She was always a believer.
A believer in God, I mean. And not just in God as Mystery, or in God as a shared dream or a cosmic game of hide-and-seek with every one of us as its players. Not God as some non-spatial, non-linear connectivity wherein time is curved light or light is frozen time.
No, Dana was always a believer in THE God. THE very left-brained, very male God of Western history. The God who put everything-but-everything that anyone ever needed to know or ever could know about himself down inside the snug confines of a single book. The God who worried a great deal over specific things like where humans stuck their bits and pieces and how many cubits wide a temple ought to be.
Clear-cut. Simple. Well-defined.
She believed in him and so she followed his rules and so his rules led her (eventually, inevitably) away from me. And when she was as far away from me as she could get and in strict compliance with every one of those well-defined rules he had set down in writing, then THE God began making changes in her life, just as he had promised her that he would.
First he smashed the left side of her brain up so hard she became a virtual prisoner inside her own head. Then he had her husband go away. Then he had her brothers and her sisters and her mom and her dad, her aunts and her uncles – all believers to a one – shrug in unison and say, “Sorry. We can’t help you. We’re pretty busy people.”
Maybe it was just her cross to bear. Maybe a test. Maybe she was being punished for something. Maybe God and Satan were using her to settle a bet.
Whatever it was, she still believed in him and so she still followed his rules and so his rules led down a path where (eventually, inevitably) no one was left to help her but me. I mean, she couldn’t very well take care of herself by this point. Her four children could not take care of themselves. Her four cats, one dog, two turtles, fifteen tarantulas, ten scorpions, one grass snake and an amblypygid could not take care of themselves.
And that left me.
Now, I am not much, so far as saviors go. I am sort of a walking, self-contained occasion of sin. I was foretold explicitly at no fewer than three places in the Old Testament and at least one in the New.
And so Dana the Believer, well, now she is trapped way down inside her own living Hell upon the Earth. She believed in the God. She knew his rules. She did everything within her power to follow those rules and to get away from me once and for all. Yet here I am – back inside her home, taking care of her and taking care of her family – and all she can do is to lie there and to watch as it happens.