Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 25

   From the time I had spent as a hermit my body had atrophied, so I was beat for three days after my last workout. Now I've cut back to just 15 minutes on the tread mill alone till I get the basics back up to strength. If I feel ok tomorrow, I will slowly step it back up to a half hour over the next few weeks and only then will I start doing weights again.
   I've been doing some doodling art, strange, complicated stuff with a pen. I showed one to Curtis and he liked it so much that he asked me if he could copy it. Sure, why not? The kid reminds me of a cat I used to have, running around and doing odd things.
   I just realized that I am getting Baptized for the third time in 2 days. I know it says you only need to do it once in the Bible, but to me, you really should know what it means when you do it. I was Baptized as a baby in a Catholic ceremony, and then about 20 years ago I was Baptized by Bill Hybels himself in the lake next to the Willow Lake church. Bill was the spiritual adviser to Bill Clinton and the founder of one of the biggest churches in the United States. Looking back, my fruits really didn't indicate that I had truly believed. I was still smoking, getting drunk and stoned, not to mention all the girls out of wedlock and worse. Now, I have put those things behind me, I am a new creature, so I need to be, or should I say, I need to have a real Baptism. It is a symbolic death and burial of my old life under the water to rise again into my new life in Christ. The last time was at a mega church bigger than a shopping mall, this time will be through a small humble church on the south side of Chicago. I like pastor Bower more than Bill anyways, lol.
   Curtis just told me that when he was a kid he found himself between a heater and an electrical outlet, holding his Dads car keys. He had tried to put them into the outlet, then bounced back and forth a few times. I started laughing and said, "That explains a lot!" LOL.
   Ok, I am surprised I had never written this story down before, so here goes. Back in the winter of '96 I was a volunteer at an exotic animal sanctuary in southern Wisconsin. I helped build cages, clean them out and gave tours, I loved be so close to Tigers and such. We had refurbished the room above the surgery ward in an old corn crib building for the volunteers to sleep in if they came out to help over a week end. It was primitive, but we made do, we even dragged up an old wood burning stove to make it livable in the cold weather of that winter. The owners, E.J. and Jill where having marital problems and decided to separate. I knew E.J. liked to reload ammo, but it wasn't till I helped him move out that I saw the scope of it. It took us all day just to get his guns and ammo out of the farm house. That was a long day... and it was going to get longer. Around midnight I'm trying to sleep in the loft above the room we had put together in the corn crib. Corey, E.J.s son had somehow messed up the wood burning stove, smoking me out of the rafters. I climb down, weary eyed and sit exhausted on a beat up old couch across from where Corey was fixing the stove. Suddenly we hear heavy footsteps coming up the stairs and through the door bursts an infuriated E.J. he is a 350 pound, slightly psychotic ex-cop, his eyes are bulging out and he is mad! Following right behind him is a man I recognize as the guy that was his partner on the force, who looks at me and sits very close to me for some reason. E.J. starts yelling at his son, Corey, "Is there something you want to tell me? Is there something you've been keeping from me about your mom?" He keeps on grilling him at the top of his lungs and the story slowly comes out. Jill had been at the towns Pizza hut with her new boyfriend, kissing him while Corey was there and he never told his father. E.J. felt betrayed by his son and by the way he was yelling, sounded like he was going to kill him. I had a front row seat. I slowly looked up to where I had been sleeping in the rafters, thinking about how my guns where all up there. I now knew why E.J.s partner had sat between me and the ladder and was now watching me closely. As he kept berating his son at the top of his lungs it dawned on me that I was going to die. I simply looked up and prayed to God, "I am in your hands my Lord, do with me as you will." A calm came across me. After what seemed like an hour E.J. calmed down and presently I saw him turn towards me. Zeroing in, he took a few short steps and belted out, "Well, she has been f****ing everyone else, I suppose I have to ask YOU! HAVE YOU BEEN F***ING MY WIFE TOO?" I just kind of weakly sat there and said "" He accepted it and turned away as I suppressed the urge to say that she really isn't my type anyways, lol.
   By two in the morning they where gone and I was thoroughly physically and emotionally whipped out. I couldn't stay and get back to sleep again, so I packed up and drove the hour and a half back home, the events of that night rattling around in my brain the whole way. That was a long drive in stunned silence.
  About six months later I backed my pick up truck along side the gate to the garden at the farm. Under the tarp in the back I had my fully loaded shotgun and AK laying where I could readily reach them. Jill and that there boyfriend where getting married in the garden that very day and everyone that was in the inner circle knew what that might mean. The wedding party all where packing under our nice suits and dresses and now I can say that I have really been to a kind of shotgun wedding.

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