I likely didn’t last another two turns before my thoughts grew too persistent and undeniable to not show evidence on my face.
“Actually, can you guys leave- please?” I covered my face, and tried my best to be polite.
“But we’re supposed to be-”
“Please just fucking leave. I’m sorry… I’m afraid I’m going to be awful today. It’s a worse than the usual ‘not a good time”. I turned to look out the window, I hated crying in front of people.
“Look honey, she’s an adult. If she doesn’t want to see us right now, we should leave,” dad conceded.
“OK. If you need your space, I guess that’s OK. I won’t take it personally.” mom said, entirely unconvincing.
“Well before you kick us out,” dad pulled a bible out of his briefcase. “I figured you could use one- to go alongside the devil books you brought.”
“Thanks.” The last thing I wanted to see was a bible.
He set it on the end table beside the alarm clock as they painfully slowly got up to leave.
I grabbed the book and returned to the back bedroom. My head had been pounding with the pain in my neck and all throughout my body since just after getting up. It seemed the days with no cessation of the nagging pain had been increasing in frequency. Jacob and I constantly tense and fighting didn’t help , but we were still planning to meet up sometime next week because Shawna had mentioned potentially giving me a pass. But even that, I wasn’t sure how I really felt about – other than nervous as hell because at the same time that I felt so strongly about him, he also made me extremely uncomfortable- like he was always waiting to pounce on something I said and pick it apart and throw it back in my face; and I didn’t feel qualified to tell what of what he said was true tough love, or just straight up cruel. I guessed we’d see how it went then, but I didn’t have high hopes considering how it felt like nothing good or even remotely enjoyable had happened in life in years. In fact, in retrospect it almost seemed a bit too coincidental the order of events in which I lost my job, schooling and career hopes, relationships, independence, and then health- which had been continually degrading and affecting everything else. I had a roof, food, and water when my parents let me live there- so I had that going for me- but most of the time it felt like I had lost a firm grip on even my mind, constantly falling through the spaces of each day in an unsettling and unsure free fall; so I would easily have given away such life – preserving substances to someone who would at least enjoy life sometimes. I had nothing to go home to anyways but to keep suffering, medicating, and rotting away in the routine of a responsibly selected solitude to save myself and everyone else from the futility of interaction.
I flipped through the bible, thinking how I already knew what it said and didn’t care to read anything. I had felt that way for too long, feeling guilt for it. Job was onto something, as well as Solomon in Ecclesiastes- but other than that I could only relate to Jonah beneath his little tree, asking to die- only I didn’t know where I was supposed to be going or what I was to be doing- I just survived and wandered on purposelessly. Maybe God was making me wander the desert for 40 years for my bad attitude- and a thousand years may be as a day to Him- but I sure didn’t have that long, and 40 years would put me just about on my deathbed. But with my bad luck I just might live to a hundred.
I decided to try the cliche of setting the bible on its spine and letting it fall open, of which I then focused on a random section of the page. I recognize the bible wasn’t intended to be used as a magic 8 ball, but I had some questions- that was for damn sure. Not that I at all considered myself “righteous”, but it only took Job 7 days to curse his birth, and I’d waited well over seven years.
“Why? Why did all of this befall on me? Why did I lose so much and everything that really meant anything to me? Why do I keep losing more, and why don’t you put me out of my misery? Why?”
The book fell open and my eyes first fell upon the red letters of John 13 verse 7
“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
I was silent for a minute. “but isn’t that what You said a decade ago? I don’t have forty years to wait and wander, I’m wasting my life now.”
I was still angry- not angry at God, He didn’t owe me shit- but at myself and everything else; but I was basically in a perpetual bad mood. I just never did anything with it. I got up and walked over to the window, pacing back and forth for some time. I’m not even sure why there was a hammer there- I guess a worker left it there- but not even thinking about it, I grabbed the hammer and slammed it down the middle of the open Venetian blinds, and through the drywall. And something snapped that I’d been ignoring for long enough- I shattered every last piece of the blinds to splinters, and lodged the hammer back in the wall again. I tore out the dresser drawers, hurled the few books I had brought at the wall, and sunk back down into the bed, catching myself before I went to hell for chucking a bible again. I laid down, letting it slip from my hands onto the floor.
Marisa walked in, pausing in the hallway entrance to give me a look that said “My lips are sealed but I wash my hands clean of this,” and turning right back around to leave.
“I need an answer now, not in another ten or forty years…” I muttered.
Of course I was surprised to happen to open to such a potentially applicable verse, but I believed that my life had been about paying for something I had done wrong- or was going to- and God or fate had nothing to do with it. Maybe that was why I was still on this planet.
I got up and picked up the few things I had uncharacteristically and foolishly thrown- as though it would do anything to hide the damage I had done to the blinds and wall- and picked the bible off the ground, with a small laugh to see that when it had fallen face down, it had opened to the first page of Job. I guessed that was a decent place to start reading for as long as I was going to continue living in the stomach of a whale.