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“‘Cause a lifetime’s not to looooooooong…”

4 Jan 2010 (Mon)

Oh look, Day One of writer’s block! Le sigh…..

So I’ll just do this chronologically, which means I’ll tell you about how I remember seeing “5:04 AM” on my clock this morning and thinking, “It is way too early to get up, especially when I have nowhere at all to go.” But evidently the memo didn’t reach my brain, which immediately launched into a spectacle of dream-cycle weirdness wherein I agreed to participate in… wait for it…. a production of Friends Forever.

No, I’m not kidding. I can’t make this shit up. At least, not without the assistance of my unconscious brain which does indeed make this shit up.

Of all the shows it had to choose from, my brain went with faith-based musical theater. If I could text-message my brain, I would send it a hearty, “WTF?!” It’s entirely possible it was not a production of Friends Forever; it could have been a production of Room 77. Or a bizarre amalgam of both; it doesn’t really matter. I just remember having to walk onto a stage and pretend to open a locker that wasn’t actually there (I guess it was a low-budget production?). I’d only had time to read through my lines once, because of course, there were no rehearsals for this production (I often have dreams about various events for which I’ve been denied prep time, but what that says about me will have to be a topic for a future blog post). So in the dream, I forget all of my lines. OF COURSE. But I was already familiar with the play, so I just made shit up, trying to casually segue into the next song about Jesus helping me say no to drugs. I’m sure the segue was not casual at all, since opening a locker is very rarely prelude to any song, let alone one about a Jesus-fueled intervention. And then I woke up, apparently startled by my own inelegant segue into a Jesus song.

Some of you might have just gotten stuck on the phrase, “I was already familiar with the play,” and I don’t blame you. Yes, it’s true: in my teen years, I was a member of a youth group which produced several faith-based musicals. I’m extremely hesitatant to share this fact, because I recently saw Jesus Camp and was appropriately horrified… That shit was disturbing. And part of me wants to let this morph into a diatribe about how much I wanted to punch those religulous so-called “leaders” in their collective Evangelical face; and about how much I despise the current state of organized religion. And then I’d talk about how lucky I was to be part of a youth group that never once taught me preachiness, or invasive and judgmental recruiting techniques, or that infuriating religious arrogance we all know so well (thanks, Christian Right-Wing!). But such a diatribe would be emotionally exhausting, and isn’t nearly as much fun as recalling the unique(ly ridiculous) musical stylings of Michael W. Smith…

…And also I just wrote 80% of a diatribe and it was crap, so I deleted it.

So there it is, my religious confession about shitty youth musicals and how they were actually kinda fun. Maybe if you get me reeeeeeeeeeally drunk sometime, I’ll tell you about it. And if you get me even drunker than that, maybe I’ll also tell you about some of the not-even-remotely-religious things we did. Because despite being members of a faith-based social organization, we were also normal, relatively well-adjusted teenagers in early 90s’ suburban Maryland. And it was pretty awesome, 80s-tastic Casio keyboard background music notwithstanding.

And honestly, if any Jesus-hawkers happen to wander in here and feel offended, please do not wave ’round your Jesusfish like a badge of fucking honor. If you do, I will have to openly question exactly how secure in your faith you really are…

(Sorry, just a tidbit left over from the diatribe. I’m done now.)

~ r.

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