Pocket Bible

MacAvity's picture

I couldn't think of a satisfactory title to suit the real purpose of this entry, so I'm throwing in this thing about a pocket Bible as well, because that made a nice title. I found a pocket Bible the other day, with a green plastic cover and bearing the information 'THE GIDEONS INTERNATIONAL' and 'THIS BOOK NOT TO BE SOLD,' on a Dumpster. So I took it. Nobody leaves things on a Dumpster if he wants to keep them anymore. Although, usually if he doesn't want them, he puts them in the Dumpster. Maybe it just seemed wrong to put a Bible in a Dumpster, I don't know.

Anyway, I've never had a Bible before - my family has been heathen for five generations in one direction, and two or three generations in the others - and even if I don't believe any of the God stuff, it's still a supremely famous and influential piece of literature, and therefore worth reading. Plus I'm sure it has loads of excellent philosophy. I've read part of Genesis before, up until Adam and Eve get kicked out of the Garden of Eden - has anybody else noticed that the snake was the one who was telling the truth, and God was either lying or speaking figuratively? - ...and here I have forgotten how I was supposed to finish that sentence.... Anyway, this is only the New Testament, of which I had read nothing. Today I read Romans. I don't know why. Having everything broken up into these tiny choppy bits of sentences with numbers between made it kind of hard to read, and not a lot of it registered. But at the end there are some bits that don't really seem to fit into a holy text. For example: Romans 16:21 'Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Socipater, my countrymen, greet you.' Doesn't this just translate to 'Tim, Lucius, Jason and Socipater say hi, by the way...' ? Lucky old Timothy, Lucius, Jason and Socipater, I say. By saying to Paul one day, 'Hey, Paul, what'cha doin'? Writing a letter? Oh, whoever it is, tell them I say hi!' they got their names in the single most read book (unless the Old Testament counts separately) ever written...

Regardless of the pocket Bible, and hoping I haven't offended any Christians out there (although we here probably can't take Romans too seriously, since that's where it says all that bad stuff about homosexuality...). The real point of my entry is this:

As I wrote on Sunday (or whenever that was... Friday? Saturday? Whatever...), on Thursday I asked my friend Leigh how long it was after his own heartbreak that noticed someone in any sort of romantic way again. He was, naturally, uncomfortable with the question, and did not answer it just then, saying he needed more time. Then the weekend happened, et cetera et cetera, and so today I saw him again and carefully rebroached (which is a word, spellchecker! first-person singular perfect active indicative, to broach again!) the subject, and again got no answer. The poor guy was obviously tremendously uncomfortable, and I don't even know why he didn't just refuse to answer the question at all - I specifically told him, 'It's okay if you don't want to say.' He kept stalling by claiming a lack of understanding of the question, even though I think I had made it clear enough. I told him, thinking it might help, 'You don't even need to say who. I'm just asking when.' So I think I will get an answer to that, eventually. But I have two fears for when it does happen:

Fear the First: In his case it will have been much, much longer than four months between the incident of heartbreak and the first incident of any romantic noticing. I will be launched into a horrible state of doubting how much I really was in love. There's a line in The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (which I didn't think was all that great a book, but this one quote did resonate with me) - '"Edgar, do you actually think that how long a person grieves is a measure of how much they loved someone?" ...He found he couldn't answer her. What if he did think that the length of a person's grief was a measure of their love? He was as troubled by the simple fact of her asking that question as by his own inability to answer.'

Fear the Second: He will tell me when, but not who. I will not know whether this is because he is simply supremely uncomfortable in sharing this information, or because the person he noticed was I. Wishful thinking will say he's in love with me; reason will say that anything wishful thinking says is highly suspect. Reason will say that he is in love with me - I am a close female friend who also happens to be pretty, smart, and fond of him, after all - caution will say that I shouldn't act on any assumptions, because the consequences could be horrible. And Fear the Second will probably come to pass - especially if he is in love with me, because I'm sure he wouldn't voluntarily 'make things weird between us' by confessing his feelings, because he knows I'm gay... but he doesn't know that he is the sole remaining exception to my homoromantic inclinations...

So out of rare optimism I'm keeping my mouth clean just in case: if he tells me he loves me (in a romantic way, of course), I'll kiss him. But he won't tell me. Optimism is unfounded. Optimism is always unfounded.

I'm not in love with him. I love him, and I would be willing and even eager to transition the relationship from a platonic one to a romantic one, but I'm not in love with him. I don't know how that works, but it's true. It's like, my love for him is platonic, and I also have a mild romantic attraction to him, but the romantic attraction is merely an attraction, not love - the love is separate. That's the best I can describe it. But really, that's good enough for me right now.


lonewolf678's picture

well then,

i hate too sound preacher-ish but it sounds like the vest pocket version of The New Testament was there for some reason. if it has The Book Of Psalms you should look through it, i think it's really neat. i hope i'm not offending you in anyway, to many people it's more than a book. the stereotypes about the book of Romans and Christianity are a little disturbing that once again stereotypes run rampant in every-which-way. i'm not trying to convert. i'm just saying give the book a read it has interesting things in it. and don't feel like you're the only one who is thrown off by the layout of the text. :)

MacAvity's picture

Hey, that's exactly what I'm

Hey, that's exactly what I'm doing, 'giving the book a read.' I'm sure I won't find religion, but I'll be a bit better educated and just maybe even a bit wiser.