I wish I could tell you that there was some breaking point in my faith. That there was some moment that opened my eyes, filled me with a sudden realization, convinced the believer to abandon his belief. I’m sure it’d be a lot more dramatic if there was.
I’ve certainly got enough moments to choose from.
The moment that Darren McAndrews and Stan Darrow lost their balance and fell off their precipice, the moment they released the full extent of their murderous rage on our Algebra classroom, the moment that bullets by the hundred began to tear apart chalkboards and textbooks and desks and flesh with equal ferocity, that moment could have been one of them.
But I’ll tell you this much in retrospect: God wasn’t anywhere to be found in that room. Not in the form of a divine being of pure love, intervening into man-made madness in an attempt to save his humble servants from pain and death. Not in any attempt to offer sympathy or compassion to the survivors and the dying alike, even as the events of the classroom remained out of his control. Not even as a perverted, giggling imp, sent into hysterics by the suffering of his creations.
No, there was nothing divine in that room on that October day. Just us simple, lowly, pathetic human beings – some of us terrified, some of us clinging to life as blood spilled out of holes in us that were never meant to be there, some of us creating those very holes with machines designed to make them.
We were alone in that room, and as we struggled for cover, behind toppled desks, under long tables, beneath a cluster of hard plastic chairs, we knew we were alone. We knew that whether we lived or died had nothing to do with any power in heaven., and almost as little to do with how well we hid ourselves. It was squarely in the hands of McAndrews and Darrow. The ones with the guns. They had the power to grant life and the power to condemn us to death. They had already taught us that lesson. Now it was final exam time.
Amongst the chaos, fetal behind my own desk, desperate to curl into a tighter and tighter ball, I remember thinking that I couldn’t stand to go through this alone. Clinging to life by a thread, only one stray bullet away from eternity, I felt the need to be near another human being more strongly than I’ve ever felt before. I didn’t take the time to wonder why then, and looking back on it since, I’m still not sure I know for sure. It wasn’t entirely terror, it wasn’t entirely that I was seeking comfort. If anything, it was that, in seeing the harsh truth of my own mortality, I needed a reminder that I actually existed, I needed to be seen through another set of eyes, I needed my life to be acknowledged by someone other than those who were seeking to take it away from me.
Visited the novel a few nights back, and struggled through about three pages worth. I need to visit a bit more often, because I am kind of drifting out of it a bit, I think, and I know it'll take about three or four more times sitting down with it before it really starts to flow again. This last night just felt like work.
Which is frustrating, because it was going so well when I started, so smoothly, so naturally, like it was the perfect book for a perfect time in my life, when any and everything I had to say was there, on the edge of my brain, waiting for the chance to be put down on paper.
Having to struggle with it now...yeah, frustrating.
That above-quoted bit is the better of what I did that night (taking place during one of the flash-backs to the high-school shooting back story, if some context is needed) but even while it's got some good bits in it, it does seem, as a whole, a bit rough. Not quite up to par with the other segments I've quoted here in the past.
Still, the blog's been pretty empty as of late, and I've been feeling like I've been needing to update with something. I have an entry that's sort of burbling in my head, looking for some sort of form. And I should finish my rundown of controversial movies at some point, I guess. But until either of those turn up, here's something to at lesat fill the space and dust a few of the cobwebs off.