept with him” as in “knew him in a Biblical way you’re not supposed to say in church.”) although he may have actually said “after having had sex with him” with the fourth word half-whispered, half-choked on.
He couldn’t remember the name of the tequila and neither could I, a fact which, me being 16 and not fully in control of my wits–still waiting for that to happen, by the way–I announced with a repeated “Yeah, what is that?” The youngest of the two sisters looked at me and mouthed “Jose Cuervo“. I started nodding and stifling laughter and fell madly in love again, at least for a while, with her.
That scene, by the way, pretty much explains all you need to know about my religious upbringing.
Well, there was also the swing your Bible like it’s a sword until your arm gets tired so you can see how hard soldiers had to work to kill people back in the day moment, and the young man calling Vietnam veterans babies for complaining about the conflict, and the aftermath of a scandal that pretty much drove me away from churches, but those are stories for another day.
First, there are those odd coincidences:
I kept trying to remember the sister’s names, and although I could pretty much picture them as they were, I couldn’t remember anything else about them. Then, a couple nights ago, I was chatting with my sister about an old acquaintance from Hayden who’d just died. That led to a rush of memories and she suddenly mentioned the names of those sisters and their last names and I finally could put names and faces together. (I didn’t remember there was a third sister, though, and wish to apologize to her profusely.)
That’s led to a rush of other memories and several bouts of “At the time, it seemed like a good idea” and “In God’s name and under the stars what for?” embarrassment, which in the final colossal coincidence, is basically the theme of the song being discussed in Sunday school that day. The difference is I remember shooting out the lights and starting fights, so to speak. There were also, oddly enough, a couple kissed cowboys.