The other morning as I was rolling onto my back in bed to take the sting out of my left shoulder, I said to my wife Jina, “The one good thing about death is it means no more pain.”
As someone who’s been a Christian “since I was inside my mother’s belly” (remarkable memory some people have), she said, “That’s what you think. But you’re wrong.”
It’s always refreshing to be outdone by a rival in a pessimism showdown.
The main pain I was alluding to was the one that lives in my right butt-cheek and forces me to sleep on my left side most of the time, although I can occasionally get away with lying on my back, at least until it leads to snoring and nightmares. Sleeping on my right side is out of the question. In earlier posts I’ve blamed this pain on an overzealous urologist I saw fifteen years ago, but my brother insists the trauma from such a painful digital penetration couldn’t have lasted so long. Maybe the wound has never had time to heal due to the demands of the flesh (ironically, the only thing that can make it go away for awhile, while caffeine and delayed trips to the bathroom during sleep are the other culprits for bringing it back).
Jina suggested that I could only save my soul by turning myself in to (versus “into”) Jesus Christ, like a criminal who’s opted to go into spontaneous retirement, say, John Wayne Gacy (what she evidently thinks of anyone born with normal human appetites).
Since I’m constitutionally incapable of ever subscribing to any organized faith–and too much of a misfit to ever belong for too long to any organized anything–I always just agree to disagree, apart from her stern disapproval and fascistic unwillingness to let me think for myself, as if marriage demanded not only giving someone your heart but also the rights to your brain.
“Be logical,” she said.
Whatever you say, Reverend Spock.
“Open your mind,” she continued.
As soon as I can find the key that opens yours.
We ended the discussion by going back to sleep, where we were each able to dream freely and in our own distinct ways, alone.