I’ve never felt it was proper (or possible, really) to speak with familiarity and sincerity regarding the passing of this celebrity or that celebrity. I do, however, enjoy telling stories.
It is critical to note that I literally loved the Lord all the way up until seventeen, engaged in a fair bit of Xenoglossia, and generally felt very guilty almost all the time. For many years afterward, I basically blamed everything on God, which was great because God never argued back. I won by default.
Riding the bus from Spokane to Seattle, I was seated across the way from a girl about my age, who was seated next to a girl her age. A discussion ensued. Ordinarily, extemporaneous conversations with strangers - let alone strangers who are also cute girls - constricted every muscle in my body, but they made it easy by laughing at almost everything I said. I tried not to think about why (Am I being funny? Am I being inane?), but it so happened that one of them left a seat open, and it was indicated that I was to take this seat. It would have been rude not to take it, I thought to myself. Also, she smelled like some impossible fruit.
She offered me her headphones when I told her I’d never heard of “Alice In Chains,” which was apparently very big where she lived. Even the name seemed somehow illicit. I’d never heard anything like it, because I wasn’t allowed to listen to the radio or watch the devil’s Music Television. When I heard a haunted voice sing:
can you save my eyes?
can you sew them shut?
I was horrified, I’d never heard anything like that. It was about to get worse.
deny your maker
I’m being honest with you: I didn’t realize you could say something like that and not be struck dead where you stood. That song altered the fundamental properties of nature.