I Am Going to Hell, Part 498
I have been told many times that I am going to hell. That should come as no surprise. It rarely happens to me in a professional environment, but my wanton blasphemy cannot be contained to social situations. Apparently.
One of my esteemed coworkers (Let’s call her G.) is by most people’s standards a sweetheart. She may or may not be partially deaf in both ears. She wears hearing aids in both, but even when they are removed, she seems to have just enough good hearing to gather all of the office gossip you don’t want her to head. However, whether it’s part of her elaborate ruse or not, she screams when she talks. She listens to her headphones at a decibel level that allows all of her neighbors to enjoy her almost daily freak out to “Glamorous Life” by Sheila E. It’s loud, y’all. I thought that she was about 60 years old until another coworker told me that she was about 40. The matching concept for her attire would be best explained away by color-blindness, but I am afraid she is just what nice people would call eclectic.
She’s basically harmless, save for her penchant for chewing with her mouth open; that kills me.
I can’t put it any more delicately than to say she is a Jesus Freak. I know this because I am privy to her end of every cell phone conversation she shouts. She talks about how Christ does everything for her but make her dinner. She cavorts for hours on the phone about church picnics, what scriptures she heard on television the night before and most importantly about the sovereign enemy of all that is Christian, The DaVinci Code.
As an aside, I have read and hated the Code. I thought it was crappy writing about an interesting, if contrived, set of events. In many ways it was clever. (The Holy Grail’s a chick! Why didn’t Monty Python think of that?!) It even made for some clever tv shows on the Discovery Channel. And yes, his research/plagiarism is impeccable. But overall? It’s hack fodder that panders to the least common denominator. I don’t care if you think me a snob or a communist for not liking it. A friend of mine summed my feelings up about it perfectly: Can you believe Dan Brown made that much money using the word ‘suddenly’ in every paragraph? I did that shit in 5th Grade, and my teacher totally called me on it.
Example: Suddenly, when faced with the option to buy a croissant, Robert Langdon remembered that in Cryptography school he had taken a class that taught him that no matter what Catholics were trying to hide, monetary units could be exchanged for goods and services. This information would come in handy when Langdon wanted to buy his precocious, over-educated, French damsel in distress a Mona Lisa t-shirt from the Louvre gift shop. Or….would it?
At no point did I have problems with fictional representation of Jesus as a family man who got it on with a red-headed whore. However, my coworker did.
A few weeks ago she walked past my desk one day, and apparently there was something DaVinci-related on my monitor screen. She asked me, “You gonna see that?!” The sheer volume of the question nearly knocked me out of my chair. “See what?” I relpied.
“That DaVinci thing? I can’t believe they are even showing that in the movies.”
Me: “Oh. Um, no.”
“I don’t know. I read the book and it was shitty.”
“You know you are damn right! I didn’t read it, but I hated it. Can you believe they were saying Jesus was married and had kids?”
“Oh, I don’t care about that. I think that’s awesome. I just thought he was a bad writer.”
“YOU THOUGHT JESUS HAD SEX?”
At this point, many people turned to look at me. Were they wondering, did Z just tell a deaf woman he thought Jesus was a fornicator? Maybe. I don’t know. What I did know is that I had just accidentally started a debate that I didn’t care about. I would debate, though, because I do care about debating. It’s delicate, my life with cognitive dissonance. Really.
(whispering-Just assume I am always whispering.) “G, please. No. No. Whatever. I am just saying the book had some interesting theories.” I was defending Dan Brown and hating myself like I was eating the last piece of pizza in the box. In one sitting.
(shouting- Just assume she is always shouting.) “Oh, Jesus! You don’t even know! You don’t know he had sex with no one. He didn’t have kids!”
“Listen, I am just not bothered by the theories. The book is fictional. That means it’s not real. A good way to remember that is fictional and fake both begin with F. My mom is a librarian.”
“He didn’t! He didn’t! The Bible says so.” I was not even going to get into a debate on strict, scriptural interpretation. I only have so much energy and emotional stability. And I didn’t want to clean up the mess after I blew her mind.
“Look, G. Neither of us was there, so it looks like we’ll never know.” Ha! That was true. No one will ever know. I win! But then she just started to glare at me. Like I had just eaten the last slice of pizza in the box. And it was hers.
“I am going to know someday. Do you know why?” I nodded no. “Because Jesus is going to tell me when *I* am in heaven.”
Ouch. G just told me I was going to hell. It was just her way of saying “Go to hell” and predicting an almost certain future at the same time.
So, I did what any hellbound helot would do. I told her that she was going to have to wait in a long line to see Jesus. Good one! Sigh. So, I followed it up with a “People tell me I am going to hell every day, G. You’re like the 23rd person today.”
Epilogue: The next day and each day after she treated me as if nothing had ever happened. Those uber-Christians are rowdy but ultimately forgiving, after all. The DaVinci Code movie opened to middling to bad reviews. I still think the book sucks, and wish that America would fall in love with reading something good.