Jimmy stands about five foot nothing. I used to stand five foot nothing, too, or so I am told by those who should know. This would have been roundabout fifth grade or maybe sixth.
I grew; Jimmy did not.
I like Jimmy and I like it when he stops by. I like our long talks deep into the night. You see, I do not trust many people, but I trust Jimmy, except when he starts talking belief and talking doubts.
Jimmy says he’s never had doubts – not a one. This makes me suspicious. I have my doubts about Jimmy’s doubts.
Mark 9:24 says, “Lord, I believe; please help me in my unbelief.”
Tertullian said something like “Creo quia absurdum,” which means, “I believe because it is absurd.”
Even Mother Teresa admitted to forty years(!) of doubts and constant questioning of her faith.
But not Jimmy. Never a doubt for that boy. Angels, pharaohs, burning bush. Virgin birth and talking snakes. Revelation. Prophesy. Seven seals and regrown ears. Nephilim and two by two. Ninety year old moms and six day worlds. No problem!
Bring it on! Jimmy believes. No, more than that, even. Jimmy knows. He’s sure.
Jimmy smokes cigarettes and I do not smoke cigarettes (except when Jimmy is here). But I understand bad habits, so fine. I get it. Really I do. Jimmy smokes cigarettes.
And Jimmy votes Republican, which makes less sense to me than the cigarettes, but I do have a worldview and I have picked a side before, so I can wrap my head around it. A little.
And he is vegan, which is sort of like being gay, I guess.
But when it comes to belief… I mean, when it comes to really believing, well then, I just don’t know. It is not like five foot nothing and it’s not like cigarettes. It’s not like voting Republican and it’s not like vegan food.
I just don’t know.
Now it’s 3 a.m. and I am in my living room and I am smoking Jimmy’s cigarettes. Jimmy’s asleep on the couch – over there – and I’m weighing the possibility of breaking open the man’s head.
So that I can see the belief, I mean. To see if it’s there. To see if it’s real.
Or maybe not the head. Maybe the chest. This might take some digging, seeing as I’m not even sure what it is I’m looking for.
What would it look like? How would it smell?
You know, I’m okay with God. I really am. That much is clear to me. I know wonder. I know awe. I know babies and kittens and wise men, and I think I know love and hope and fear, as well. I have stood out on the thirty-fifth floor downtown and I have looked out across and seen forever. I knew Dana. I have heard In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. And so on and so on. Whatever.
But I’m not sure I believe in belief. I’m not sure the belief thing is real.
I can’t relate.
And that’s why Jimmy’s getting cut. He’s just a little guy; this should not be too hard. I’ll just break open his rib cage and I’ll feel around inside ‘til I find something that I don’t understand.
I’ll bet it’s oily and green and parasitic and blind.
Jimmy’s dying for a damn good cause tonight. We should all be so lucky… or blessed.
I’m going to miss Jimmy’s visits and our late night talks. I won’t have anyone to discuss religion with anymore. I’m even going to miss his cigarettes.
I’ll smoke one more now and then we’ll get this thing started.
I’ll let you know how it goes, believe me!
(All of the pictures this time out are from Tatomir: http://tatomir.deviantart.com/).