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A Mattress cannot protect you from God
SSar's Beast

You suspect your grandmother reads your Livejournal when...

...fewer than 12 hours after you update it saying you should really write her a letter, she sends you an email emphasising how nice it is to hear from you.


It began when I wanted to listen to some CDs I hadn't heard for a while. Most of my CDs are in a suitcase which props up my bed. As I was pulling my bed apart, Joel turned on his computer's playlist as an intermediate distraction. 'All Along the Watchtower' came up. I mentioned I loved it, but I wasn't sure what the lyrics were really about.

"It's about the two messengers of Revelation," Joel said. "In a somewhat allegorical form. Here, you've got your Bible around somewhere. I'll find you the verse."

I am not a Christian; both my parents are securely atheist. I simply own a KJV Bible. It occasionally comes in handy.

I started reading Revelations 11 and was soon absorbed. "Hey, so this is where all these famous literary allusions come from. The number of the beast! The barcodes!"

"I feel the need to point out," said Joel, "that the Bible doesn't literally refer to barcodes.

"SSar," said Joel, "I suggest you don't read too much of Revelations at one go. It's a bit much to take in."

But twenty minutes later I was still sprawled on a mess of duvet, mattress, and pillow, having decided to go back to the beginning of Revelations and start there.

Joel looked down at me.

"If you put the bed back together," he said, "we'd have enough space for that game of chess you wanted earlier." I took no notice. "Or," he admitted, "it is a Saturday night. You can go wild and stay up late reading the Bible."

(Wow, thought SSar. The book of life! The four horsemen of the Apocalypse!)

"Wow," said SSar. "The grapes of wrath! Now I get it."

And then Joel explained it to me further, so I really got it.

And then I wasn't so happy.

"The Christians," said Joel, "are much nicer people nowadays. They say they believe these things, but they don't really mean it."

(But it's still in their holy book.)

"The Christians," said Joel, "don't really believe in their Bible any more. The Muslims still do, which is why they're willing to go out and kill people in its name."

(But they still believe.)

"So," said Joel, "do you think the Catholics had it right about not translating the Bible into English?"

Which began a brief but interesting discussion of the persecution of William Tindale and the once-supposed superiority of the Latin text, despite the fact that it was written in Hebrew and Greek (but the Hebrews, well, they're Jews, and the Greeks were into sodomy and that's Bad). Which only distracted me a little from the fact that God's hatred was just a bit too much for me to cope with.

So I crawled under my handily upturned mattress.

Half an hour later, Joel said to the lump on the floor under the mattress, "Have you finished your theological ponderings?"

"No," I said. "I'm wondering how people cope. Grandma, Bex, Morna Lorden, Lois. How they cope with all this horrible stuff in their faith."

"You could ask them," Joel said. "They'd probably have had this question before."

Which brought up the popular image of the smart-alec atheist, saying, 'If God is the God of Love, how does he let all these people suffer and die?' And that wasn't my question. But because it was the reverse side of my question I wondered how I could ever ask it and get an answer I could understand.

The bed eventually got put back together ("Most theologians agree that a mattress cannot protect you from God. Most of them,") and I eventually stopped crying and I wasn't angry at anything. But it made me feel quite alone and confused and scared. And everyone feels that way sometimes, and everyone has go through this sort of alienation at some point. And although it's always better in the morning, the facts are also still there.

(by Txt History)

Mum to SSar, 11:33am
Are you still ok to have a game sometime today? If not, just say! Love you, mum

(Meaning an online game of go on the Kiseido server.)

SSar to Mum, 11:37am
A game would be lovely. Say 2pm?

Tal to SSar, 12:31pm
Hey. Are you going to the library at all today?

SSar to Tal, 12:33pm
I wasn't planning to, but... it's handy...

Tal to SSar, 12:34pm
I'm not feeling well so staying home. Would you pls be able to briefly pop in and book us a study room for tomorrow?

SSar to Tal, 12:35pm
Sure. From what time?

Tal to SSar, 12:37pm
About 2? Thank you:-)

Mum to SSar, 12:38pm
2 works fine, what room?

(The Kiseido server is organised around different 'game rooms' sorted by interests, skill level, and/or nationality).

SSar to Mum, 12:39pm
Your text is ironic for reasons I will explain later. See you in the English Room.

It somewhat spooked me that I had received near-interchangeable texts about totally different topics from different people in different cities, but less than a minute apart.


Tonight, for the first time ever since we moved in, in the first week of February, my flatmates and I all had dinner together, with a sort of internal pot-luck. That's kinda cool. I am rabidly foisting my baking off on anyone who'll stand still. There is lots left of this batch of lemon cake.

STARZEND I have your copy of Monstrous Regiment; Jess and Luke came by yesterday and dropped it off to us. IF YOU WANT IT BACK SAFELY YOU MUST VISIT.

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They always say dont negotiate with terrorrists or kidnappers.
Perhaps I shall have to stage a daring raid on your fortress of terrorful (and repressed) terror!

on another note, I was thinking its been a while since we all played risk...

*HUGS* from afar.

The Bible is troubling at best. I think that your reaction to it (or reactions that could be similar) was one of the reasons we didn't read the revelations in my Bible class. I was disturbed enough by the last book of the Narnia Chronicles to want to avoid the Revelations as much as possible. Love the Mattress/God thing though. It's had me giggling for the last ten minutes.

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