what do you believe in?
When I was 9, I had this teacher who would tell us all kinds of complete fucking shit. He was a religious fanatic. I was in a catholic school and he was a known fucking maniac, but he was really nice and friendly to children. Kids really looked forward to having him as a teacher. But he was also fucking insane.
He would take detours from whatever the lesson was an tell us about religious conspiracies, that when the End Times come, the Chosen will have microchips in their skin that will save them from Annihilation and fucking I know this is the stereotype, like entry level conspiracy nut, but it was just shit like this constantly, and he’d tell us that the Second Coming could be tomorrow and it probably is. He said that the class he had the year before us was praying once and three girls saw the Virgin Mary appear. She flew up above the door and kissed this picture of the Pope, then she hovered over to the bible table and had a gentle, loving laugh. Then she looked at the girls and vanished.
One time he said there were some priests praying in a church on a hill during a war and bombs were going to go off and the priests prayed for their lives to be spared and an orange force field appeared around the church and protected them.
One time he said he was really caught between trying to choose whether or not to go to university in Canada or America and he was driving down to some school to check it out and a truck beside him had “Thomson” written on it with Canadian and American flags beside it. His name was Tom. He knew then that it was a message from God, saying, “Tom, son. It doesn’t matter. Both schools will be fine so you can choose either. I’m fucking showing you both these flags so you know that you are safe going to either school.”
Fuck, one time he said he really wanted a wife and he asked the priest what to do and the priest said to just pray. He prayed in the church and then a woman walked in and she later became his wife. He’d fucking just tell us this shit. Like he prayed to the lord because he wanted to get fucked and a woman just walked at him.
These are just the things I remember off the top of my head. Every day it was shit like this but usually more bizarre. We believed every fucking word of it, too. He was really nice so it seemed impossible that what he was saying wasn’t true. He said that the Book of Revelations predicted that the end of the world was really soon and baited some kid into researching with him when the exact date would be. He already knew all this shit but I guess he wanted to make it sound more legitimate to have this kid read some passages with him and be like, “Well this is predicting that it’s 100 years from 1898, so where does that leave us?” and then the kid said it would be 1998, so fuckhead was like, “Goodness Anthony you’re right! Jesus is going to come back to this world in only 3 years!” Then when it was time to sit on the carpet in a circle listening to his shit, he broke the news that Anthony had helped him research that God was fucking going to end our lives in just a few years. He’d say that in the bible, Jesus told John that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” and that Jesus isn’t just talking shit. He asked us if we knew how close “at hand” was. He put his arm out and reached and was like, “There. See how close I can reach it? Just out of my hand, really. That’s how close The Time is.” So there was another fucking layer of absolute anxiety to constantly worry about.
One time these two kids in my class were crying at recess, completely inconsolable, like they had seen someone get hit by a car or something. We asked them what was wrong and it took a while for them to even be able to put into words what was going on. They had gone to church and some fuckhole priest told them about what the Second Coming is going to be like. Maybe not even that. It really just seemed like one of many possible religious apocalypses that would probably happen soon. He said the sky will be red, there will be blood in it or fire. You’ll try to hide, but you are still seen. If you look out your basement window, you’ll see a cross on fire and you’ll get fucked up. Angels will be screaming and taking your life to put you in your new body. Shit like that. You know how you hear the standard Judgment Day shit? It kind of seemed like that but all these fucking non-sequitur human terrors punishing you for arbitrary reasons. So the priest had gone on about shit like that at a mass and scared the fuck out of these kids. So when we got back to class, I think some other kids had brought it up to the teacher. Then this fuckup goes on to elaborate about all that. He doesn’t try to comfort the kids or just let it go, he further emphasizes how we’ll get fucked up by this earth inferno day because you weren’t the ones who were truly repentant. Even then I started to realize this guy just talked complete fucking shit.
He laid a depth charge on me once though and even a year or two later it kept me awake. He told us that our time in Heaven would be eternal. There are feasts even though you don’t hunger and you drink even though you aren’t thirsty and you just fuck off in Heaven for the rest of time, which didn’t really even count anymore. It just kept going. I think that’s when I first though of eternity and being in Heaven forever and what it would be like to never have that end. Maybe it’s when I first really thought of my consciousness and what the phenomenon of experiencing your own mind and time and your own life, really. Like the awareness of the awareness of these things. Anyway again I was terrified. I thought of being in these empty castle halls just hollowing drinking and eating things and wandering around, encountering people you’ve longed become bored of, just fucking off forever with the weight of knowing that this never ends always present. We kind of segment our experiences, we have phases of our lives or distinct parts of our day, or even just sleeping every night, that frame the shit we go through into compartments or narratives. There wouldn’t be any of that in Heaven. It just keeps going. All this meaningless shit forever, and that’s this awesome reward. I started to get reality panic and I got out of bed and told my mom that Mr. Fuckhead told us shit that once again is scaring the fuck out of me. She called him the next day and gave him shit I think, even though it had been at least a year since I was in his class. Come to think of it, she called him a bunch of times about being a fucking complete lunatic to 9 year old children.
Cripe, one time he was angry about evolution and he told us it’s a flawed idea. Even though we were in a catholic school, we were watching videos about evolution and early humans migrating across the world. That fucked him. He said it’s not like that . When you sign up to do a race, a car doesn’t just appear in your garage. That was another thing that even as a child, I could tell there were elements missing from this fucker’s brain. He was angry that scientists thought a racing car would just appear in the garage.