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Laura, Toucan Editrice

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lesson, Gale Acuff

In Sunday School today Miss Hooker saidto me in front of all my classmates that
she loves me and wants to marry me and
even though she's 25 and I'm just
10, she doesn't care, and she can't wait, but
then again she could wait forever. Not

really. I dreamt it in the few seconds
I was dozing when she was going on
and on about David and Goliath,
a story I like but I've heard it lots,
in every grade of Sunday School, in fact,
and Goliath seems to fall with less force
every time. I'm a sinner, it's true,
so maybe I can't appreciate God
the way I should. And I'm getting older,
too, so maybe this is what grownups do,
care less and less year after year and stay
home from church, like my folks do, but their kids
have to go because they "need the morals."
What I need is a bologna sandwich

to keep my stomach from complaining but
I guess because Jesus died on the Cross
I don't really know about sacrifice.
It's funny how dreams last longer than life.
I can live and die in a few minutes
of sleep but when I'm awake time won't pass
fast enough for me and I might die at
80 or 90 and I'm not sure that
I have the patience. When you die you go
to see God, Who assigns you to Heaven
or Hell. At this point I'd say I'm Hell-bound
if I die now but the good news is that
I'd get to see God face-to-face, if He
has one. I'm not sure but I'll find out and
keep it in my mind when I'm with Satan
and maybe it will take some of the heat

off me down there. I might die at any
time and in about any way, even
get run over walking home from Sunday
School or struck by lightning if it's stormy
--or not. It could even be Miss Hooker's car
that takes me out. "No man knoweth the hour,"
she says. I guess she should know, she went to
junior college for two years. I love her
and want to marry her and have babies,
she'll have the babies I mean, they'll come out
of her body though I'm not sure where or

how but that's between her and God, I guess,
10 would be a good round number if we
have enough money. What am I saying?
It will never happen because she's old
and I'm young and only a miracle
will bring our ages closer together,
a miracle or the only other
thing I can imagine and that's a dream,
but dreams only last when you're having them.
Sometimes I don't want to wake up from mine
but I know if I don't I'll wake up dead.
Maybe being in Heaven's like a good
dream and being in Hell, that's a nightmare.
Anyway, I woke from mine right before

Miss Hooker asked me to lead the class in
the Lord's Prayer. That was a miracle
itself. "Yes ma'am," I said, and stood up and
closed my eyes and looked down and remembered
not to put my hands in my pockets but
held them straight at my sides and got through it
without forgetting a single word and
said "trespasses" and "trespass" instead of
"debts" and "our debtors" like at some churches.
Also "Amen" but with many voices,
Miss Hooker and my classmates drowning me

out. "God bless you, children," Miss Hooker called
"--you may go now." I was the last to leave
so Miss Hooker and I were alone but
I didn't tell her what was on my mind,
or maybe it was in my heart. I just
took a long last look at her beauty, her
red hair and green eyes and one's lazy, it
wanders like a little sheep, and her best
feature, all those freckles, like stars on her
body, everywhere I can see and where
I can't, too, I'll bet. What good is love
when what you love won't love you back, or can't?
That's what the Crucifixion means to me.
If I go to Hell I'll still be satisfied,
and if I don't I'll still thank God I'm dead.

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