Friday, January 28, 2011

Cruising for Righteous Babes with Jesus



Lately I've been suffering from a colossal depression. I'm not interested in anything. I can't concentrate. Every distraction is a defeat. Every setback requires a nap. Nothing seems worth doing. All this came into focus for me the other day when some guy sent me a direct message on Twitter that said he found my “...offerings to be without purpose, direction, continuity, or a sense of meaning!”

Colossal depression of the tropical variety on the left. Another one building on the right.
I looked at my most recent blog posts, and had to agree that he spoke the truth. As it turned out, the guy wasn't even talking about my blog, but I still have to own up to the fact that I haven't put anything up for weeks that resonates in any meaningful way. I've tried—sort of—but my heart's just not in it.
In fairness I think I have a lot to be depressed about. I've been without work for 28 months now. That's two and a third years. That's a long damn time—longer than anyone else I know about, longer than seems possible for a smart guy with good skills who doesn't wear a tin foil hat or twitch at inappropriate times, like whenever someone mentions unsolved serial killings.
Two years of relative idleness is not good for a man's mental health. After protracted joblessness he begins to lose faith in himself. He resorts to mind tricks or chemicals to prop up his flagging sense of worth. He starts deluding himself. He develops a rich fantasy life, which he then has difficulty separating from reality. He may become a danger to himself and others. At last, desperate to resurrect the person he used to be, grasping for any glimmering shard of hope no matter how remote and fanciful it may be, he begins to suspect that there may be something to the law of attraction after all.
This is me in my current form—broken, depressed, useless, delusional. I buy lottery tickets I can't afford. I drink martinis for dinner, persuaded that the olives constitute a salad. I fantasize that I am rich and content. I visualize the trappings of the life to which I aspire. I imagine everything in high definition and technicolor. I've even started trying to attract money--the hard part being that I think The Secret is bogus.
I have settled on a specific sum of money to attract, and that is $749 million. I'm told that it is just as easy to attract a million dollars as it is to attract hundred. If this is true there is no reason to be shy. I think I know where this number came from. Originally I was thinking of just $700 million because I dreamed once that I had somehow come into that amount. That was many years ago when it was still a princely sum. Now 371 of the 400 people on Forbe's list of the richest Americans are worth over a billion dollars. $700 million is not such a huge number anymore, so I added a little interest. Not much really...I'm not after more than I deserve. $749 million seems pretty reasonable.
Anyway, now that I'm busy wanting, visualizing, believing, deserving and otherwise attracting all this money, I've also begun to imagine where I might spend it. Travie McCoy's brilliant little song, Billionaire, featuring Bruno Mars helps. He's got some pretty good ideas about how to spend a true fortune, and the song's reggae beat makes It a nice soundtrack to the movies I'm running in my head of me in my Lamborghini, me entertaining my friends poolside at the waterfront villa, and me speeding across a mirror smooth lake in my Aquariva Super. I'm telling you I am down with the visualizing.
I've even added a new twist. Call it folly, but I think it gives me an edge. It adds weight and sincerity to my visualization process. It proves my faithfulness, and demonstrates that I am a force for good. When I fire up the Lambo in my daydreams to go cruising for chicks, I take Jesus with me.


Now I didn't come up with this idea all by myself. It had its seeds in a comment made by the wife of an audit client way back when I was in public accounting practice. The client and his wife were born again Christians. She was also a singer, or at least fancied herself one, and appeared with some regularity on the local Christian TV station as a guest witness and performer. They were doing quite well for themselves, my client and his wife, and had just bought themselves a brand new Rolls Royce Corniche. Some toady from their church had stopped by the office to visit while I was there doing field work, and asked the wife how she felt driving around town in that big old Rolls. The wife announced, a little too proudly I thought, that it felt “just like drivin' for Jesus.”
I don't have any idea what that meant to her. To me 'driving for Jesus' would connote something like using your car to deliver meals to the poor or taking homeless folk to a shelter or to a clinic for medical attention or something like that—stuff, in other words, more like what Jesus would have done had he found himself suddenly in possession of a really posh chariot. My client's wife wasn't doing anything like that. She was too busy flitting from one designer boutique to the next, decorating their new waterfront condominium.

What really driving for Jesus probably looks like.
These people made other equally obtuse statements over the course of several years that led me to believe that, although they could both quote chapter and verse of scripture, neither one of them had a very clear understanding of what it actually meant. Still, they had the wherewithal to buy a Rolls and a luxury apartment, whereas I am now ungainfully wherewithout. It just seemed natural, when I went off the deep end and started wishfully wishing for more money than Jesus would think it prudent for me to have, that I ought to borrow something of their attitude and sense of entitlement to fortify my program.
It took me a while to get this right. The first thing I had to consider is would Jesus want to go cruising for chicks? I decided that I could probably talk him into it by occasionally letting him drive. Who doesn't want to drive a Lamborghini? As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus may know everything, but He hasn't experienced the visceral thrill of dumping the clutch on 12 cylinders of screaming Italian mechanical opera. He will jump at the chance.

Pedal to the metal - Jesus uncorks all the horses of an early Italian high-performance sports machine!
Once he is in the spirit of the thing, the chicks will just be a collateral attraction. He ought to be used to this already. I mean there's that whole thing of Mary Magdalene rubbing his feet with perfumed oil and drying them with her hair. She wasn't the only one throwing herself at him either. Jesus was a chick magnet in the Bible, and there's no reason to suspect that, as a wing man, he couldn't eclipse George Clooney. The more I thought about it the more I realized this idea was a natural.
The next problem I had was how to dress him. I mean we all have this picture of Jesus in a belted tunic, cloak, and sandals. This won't do for driving around in an ultra high-performance sports car. Jesus needs some modern garb for the task. I thought about this for a long time. I figure Jesus, even in the 21st century, probably wouldn't be very ostentatious in his dress—no designer duds or high-dollar Italian loafers for Jesus. He would be the same unassuming, modest person we know from the Bible—just updated. I see him in relaxed-fit jeans. I think he'd still wear the sandals because I wear them too, and, well, some things ought not to change. Sandals have withstood the test of time where tunics have not.
Since we're all casual in jeans and sandals, I think a t-shirt is appropriate. I figure Jesus would wear a message t-shirt. One thing about Jesus—He was always on message. If they'd known how to silk screen tunics in ancient Judea, He'd surely have had something poignant emblazoned on his chest.
Bringing His message into modern times presents a problem though. A t-shirt message has to be cool. It has to make a stand, but it also has to invite solidarity. Ideally, it ought also to be just abstract enough to elicit conversation. This is a heady mix of requirements, and it had me flummoxed for a while. It's hard to get your creative side juiced up when you are depressed, so I spent a lot of time driving around with Jesus in a plain white t-shirt. Then one day, without notice or fanfare, He just showed up in a black tee with gold letters that said simply, “WWID.” Perfect. When it comes to the message, you just gotta let Jesus be in charge.
I've shared this visualization business with my wife. I thought at first that she might be upset as she's been pretty adamant since the beginning of our marriage that she doesn't think I should date anymore. Driving around, looking for girls, didn't seem like it would be an activity she would approve of. But really it's just a technique to solidify my claim on the $749 million. She's okay with the money, so she ought to be okay with the process. How much trouble could I get myself into? After all, I'm with Jesus. 

5 comments:

  1. Oh boy, so much to respond to here. First of all, yes, I think you could get in mucho trouble with the wife, Jesus or no Jesus:)

    In response to the first part: your words resonated with me because so many people I know are going through a time of feeling disappointed in what they've accomplished and where they are. You should block the guy who sent you the direct message! We've all felt what you describe (well, all writers at any rate) and just know that your words do mean something.

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  2. I was going to block the guy, but then I realized that he hadn't read the blog, or even any of my tweets. What he did was find a definition of 'aimless,' and send it to me as a way of telling me I had hit the mark so to speak. His real intent was to get me to go to his web site and sign a petition to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman condemned to be stoned to death, which I did.

    BTW, my wife thinks you are cool to stand with her on the cruising for chicks issue.

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  3. My heart goes out to you. My long time boyfriend has also been looking for full time highly qualified accounting work for 2+years up here in Michigan. I have been reading you for months now and thoroughly appreciate your wit and story telling charms. If I had a magical suggestion, I would share it. I hear you, and you are not alone.

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  4. I hear ya. I've been struggling with depression too. And Jesus would definitely have worn a message t-shirt.

    That's a given.

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  5. I think Jesus missed the memo about all that. Guess the evangelism committee never told Him how to do it right.
    Christian tv

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Comments are always welcome. Tell me what you like and what you don't. Information, encouragement, criticism--I don't care. A day where I don't learn something new is a day lost to me.