Thursday, April 13, 2006

Adventures in Childhood

Our families were members of the neighborhood baptist church but when we were really young, Lon and I were the only ones who attended semi-regularly.
It was pretty hypocritical for our parents to kick us out of the house on Sunday mornings to attend and then stay in their robes and pajamas but I guess it was the only way to guarantee having the houses to themselves for at least an hour.

When we didn't make it to church, we were sure to have visitors from the church at our houses on Monday.
Most of the time we saw them coming; the church was so close that they would walk to our houses. If we spotted them, we'd bug out to someone else's house or hide outside somewhere.
All we'd have to do was scream "CHURCH PEOPLE!" and everyone would scatter.

If we did get caught by the Church People, we fell victim to an hour of "You need to keep Jesus in your life if you want to live in the house of the Lord." and shit like that.
This was not fun conversation for 8-12 yr olds.

One particularly hot afternoon, Lon and I found respite from the unbearable Gulf Coast summer heat in her grandmother's house, who happened to live next door. She was probably filling our bellies with cookies and lemonade when we heard a knock on the door.
Not expecting anyone in the middle of the day, she peered throught the window and said, quietly, "Church people!".

She was a cool grandma and she knew we hated to get cornered by these Bible thumpers, so she allowed us to hide in her bedroom while she entertained the holier-than-thou.

Who knows how long we sat in her tiny bedroom, perched on top of her granny-like bedspread but we started to get a little stir crazy.
A little teasing turned into a nudge, which turned into into a push, which turned into a shove, which turned into an all out fight.
We wrestled each other trying to make the other person yell "uncle" but we were both stubborn as hell and we weren't giving up.
There was hair-pulling, arm-twisting and shoulder punching but finally I was on top of Lon on the bed. I had her arms pinned on each side of her head and I KNEW I had won but that little shit was flexible and somehow, she got her ankles around my neck and just as the fight was about to get serious, her grandmother opened the door to see what the HELL was going on.
We froze in our awkward positions, me on top, holding Lon's arms to the bed and Lon with her legs wrapped around my neck.
We didn't think about all the noise we must have been making but it must have sounded like two wild animals turned loose in her house.
Behind Lon's grandmother, peered the dreaded Church People with lips pursed and disapproving looks on their faces.

Her grandmother said nothing and quietly closed the door.

We attended church that Sunday.