ER Love, Some Dudes, One Line, Alms for the Poor and My God: Douches

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Well, it started out as a promotion that backfired on me. I went to a couple of sites, sent out free books to posters there and they were supposed to hype the book. Everywhere else was going fine until the Digital Webbing thread kicked up. First review dropped was nothing short of horrible but, thankfully, everyone stepped up for the book and basically said the first reviewer was off his rocker. So now I can pimp the thread again and not only that but I have a new idea for an upcoming Here’s the Thing… article, “You’re Transparent, Dude”. So far the second official reviewer to pop up on the DW thread was Rodney Roberts who has a pretty fucking slamming site worth checking out.

I also wanted to direct you all to two cats with art worth looking at. Dan Schmidt and Ben Dale. Dan is the artist on Kel Nuttall’s new Nothingface and he has a back-up coming up in Speakeasy’s Hunger #5 and Ben is busy on some stuff as well which isn’t announceable yet, from what I understand. Haven't linked to artists in a while and these cats deserve a little love.

Thirdly, continuing work on my chapter book and here’s one of the lines my douche-bag, thinks he’s Donald Trump character says after his coworker tells him that he’s not looking at something the right way: “Huh. That’s a great hypothesis. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you slap an introduction on that, write up some procedures. Record your results, make some conclusions and then slap it all on a poster board and enter it in the fucking science fair!” This is going to be so much fun to write.

And finally, before story time, wanted to direct you to a very sincere request from Elk’s Run writer Josh Hale Fialkov.

_______________________________

There was this kid, we’ll call him Douche. Probably about five-foot-nothing, stocky, tried to look like Joe Pesci. He always would claim his father was in the mafia although as we got older we heard stories that leaned more towards his father’s business being “protected” by the mafia but nothing beyond that. Either way he rolled with an entourage and his entourage thought he was hot-shit which made him hot-shit in Carroll Gardens.

Quick recap for the newbies – I grew up in between two neighborhoods: Carroll Gardens, which was all Italian, and Red Hook, which was all Latino and Black. I’m a white looking kid (thanks to my Italian mom) with a Latino last name (thanks to my Puerto Rican dad) and I got the shit end of the mini-race war that went down everyday. Alright, back to Douche…

After Communion we had several more years of CCD before we did Confirmation. These were the hard years, the nun years. Communion was us accepting Jesus into our lives. The build-up towards Confirmation was letting us know how fucked we are if we shit on the promises we made at Communion. Without getting into too much detail today, rulers, closets and corners where all motivational tools to get us to fear Jesus’ wrath (which, obviously, only got us to fear the nuns wrath).

CCD wasn’t fun anymore.

When our last year came we were all stoked. I actually quit being an alter boy and decided to just get this whole thing over with and then keep my distance up until the next sacrament like every good Catholic. Part of Confirmation, however, was my first and only Religious retreat.

I don’t think it was an over-nighter. I’m pretty sure we just got to this place pretty early in the day and left pretty late at night. I’m not even sure what the place was, I seem to remember it being somebody’s house. It was out in the country, green fields and trees and we spent a good part of the day sitting around and talking.

After several invigorating hours in which we discussed Jesus, love and penance against a backdrop of Hellfire, we all had some free time to enjoy God’s creation. Not to squander this free time, we sat around and bitched about the waste of a perfectly good day.

Whereas we were all a little irked, none of us were as upset as Douche, apparently. Being a good Catholic, like all wanna-be Italian mobsters claim to be, he decided to walk up to me randomly (with his entourage), push me up against a wall and ask me what I was looking at.

“Not you.”

He let go of my shirt, smoothed it out like a bad movie cliché, and told me that I better not be looking at him – he doesn’t like when spics look at me.

I was kind of shocked, obviously. It was the first time I was ever called a spic and the only time in my life someone actually said it to my face. I’d occasionally get it in emails or over the phone but never did someone look my biracial ass in the eye and call me a spic. I’m as white as my momma’s ass.

Nothing happened, no fight. Douche and his crew just walked off after pushing one last kid into the side of the building. It’s just funny, he was the kind of kid that went to Catholic School, wore a cross around his neck and went to church every Sunday with his family, had the whole Sunday dinner. And here he was, during a religious retreat, picking fights and spewing racial slurs.

Like I said yesterday, I realized slowly that religion is what you need it to be. For Douche, religion was something that made his feel protected, righteous and ultimately forgivable. For me, religion became something that didn’t let people like Douche in.

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