27 April 2011
8 help. please.
sooooooooooo, dear peoples... we're going to do something wildly random and exceedingly strange.
i've been working on this horrible bitch of a blasted exorcism/writing thing that the naked lady bar has savaged time and again. it's due to them for the fourth pass on friday and i've decided this has got to be the last go-round before we all go mad and it trots off into the ever after of whatever it's going to be.
a most inconvenient resolution given that the little shit appears to have belligerently set up camp in the parking lot adjacent to the arena of sensei's approval.
it's close. it's not there. i need help.
sensei demands imagery. so, think concrete details like water temperature and toenail polish, concussions and chlorine.
removed from all context and the 12 pages that surround it, here's what i've got (your assignment is at the end):
I was twelve. I was awkward and afraid of public speaking. Standing in front of 200 people and walking alone down an aisle was a nightmare for which juice and crackers and the vague connotations of cannibalism therein seemed a terribly small reward.
But this wasn't even the scariest part. Coupled with this was an intense terror of baptism.
Each new believer, after braving the aisle, was to be symbolically reborn through baptism. It was an odd production that, from my vantage point in the crowd below, seemed to have been pilfered from one of Busby Berkley's lesser water ballets.
The timid new believer would be led into the waters, which no one ever had the forethought to warm, so that the public profession of faith whispered into the microphone pinned on the minister's lapel would be punctuated with a near-deafening chattering of teeth that would ricochet about the sanctuary like gunfire bouncing off the walls. The preacher would then hold a cloth over the believer’s nose and dip him or her backwards into the water in what, more than anything, appeared to be a poorly executed drowning.
As this process was being conducted by ministers rather than life-guards and it was performed on victims in billowing robes and bare feet, there was always drama.
Dizzied by the lack of air, the believer frequently lost his or her footing, the feet kicked up and a wave of water went cascading over the baptistry’s edge, splashing the congregants in the front row as though this were Sea World rather than a sacrament. If that weren’t humiliation enough, water inevitably went up the victim’s nose and the remainder of the service would be interrupted by the hacking coughs of the recently reborn.
Baptism was in dire need of a better promotional campaign. Every week, smiling children walked up the aisle, beaming ecstatically, to commit their lives to Christ, only to be submerged the subsequent Sunday afternoon and emerge sobbing as though fresh from a face-to-face with the devil, their extremities gone blue from the water's cold.
It didn't exactly make one want to follow in their footsteps.
And so, when I finally did take those first steps down that aisle on my own way to a commitment to belief, I did so in spite of a host of fears, including a dread of being singled out in public and a near-certainty that I was going to drown.
so there. now. tear it apart. tell me what else you want to know, what i've missed, what i've got all wrong and if you've got any good baptism stories i can exploit, spill...