2005-10-14

For the Tainted Love of God

"John.
What is He doing?"
"Seeeeng-ing"
John the Hot Baptist could barely keep his eyes open, let alone answer a question or determine, let alone be lucid enough to fall for what, from me, was an easy manipulation of an Apostle. I wished Mark was there. Or Matthew. They sang like canaries as long as I gave a giggle and a smile. I needed someone around who could tip me off as to why Jesus would get on a stage at His favorite bar and do karaoke when usually, the start of karaoke would be His impetus to leave.

Jesus had a beautiful voice but He didn't really sing in public. He liked to sing along to the radio in the car, and He always sang in the shower but most of the time, He kept it private and liked it that way.
This was definitly new and Jesus not being one for anything new, I was concerned.

Up there on the platform at the back of the bar; Jesus made even the most pathetic little space feel like it was special, and exciting. He had charisma, that one.
But He could be mean as a snake and when those opening chords played, I could feel him waiting to launch heavily emotional antics in my direction. I leaned back and settled into John's chest, forcing myself to not give in to the Lord.
He doesn't own me.
We broke up four months ago.
I'mhaving a fling with John.
This is stupid.
Why the hell is He going to sing Soft Cell and why do I have this sinking feeling right now?

I reached for my Jack and Diet Coke.
But as the song started, time slowed and I could not stop thinking about Jesus being my boyfriend, about how much I loved Him, and about how fine a line there really between heavenly love and the hell of love failing.
I felt John the Hot Baptist's arms tighten weakly around me.

Jesus, again with the beautiful voice. It was undeniable. He has a whiskey-tempered, manly voice and as He sang, I watched Him so closely. I couldn't help it. I feel mysel fsoften into the memories of the love of God. The same thing, whatever it was, had sucked me in three years ago and now, even though I basically hated Him, I was mezmerized and over-powered.
He had that effect on everyone but I don't think He knew it. Rather than give attention to the people who sought Him out, He was always on the hunt for the few people who facsinated Him. He was raw and physicially commanding over those of us who He felt touched by. He wanted to know what it was that He couldn't understand.
Huh.
Don't we all, Jesus?
We're only human, afterall.

People loved Him and I loved that people loved Him. He took over every room, you know? People would hear about this or that mean-spirited thing that He did or said but those same bastards would get in the same room as Him, or be at the same party out in one of the Illinois cornfield near to where we lived and they just….
Melted for Him.
His jokes were hilarious.
He was sharp and witty and charming.
Or not – I'd seen nights at one of the regular bonfires we attended, where Jesus avoided all other guests and spent hours sullenly poking at the fire with His poking stick in one hand and that damn Hamms in the other.
Hours.
And people just sat around Him, waiting for something that I could never put my finger on.
He was breath-taking.
What can I say?
I eased out of John the Hot Baptist's arms a little and moved toward my Jack and Diet Coke. "Where goheeeing, girleee?"
Jesus Christ.
I mean, you know, in the exclaimatory way. John was really fucked up. "I neeed to go HOme. HOme. C'c you taghk me HOme, preee'y girl?"

Three years with Jesus wasn't wasted time. I would have walked on water without His holy help if it meant that I would still be His girlfriend. I loved Him unconditionally. I felt like, because Jesus was in love with me, I was finally special. I finally had the attention that I craved as a teenager. Jesus was larger than life to me and I knew we had something special. We had a connection.
It didn't matter that He was mean sometimes. He always apologized and felt aweful about it later – so bad that I often had to console Him because He felt worse about making me feel bad than I felt… about whatever He had said that was so appalling. Like once, during a brithday party for me, He stopped by and He was mad because my girlfriends were still there, spread out on the floor with me. I was turning 25 and felt like I was really more mature than 24 was. My girlfriends and I had decided to make white wine spritzers and watch Survivor. What can I say – it seemed grown-up. Heather made risotto and this was back when Terry Tyler was one of my close friends; before she and Peter got…. Involved.
Jesus knocked and opened the door on His own. He barely said hi to my friends. He didn't seem like He was in a "mood" or anything so as He walked me into the kitchen, I thought He was going to give me something special or that this had all been planned with the help of Chelsea and that Jesus was whisking me away to Greece for my birthday.
I really wanted to go to Greece. I was so excited with naïve possibility…

He leaned down and told me that He wanted to talk to me because He felt like I was gaining weight and He wanted me to be perfect.
I was speechless.

God, for all intents and purposes the Al-fucking-mighty, was telling me to lose 20 pounds and to wear more make-up.
On my birthday.

I refocussed on Jesus up on the stage, casting His spell over the crowd. They clapped along with Him but He only looked at two things: the karaoke screen and me, as I settle back into John's arms, limp and weak as they were next to Jesus. "Mmmmmmm. tha'sss my pr'eeeey girrrl."
Did he just drool on me?

"Sometimes I feel I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
From the pain that you drive into the heart of me
The love we share
Seems to go nowhere
And I've lost my light
For I toss and turn I can't sleep at night"

I waited for him to look up but he was taking this act quite seriously, all things considered. He was following along with the words on the screen.

"(chorus)
Once I ran to you (I ran)
Now I'll run from you
This tainted love you've given
I give you all a boy could give you
Take my tears and that's not nearly all
Oh...tainted love
Tainted love"

I took John's right hand in mine and raised it to my lips to kiss it, making sure to wait until Jesus would see me. John's hand smelled gross, like stale smoke and generic dish soap but I didn't care. Jesus had to see this.

"Now I know I've got to
Run away I've got to
Get away
You don't really want IT any more from me
To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you'LL think love is to pray
But I'm sorry I don't pray that way"

His voice deepened and broadened and although I'd never liked the song much, Jesus sang it with the passion of a man who knows pain. The words "I don't pray that way" RANG, absolutely RANG in my ears.
And in my heart of hearts.
What was I thinking? Could I really be missing Jesus? I turned around to look at John for a reality check. John was slumped down against the wall, a slow smile stuck on his face and a cigarette about to fall from behind his ear, into the pocket of the brown, grungy flannel that he wore.
So well!
He wore it so well!
He's John the Hot Baptist!
That hair! Those piercing blue eyes!
Hot!
Baptist!
Hot!
Nothing.
I felt kind of sick, actually.

(chorus...)
Don't touch me please
I cannot stand the way you tease
I love you though you hurt me so
Now I'm going to pack my things and go
Tainted love, tainted love (x2)
Touch me baby, tainted love (x2)
Tainted love (x3)"

arizonasarah at 12:41 p.m.

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