So I’m sitting here, right? It’s 9:30 on a Saturday morning, I’m drinking a cup of cold brew, looking out the window at drizzly-cloudy day, getting ready to read my students’ work. And the doorbell rings.
Guy in a suit. Young guy, white, earnest glasses, unsmiling. Right, Jehovah’s Witness. I open the door, he mutters something, hands me a pamphlet, and turns away. I didn’t even get a chance to say ‘Good morning.’ Not much of a witness — but hey, it’s 9:30 on a Saturday morning and it’s drizzly-cloudy. Who can blame him for wanting to finish his chores and go find a dry place where he can get a cup of…do Jehovah’s Witnesses drink coffee?
Where can we find answers to life’s big questions? The pamphlet seems to suggest we can find them on our smartphone. Android phone, by the looks of it. Sorry, Siri. But what ARE life’s big questions? They’re listed on the back. Which of these big questions concerns you most? They’re not the questions I would have asked. Which is maybe one of the many reasons I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness.
What is the meaning of life?
Is God to blame for our suffering?
What happens when you die?
I’m a tad disturbed by the way the last two questions are phrased. Is God to blame for OUR suffering, and what happens when YOU die. Our suffering, your death. They don’t want to come right out and say ‘Dude, we know what’s going to happen when WE die, but you? Different story, bud.’
I don’t know…all I wanted was a cup of cold brew coffee, a few minutes to scan the news, then get my homework out of the way. Now I’m faced with these three questions. Fucking doorbell. Never should have answered the door. Never get out of the boat (no idea why Apocalypse Now popped into my brain).
Okay…meaning of life. I don’t know. Not very concerned about it. Eat well, get to know some interesting people, be curious, help other folks when you can. That ought to do it.
Is God to blame for our suffering? I don’t know. I don’t believe in god. But sure, why not? If you’re going to go to all the fuss and bother of believing in god, you might as well give him something to do. Shoulder the blame–that ought to keep him busy. And everybody who claims to speak for god, let’s hand them a share of the blame too. And let’s give a portion to all those young guys who ring doorbells at 9:30 on a Saturday morning — they sure as hell added to my suffering.
Right, what’s next? Oh…what happens when you die? I don’t know. Does it matter? I mean, regardless of what happens you’re still going to do it. It’s not like it’s optional. I totally get the idea that a lot of folks believe that if you live your life a certain way, then after you’re dead you get to join god’s special club. Like if you practice the clarinet, maybe you’ll get to play with the marching band. Or maybe you’ll just piss away a lot of time playing the clarinet. I don’t know. Can’t get very concerned about it.
By the way, I did a Google image search of ‘god clarinet’ to find a visual to include in this post. So okay, I don’t know the meaning of life and I don’t know what happens when you die, but I think this has to figure into it somehow:
Seriously, you ought to do that image search. Brilliant. And that earnest young man who rang my doorbell this morning? If not for him, I’d have never seen this. Maybe there really is a god and this is his plan.
One of those. Praise Jeebus.