We were presently celebrating the post-birthday dinner of my adored friend Anthuria and Ligurio, her husband, marinated by a few bottles of fermented intoxicants, began evangelizing like a true blue fundamentalist.
Now it cannot be denied that a couple of beers bring out the philosopher in people. A few swigs and The Very Secret Of The Universe can be summed up in steady doses of slurs. Beer is also the precursor for unspeakable sap to dribble out of normally quiet mouths. Knowing this natural human tendency I generally shut up as to matters of the heart when gargling beer. This serves everyone the mortification and awkward, glacial pauses. This policy also saves me from potential blackmail.
Ligurio is not despised but not well-embraced either. He started as a cocky fiancée into a cocky husband to our beloved friend and save for yours truly nobody in our close circle of brutal twerps have the patience nor the combustible neurosis to put up or argue with him on things that by and large of no interest on anyone but himself. It’s pretty clear to everyone that Ligurio is what we can call The Reverse, The Contrarian, or to put it bluntly, The Recreational Autistic. He is tolerated but fenced and this social viciousness among people is something I do not agree with. Yet I respect my other friends’ coping devices with regards to people.
We were having a hearty discussion on provenances of friendships with correlation to how none of us were mutual friends, yet, eventually, ended thusly. This was Ligurio’s cue to launch into how Finding Jesus Made Him A Better
I would like to flatter myself that I am an open-minded, highly-demented individual with appetite for absurdity and warped humor. Yet at that particular moment, when Ligurio was about to hit the chorus line my ingrown was snoring. My calves lost all sensations and my smile froze like a marionette whose inner strings snapped and for good measure ended up with a perpetually-pasted half-smile.
I could have been a perfect spokesperson for Botox.
Anyway, this got me into thinking. Why is it that people who slid off the sidewalk, hit their cranium on asphalt, emerge with exploding epiphanies that compel them to convert everyone into their newfound beliefs?
The offensive thing is they make it sound like all along everyone else is ignorant that Jesus exists. Like it’s as if it was the first time someone discovered him and it never happened before! It’s as if tribal members in the jungles of
People will get upset that I am doing this in somewhat irreverent tone. I am a purebred Catholic, and happen to have very intimate friends coming from various religious denominations. I keep an open mind about philosophy, spirituality and the power of independent choice. God bestowed it to Adam and Eve, and in as much as I share The Word subtly in times that beg for it, I do not buy the rabid fundamentalism that go with the badge of a New Convert. Maybe this is a personal lapse I need to correct. But how dare I assume that because people do not share my beliefs they will be cast in Dante’s Limbo or share Sweetened Peking Duck in Beelzebub’s den?
“You should join our sessions sometime!” Ligurio insisted in breathless perseverance.
This pressure exhumed a very hilarious incident during college. Our classmate, a sweet, good-natured quiet type invited us to a ‘concert.’ Bored, restless and the fact that she’s hot hooked us. We went to the concert venue, my friend Moses, Jonah ( an ex seminarian), Isiah and myself braved a labyrinthine area of the city and finally made it to the venue. Normally this should have triggered the gongs in our heads. This is not
Uh, Oh. We gasped. Too late to rotate and flee. We were literally surrounded and ushered into the middle of the court where people were praying over loudly and clapping and singing Alive! Alive! Alive Forevermore!
My three polite friends stifled the snickers while I convulsed like I got the Tourette.
“You know brad (attenuation of brother in thick indeterminate accent),” said a very earnest fourteen year old whom we shall call Mini Elijah (I was six years older than him at that time, yetI'm getting a stern lecture from someone yet to hit puberty), “I used to be bad! I steal! I lie! I (insert a litany of aberrances here to which I spaced out and teleported myself to
“Let’s all pray over you in the middle of the court!”
My three catholic schoolboy buddies followed him like hypnotized frogs. I remained sitting in the bleachers.
This prompted Mini Elijah to come back and fetch me.
“Brad sa gitna tayo, para ma pray over ka.”
Being a natural sport I excitedly replied, “Sure Brad!” Then added, “Dito na lang ako!”
Sensing I’m not a How-To civilian nor a Me-Too society type fueled his resolve all the more to absolve me from my deviant ways. He closed his eyes, and loudly vocalized a wail that can put Gregorian requiems or the solemn dirges of Hildegard von Bingen to pale in comparison.
“LORD!” he yelled raising his hand above my head. “WRITE THE NAME OF LOUDCLOUD IN THE BOOK OF LIFE!”
I was completely awed: A preadolescent commanding The Almighty to save unworthy little monster such as myself!
Rising from this unscheduled reverie I stared at Ligurio who was exhorting everyone to repent or else.
Did Mini Elijah grow up into Ligurio?
I took another swig of bland beer to stifle the shudder creeping up my spine.