Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If I Should Fall From Grace with God

It seems lucky that on my walk to the bar last night I encountered two darkly clad men, Mormon missionaries doing what Mormon missionaries do at nearly 9 o'clock in a bar-filled town such as Gloucester. It seems, also, that they recognized me from a previous encounter, the one a few weeks ago during which they came to my house and after trying to save me asked if there was anything that they could do. "Like, you know, some manual labor." "I'll show you womanual labor," I said as I pulled them, neckties wrapped round my breasts, into my devilish lair. Well maybe it didn't go exactly like this, but I'm not a tell all kind of girl, so use imagination accordingly, or sparingly, or however.

It's not that I wished to fall from grace with God. People often ask me when and how and why it happened. And though I've looked for a defining moment, there isn't one. Instead, a thousand little moments of question and doubt and wondering add up to choosing not to belong to this religion, its lifestyle, its language, the near equivalent of severing a limb, phantom pains lasting a lifetime as the brain reminds the body of what used to be. As I grow less and less fluent in their language, I hear my voice trying to say it how they want to hear it. But the words don't come this way anymore. And there is awkward silence or nervousness at the other end.

Recently and a little ironically my brother tried to convince me to repair the rift that may or may not exist between my parents, my siblings, and me. "They're trying," he said. And I don't doubt that they are. They're always trying. In ways that I can no longer pretend to understand. I don't understand because I'm not trying not to fall. I am at the bottom looking up. It has taken years, the falling. And for me, this falling, the only way out. I want them to understand that it is my fall that has saved me.

from If I Should Fall From Grace with God
Shane MacGowan/Stiff Music Ltd

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I'm buried 'neath the sod
But the angels won't receive me

Let me go boys
Let me go boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

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