love versus evil

E announced an interest in satanism at some time in our youth. You can get in trouble for these unpopular, challenging philosophies. Feels dangerous to print.

The occult, particularly European occultism, while intrequing and magnetic, has always caused unease to my yet-to-recover Catholic set of fears, which is in many ways what Catholicism feels like: a set of fears.

There are no atheists in the trenches.

In times of deep trauma, of which there have been a few in these four and a half decades since emerging from childhood, the fears toss me around like a trash bag in a hurricane.

What, sister Anna asks, will you do next time you are in this state?

Next time it feels like friends and family are either evil or the victims of evil; life is a test I’ve lost; Jesus is my only chance; like abandoning everything in deference to a life of humble service…

E and i were proud to never turn down a dare. We’d hang together in the bathroom, not to miss a moment of togetherness, when one of us was shit or pissing.

Once in 1205 Bloomfield Street, sitting on the toilet with E cross-legged on the floor, leaning against the door, E blurts out, “i-dare-us-to-eat-shit.”

No time like the present when there’s an opportunity to avoid dread, apprehension or reluctance. A tiny little blob smaller than the cap from a baby acorn. Strongest, nastiest taste ever. For real. Almost physically painful. E had to dread his turn, awaiting his next bowel movement. Poor fool.

Stoned anxiety and this voice in the trauma storm is telling me they murdered her. A sacrifice. Planned for years. Another lapsed Catholic, seduced into damnatioin. And who’s next? I’ll die alone and godless, slowly, to live as a ghostly prisoner in a house full of the abject.

These are not new fears. But they are fears.

And god is not fear. God is love. And fear is not god. And fear is not love.

So next time, sister Anna, I hope to ask myself, is this love or is it fear? And if it’s neither, what is it?

It did feel good, though, to crawl out into the garden before dawn and serve the soil. Serve the plants. Brush the leaves from the path.