I’ve been uncomfortable around Christians since my father came out of the closet. I’d never seen religious bigotry up closebefore then: blatant, ugly hypocrisy in action, that tainted my view of the Church at large.
I don’t know if everyone on my mom’s side of the family still go to church, still call themselves Christians, or even still believe in a god, but it feels like they do. At the very least, they’ve all been socialized within the context of a church, bred and raised among people who emphasize human kindness and politeness in public.
For whatever reason, I’ve always been more at home with my father’s side, angry, embittered misanthropes who usually lubricate their holidays with liquor. There’s a worldly wisdom in them, a weariness that comes with the weight of recognizing the harsh and unforgiving reality we inhabit. A world where it’s impossible to reconcile an omnipotent yet still caring creator.
Among my mom’s side of the family, I tend to be more reserved, not the least of which because of the uproar I’d likely cause if (or more likely when) I cursed. Loudly. There’s a sense in my gut, wholly unrelated to the turkey and mashed potatoes, that says this is how undamaged people spend time together, so I try my best to remain aloof and not hinder their joy.
And on the road between my families, and two dinners I’m not sure I’m up to eating, I recognize that both are parts of my whole. That neither part of me would be better off without the other.
I have two things to be thankful for. One, that people like my mom’s family exist: good, naïve people, ready to live in the better world we may some day create. And two, that people like me exist, who will try like bastards to make that world for them.
"The world will always need bastards, because things start to go to hell the instant people start to believe their shit doesn’t stink. Bastards live to illuminate the faults of others, to break up the monotony of living with the faults of our own."