Thirty-one years ago, on this date, August 11, I financed my first brand fucking new car. This was about the time the Boss was racing in the dark, but long before, or so it seemed in those days, that the Dead Milkmen busted out their song which burns rubber to say it all about this slamming automobile. My 305 sported a virgin five point one miles on the odometer when I drove it off the lot. A drag city stripper, a beautiful consumer chick cage. A bitchin' Camaro. The Milkmen nailed that much.
This 1976 Chevrolet Camaro was the nothing less than the magic bullet for a non-gearhead like myself. For I would go on to put 96K miles on that metallic blue automobile in the thirty-six months I owned it, traveling back and forth to Texas several times, and winding among the backwaters of the five southeastern states of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee in which I worked as a surveyor for a prestigious civil engineering firm headquartered in Atlanta, flummoxing mayors, city managers, and county engineers with the well-packed trunk and backseat full of bush axes, machetes, hubs, stakes, chains, range poles, level rods, magic markers, flagging, tripod, transit, level, and a truckload of other tools of the trade, all ingeniously organized and functionally accessible when needed. I shall return to this topic. Right here, in this space.
There's so much to tell, not the least is generating an explanation for those fag shorts...
Well here they are George, taken from the Ferrar Fenton translation (copyright 1931) given to me by none other than a man named George Rounthwaite in 1979 as a gift from his personal collection as I was departing Texas in my Camaro lock, stock, and barrel, for parts yet unknown. After a few months in south Georgia failing to integrate the two racially divided Episcopalean congregations of a small town named Darien under one roof I ended up at a chicken farm in NE Florida, all of 23 years old, but that's another tale, yes another tale of days gone by. As I said before I have "never engaged in this sort of thing before" (yet another Dylan line), but I had suddenly found myself wanting to lay it on the composite line so to speak with you, revealing at least to one other interested literate person a lifetime of influences specific to mine and and perhaps thine own struggles and differences, an exercise perhaps engineered to help us move past the milk and cookie stages to the meat and potatoes corridor of our respective faiths.
The fact that Jesus himself suggests the closet as the best place for prayer doesn't encourage me to break out of this penchant for privacy as it regards communion with the Everliving God.
I realize that I open myself to possible criticism (if not from you George, then from that all deceiving enemy within) because these selections are rather lite on the touchy feelie praise the Lord Sunday School sort, omitting the likes of John 3:16, and so many pastoral sayings of Jesus, uplifting and relevant, but if I might be so bold to stand behind this weedy crop I've listed here as the twelve most troublesome, and therefore most influential chunks of scripture, I cannot help but to identify the pivotal marks challenging my adult faith starting with the Jehovah Witness years and on past the Rounthwaite era as the transition of Gabriel Thy from Richard Spalding Nix has opened me up like a can of worms. Even when I broke away from the Bible, having nearly drowned myself in it for several years, I would still return to most of these sections for a refresher sip of mystery and intrigue, joy and correction.
Also, I need to amend a statement I recently made about my usage of the word L-O-R-D. There exists a deep-rooted problem I have struggled with since childhood: praying in public. In fact doling out secular praises in backslapping and bluster just ain't my style. This may simply be a negative by-product of a volatile childhood upbringing, but while I tend to pray and communicate rather vigorously in my own privacy, having written to you on this topic, I suddenly realized that I DO UTTER the word L-O-R-D with ease in my own audible but private prayers and supplications. Yet I still cannot comfortably free myself enough to engage in public worship of any sort save the debate on which I thrive (no doubt as splendidly as Paul's sophists). The fact that Jesus himself suggests the closet as the best place for prayer doesn't encourage me to break out of this penchant for privacy as it regards communion with the Everliving God.
And yes, twelve is a lonely number. I could have easily expanded this list to 24 pieces, but then that was not the original parameter agreed upon. Any commentary or questions you have concerning my own list will of course be welcomed, and perhaps we can both refer back to our lists over time to help clarify an issue of current affairs and the like, should we continue this friendship of letters. They can be read here in Scripture Bleed.
Meanwhile, peace, love, understanding, and great sailing, yon skipper!
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""