jehovah was the man for me for quite some time. nine years to be exact, from eleven to twenty. i walked every step of my youth based on what that cat thought was best for me. let's see, just to name a few things that were consequentially his “fault”:
-i didn't kiss a girl until i was twenty years old. (when i did spell check after i got done writing this i noticed i had put "twenty tears old" there...interesting). as a JW (jehovah’s witness), we weren't allowed to date until we were old enough to marry, and it must be within the religion. i know that age parameter can vary to great degrees, but let's see, as a JW i'd say that was generally around twenty-one years old. the reason for that i believe is that when one gives up the normal pursuits of a teen to run after god, by the time you're getting out of the teen years you're damn ready to start catching up with those things. so the JW's hit twenty or so and immediately fast track towards physical contact, since now they finally can. so i spent the formative years shoving the bible down girls’ throats, when really i should’ve been shoving my tongue. i was really, really into it, as all JW’s when they learn the religion believe themselves to have learned a secret truth. they actually call it “the truth”. i believed i was going to survive armageddon, god’s war against the wicked, due to unleash, according to prophecies in daniel and revelations, imminently. so…to get back to the late smooch…i was twenty. i had never kissed a girl. i had turned down more dates then i cared to remember, and had suffocated my desires as a consequence. but around eighteen or so along came an inkling within me to leave the religion. it took a couple years to take full root, but at twenty i decided it was time to go. it must have been about thirty seconds after that decision was finalized, my mind turned to sex. since this decision was made and i would be leaving soon anyway, i might as well get laid. so i proceeded to hook up with this girl i worked with. we did it in the back of a van. at twenty, i got my first kiss, blow job and sex, all in the same night.
-i lost my family because of the big guy too. after the sex incident, the elders (older men that overlooked the congregation) found out i had sex because my best friend in the religion andy told them. he felt obligated, as the bible says if you know of wrongdoing, but do not report it, you’re as guilty as the culprit. so andy tattled. his father, an elder, and another elder, walked up to me while i was at work at blockbuster video, jumped the line, and asked me in front of about seven unsuspecting onlookers if i had had sex. my heart stopped, literally. i had to tell them yes. a week later i was disfellowshipped, which in catholic terms would be excommunicated. what does this mean? it means I was kicked out of the religion and my parents were not allowed to speak with me anymore. if i continued to go to the kingdom hall (the JW place of worship), all the people there could not speak to me. i was allowed to sit there and listen, but no one could acknowledge me. fun times.
-i didn’t celebrate any holidays. as a sixteen, seventeen year old, no biggie. it pretty much sucked as an eleven, twelve year old. i mean, i had just spent ten years of bliss on december 25th, and all of a sudden it was yanked away. now i’m eleven and december 25th was just another day. the weeks leading up to that day at school now consisted of me constantly having to explain to my friends why i couldn’t partake in the festivities any more. try explaining biblical beliefs to your friends at that age. try telling them you can’t celebrate christmas or your birthday any more because certain passages in matthew, mark, luke and john forbid it. more fun times.
-the masturbation guilt. oh man, the masturbation guilt. wow. where to start? well, masturbation isn’t specifically forbidden in the bible by word. but the JW’s, as with many things, took some liberties with biblical phrasings and outlawed this great act. i believe it fell under “carnal desires”. now listen, i was fourteen, my body was bursting with a zillion new curiosities, and they all seemed to want to manifest themselves out of my penis. under normal circumstances, this is great. go to town. explore the seven seas, the moon, the virgin islands, whatever the fuck you need to do. do it ten times a day. enjoy yourself! but! as a JW…fuggitabottitt! i find it difficult to describe what it was like to be fourteen years old and to want to whack the doodle twenty four/seven, and to not be able to! it’s fucking insane. this is like asking a rocket, once launched, to not fly. a boat, once birthed, to not sail. a cookie, once battered, to not bake. i would be flipping through the sears catalogue, checking out the ladies lingerie, and what’s the next NORMAL HUMAN MALE INSTINCT? you know. we all know. but then the big guy would pop into my head. sex and god in the same brain process is so unnormal, so wrong, such a buzzkill. the ultimate confusion. the anti-peanut butter & jelly. all i wanted to do was release and all he wanted me to do was retard. ugh, what a process that was to calm the desire, breathe deeply, and back that shit up. put ‘er back in the garage. i could only do that so many times and the NORMAL HUMAN MALE INSTINCT would win out. sometimes i would go a few days, sometimes, weeks. if i made it to three weeks without doing it, it was pretty much a miracle. every time i did it, the guilt was through the roof. i felt soooooooo bad. i felt like i was letting god down. feeling like you’re letting god down is pretty heavy for anyone, but it’s pretty hardcore for a teenager. almost every time, right after i did it, i would pray. that visual just blows my mind when i think about it today. i picture myself, pants around my ankles, dick deflating from exhaustion, and my hands clasped in prayer position. me, asking him for forgiveness, in the glow of release, but with a ten ton weight of guilt weighing me down. it’s enough to fuck anyone up for a while, i think. all i know is, if i ever have the blessing of raising a child, i’m gonna set the wee one up. victoria’s secret catalogues, ken dolls, lotions, masks, dvd’s...whatever kid needs, kid’s got it.
people worship in a church, beg god for forgiveness. sin again, ask again. it makes no sense to me. my church is my world, and the hope that i can be as good as i can, be as honest as i can, be as beautiful as i can, and hope that those around me protect that idealism. i’m not naïve, and i know the world won’t necessarily abide, but at least i get to jerk off whenever i want.