I went past a church in Wellingborough today. One of those modern ones with funky names: The First Assembly of the Church of Pentecostal Witnesses of God's Revelation of Heavenly Truth--something like that. Lord how they make you long for an ancient church spire with dusty brickwork and a weathervane turning slowly in the breeze.
But anyway. Passing it I reflected on my attempt to embrace Christianity this summer, and I thought: was that really such a wrong turn for me? can the memory of it all be erased and written off as a prolonged moment of madness attributable to depression and close proximity with a powerful Christian woman?
Well, no, I don't think it can. I was attracted to the idea of God a long time before I met her, and now that she's out of my life I still long to discover (but not yet), that there's a Heaven presided over by an omnipotent but loving Father, and that when I get there I'll see my mother again (and maybe Pascale Ogier.) It's an incredibly seductive thought.
It's just that however much I'd like there to be a God, the religion that's been established in His name just has too many bloody rules for me. I can't help swearing, I like to drink, I insist on having sex before I get married (just once more, God, I beg you) , I don't believe it would matter to a divine being where you put your penis as long as the other person was happy about it too--you get the picture. Trying to become a Christian was like walking inside a suit of armour. I felt protected, but I could barely f***ing move.
But it's not just Christianity, it's religion in general. I could never be a good Buddhist either, though if anything I'm even more attracted to that. Why? Because I don't have the patience to meditate.
I'm just not cut out to be a holy, despite leaning in that direction. I'm a grumpy, undisciplined, mentally unstable, potty-mouthed sonofabitch, and the sooner I accept that the better. Not only for me but for eveybody else as well, so they don't have to be stunned like she was when the mask of holiness slips and the true me comes spitting and snarling out like the Tazmanian Devil in the cartoons.