Corey’s house – the new haircut will make it easier to calm the parents down
My dad’s coming to visit next week. He and my Mom read the blog and they are worried about me. It’s like the Jim Jones Massacre anniversary that’s been in the news recently – Jimmy got his start here in SF thirty years ago before he split to Guyana. Anyway, my Pops, like a senator, is on a fact finding mission. It’s nice to have folks who care, so I appreciate the trouble he’s taking to make the trip West.
I know part of the thing is, they are Christians and I’m not. They worry about my soul, of all things. Not that they mention it much any more, but Mom let’s me know she’s praying for me. And I tell her I’m drinking for her.
Now I think I have the gout. My toes were killing me in New Orleans, and my diet consists of meat and alcohol – the very thing Wikipedia stools out as the culprit. Soon as I got back from The Big Easy I took a breather. Laid off the sauce and after a few days my feet were feeling better.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe I don’t have health insurance. I definitely don’t have health insurance. SF has a few free clinics, so I’ll head to one this week and I guess they can test levels of uric acid in your blood. That’s what gout is. Uric acid crystallizes and builds in the joints of your toes. Painful stuff. I’m a hypochondriac (self diagnosed) so let’s hope it’s nothing as bad as that.
That being said, maybe I do need someone to check in on me. A warden or something. A den mother. I don’t know. A flight attendant even. Someone who can tell me to shut up and sit down. After two weeks of the dry spell up here on the wagon I’m starting to wonder if I might just find the Lord. I thought I did one other time back when I was drinking.
“Here He is!” I screamed. “Found ‘im! Up on top of the refrigerator this whole time!” Turns out I was looking for my keys but got confused. I started to lose faith in Jesus back during childhood wiffle ball games. I played them by myself by throwing the wiffle ball up and hitting it against the side of the house. The little white ball would bounce off the shingles of the gambrel roof and I’d drop the bat and try to catch the ball. Sometimes the wind took it out into the weeds by the brook.
I’d pray to God that I’d find my wiffle ball. Heartfelt earnest pleas that only a child out in the woods with no one to play with would cry out (but silently in a Puritanical New England composure). There were no promises or bartering with God, just a petition that He would help me find the ball. I needed to know that someone was going to help. And shortly I’d find the ball under a sumac sapling struggling up through the golden rod.
I don’t know how many times I lost the ball and sent up a prayer like a shallow infield pop-up. But it wasn’t too long, maybe a season, maybe not, before I realized I could just look for the ball and I’d find it just as easily without the prayer as with one. So I stopped praying. Then I outgrew playing wiffle ball with ghost runners. I guess I didn’t want to believe in ghosts either. It was probably the summer Nathan Slocum moved into the neighborhood and I finally had someone real to play with.
Not too long ago I read about the evolutionary trait of belief. It is something most of us have, the capacity to believe in something, because evolutionarily speaking, it helps us survive. So I can’t say I don’t have the capacity to believe. There is still something in me that wants to find the Lord. But unlike keys or a kitten, I’ll never put my hands on it and know the search is over.