Green Tusker on a Friday Night

Almost 8pm here. We have no water, today; some things are hard to get used to. It just hasn’t sunk in my psyche that utilities may not be there from moment to moment. It aggravates me as much as it did the first time it happened. I think I cannot just accept the fact that when I want to check who has sent me MySpace comments, I won’t always be able to. And I think, what if I had a date tonight and I needed to shower. Would I cancel? Would I maybe explain to her the situation? Would it so happen that she too, had no water and was just as filthy as I am, and it would be a great conversation over dinner. But then we’d be too self conscious to get close… or would we?

Somehow I got conned into going to church tonight. I haven’t served as a deacon during a liturgy in almost a year, why did I agree? If you’re Coptic Orthodox, you’d understand that: when a man in black puts his arm around you and says “Can you..” it’s very hard to say no. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how rebellious you are in other areas of your life. I’ve seen grown men, with uni-brows and the kind of foreheads that have vains popping through them because they never smile, the kind of men who have scars on their face from a bar knife-fight, or something much more frisky… I’ve seen these very same men turn into kittens, by the arm around the shoulder, and the “Can you….”

In many cases its out of guilt. Somehow there’s a connection between that black robe, and some sort of cosmic good luck charm, that fears impending doom lest we upset it.

I dropped the Coptic guilt a long time ago. It was probably around the time when I was 5 years old, and decided that it would be a good idea during the sermon, to cause a disturbance. What the disturbance was, exactly, I couldn’t tell ya, I dont’ remember, but I remember at the time, it was the most novel idea, anyone could have ever thought up, in the whole wide universe! How I snuck away from my dad, I have no idea, but all I remember, that as soon as the disturbance began, it ended, and I was being dragged home, and I sat on the couch waiting for Father Michael to come over my house, when he asked me “Paul, why did you do that?” What a great question! Seriously, when he asked me, I was stumped. Why did Armstrong go to the moon? What made Basquiat splatter paint on a canvas and show it to Andy Warhol? I kinda just shrugged my shoulders, when the death sentence was proclaimed. It was during the Reagan administration, so people were more ok with it, back then. It was settled, No ….   *sigh*... no TV. It was torture. Did he have kids of his own? (He’s Orthodox so therefore he did) Did he understand that in America, cruel and unusual punishment was against the bill of rights?? I kinda pouted, but part of me felt satisfied that I had the guts to do something that was so risky.

Where was I going with this? Oh yea. Was it guilt that got me to agree to go to church tonight? Absolutely not.

In the case of Fr. Moses, it’s because I trust him. I really do. It’s more of a brotherly / fatherly love that he shows me, and I trust what he has to say. If he says “go do this” it’s not because I have to, but it’s cause I’m just curious to find what’s there waiting for me. Maybe there’s a reason I’m supposed to go to church tonight. Nadia was supposed to take me out to dinner and cancelled. This man has mentored me for so long, since 1999 actually, and even tho I hadn’t seen him at all between 1999 and 2005, he left me with a lot of wisdom that I carried with me all those years.

So yea, there is no water, but we got green food coloring. Someone suggested I wear a ‘Kist Me I’m Irish’ t-shirt.  Like that joke hasn’t been played out.

Anyway – Happy St. Patty’s day everyone… Cheers!

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