Mike Went to Guam
Mike went to Guam about the same time I converted to the Baha’i Faith. Mike would kick my ass if he knew, but right now he’s too busy fixing broken down air conditioning units in Micronesia.
The ass-kicker friend is somebody we all need to keep close in our lives. Or in this case: keep far off in Guam but think of often.
Haven’t talked to Mike in maybe 10 years. Thing is, he keeps me around as his faithful stalker friend. Everybody needs one of those, too. They keep track of you even when you’re way off your mark, gone to seed, fucked for life.
—Not quite, your friendly stalker knows. You’ve still got that spark threading through. That bit of your early potential still hanging on. Mike can thank me for that later.
I grew up with religion—parents breathing Jesus down my neck. I met Mike right after his first trip to Guam. He was Jehovah’s Witness and had visited the Guam village Dededo as a missionary. I know because he showed me pictures and explained how this made him an exemplary candidate for the “little flock”—the people who go to heaven, as opposed to the “other sheep.”
In senior year’s Contemporary Issues class, we’d yell at each other from across the room. (Back then, I could really see the benefits of Reconstructionism. You can look that shit up on your own time if you don’t already know about it. Real sickos love it. It’s fire and brimstone. Ancient god’s harshest laws made into modern laws. Stone thieves, gays, and adulterers! That kind of thing.)
I’d stand on top of my desk and yell: “If God said this shit, then we’ve all got to wake the hell up! Swallow it, like it or not!”
And Mike would charge at me like a bull. He’d yank my desk out from under me.
“Idol worshiper!” he’d yell, really trying to pick a fight.
It’s hard growing up with strong convictions.
“False prophet!” he’d scream.
“God will see about that!” I’d scream back, matching him shove for shove.
The other students circled around to cheer us on or just to laugh. The teacher was Catholic, so all he wanted was for us protestant boys to eat each other alive.
I knew that Mike was brainwashed pretty bad. Only knowing and thinking things he’d been instructed to know or think. But my radicalism was fresh, as I saw it, since I had just read the Bible and I took it to the absolute extreme—even more so than my puritanical parents.
“Don’t water down the truth!” I said pretty often. “No gray areas!” I really hated the idea of gray areas.
I got over religion completely after graduation. Forgot about Mike, too. Except in the back of my mind when I needed someone to kick my ass.
Then stalking became my thing.
When you no longer have God everywhere in your life, you have to fill that “omnipotent eye watching over you” role somehow. Why not use the only person you know who will kick your ass for doing or saying the wrong thing? That’s Mike.
When I’d be doing lots of drugs or fucking lots of babes, he’d pop into my head.
“Fornicator! Horrible waste of a life! Dumb druggie! Idiot!” I’d hear him yell and scream.
I’d have to follow his movements pretty closely to see what he thought was good or bad. Otherwise I’d just be shooting in the dark. It’s what happens naturally when you move away from Reconstructionism. You don’t have rules written in stone for you. All you have are man’s laws. Mike’s laws.
Keeping up with Mike was like keeping up with God on a cosmic downward spiral. He was always one step ahead of me. First with the girls. He’d be fucking them all over the place. Guys, too, probably. Anything he could fit his penis into. I can imagine how God must fuck just about everything. I picked that up pretty naturally.
There were quite a few impregnations all up and down the West Coast. A few in Mexico. I read about them daily in Mike’s posts online. He had a blog called Total Fucking Piety. I’d read that daily while keeping up with his social media updates.
He was really on to something. By the time his women difficulties started to bring him down, he was already soaring back up in a path of ultra drunkenness. Every day he’d stumble down the street to the corner liquor store to buy a few bottles of whiskey. Which he would drink alone and dream—while his real life dreams and aspirations slipped away.
Luckily, I also had a liquor store right down the street. I wasn’t as quick with the habit, but about a year into heavy drinking I could down a few bottles in a day. Success!
It had gotten to that point again. I listened to his yelling in the back of my head all day long. Especially as I crawled home from the liquor store with a new batch of booze.
Now that was living! It had again reached that razor’s edge. There was silence from his blog and his social media for awhile and I was despairing daily, a slave to the hard stuff. For sure, it wasn’t just booze, either. Not by this point. There were also the drugs. All kinds. Pills, crack, crystal meth, weed . . .
Then he reemerged. I was all over his new posts. It was the only thing still alive for me—the only thing keeping me alive. God’s voice!
Tell me how to live, Mike!
His latest venture: Politics. Revolution. Leading the people. Gaining a following. Liberating their souls. Laying down the sacred truths.
Drinking whole gallons of whiskey and smoking mountains of crack, I started to get pretty down on myself each time I read a new post. If Mike knew I was still wallowing in the drugs, he’d kick my ass.
“Drunk! Loser! I’ll kick your ass!!!”
So one day I didn’t go down to the liquor store. Also I didn’t pick up my drug prescriptions from my local “got you covered” bro. After a few weeks passed, there I was, lying around in the dark, paranoid, ready to take on any new goddamn strong convictions, no matter what.
How was it going for Mike leading the people? Take a guess. It was going freaking great!
Next question: How was I not getting in on this?!
Followers, cool rituals, you can make up your own chants, people give you money. You give speeches and people really listen.
Like Mike, I started out on the street. Going around yelling.
“You think you’re free? You’re not! Want something better? Take a pamphlet!” Like that.
“Think you’re living your life right? What a joke!” I could go on like this all day.
Before long, I had a group of a few hundred people signed up for my weekend retreat. I pieced together a holy man’s outfit (robe, beard, sandals). I was all set.
Didn’t prepare a speech. Figured I’d wing it. Then I’d just have everyone meditate for a while until I thought of something else to do.
From everybody’s donations, I rented out a warehouse and some crates for a stage and a PA system for cheap. Also snacks, t-shirts for everyone. The whole deal.
The night of the opening ceremony, I had to get good and drunk to get my nerves in order. Then I went around and picked out a bunch of girls to bang after my big speech. Without that to look forward to, I’d never make it through this, I told myself.
Pulled it off pretty smoothly, I have to say. Always knew I had it in me. Ever since Contemporary Issues class when I shoved Reconstructionist crap down everyone’s throats.
Not sure all I talked about. Except for getting all truthful and telling my followers all about Mike. “He’s God in human form!” I explained. And I told them how he’d yell at me in my mind. Like, “You fucking idiot!”—and how useful that is, to have a real ass kicker for your god figure.
And I told them about how enlightening it is to stalk someone.
“Here’s his blog I read everyday!” I said. “Here’s his email, his phone number, and all his social media usernames! Also, in case you ever need it, here’s his home address!”
It was about this time in my speech that Mike started yelling at me pretty unforgivingly.
“You’re a fraud!” He yelled. “A hack! A phony! A shitty imposter! No one will ever believe you! No one! You’re finished!”
Freaked out, I backed off the stage and slinked away. There was a back exit in the warehouse. I ran for it. Burst outside into the cold night and kept running.
I hid out for a few weeks. First getting back into the old booze habit and then kicking it again. When I got up the strength to go outdoors for the first time, it was like the whole thing never happened.
That’s when I found out about Mike leaving for Guam.
“You’ll never get me now!” he wrote in his last blog, almost as if he were writing to me directly. Confused, I stalked him relentlessly online until I found a recent picture of him shirtless by a bunch of crumbling homes on a dirt road.
That’s when I knew things had come full circle. Mike was back in Guam fixing air conditioning units, and I had just bumped into some really great folks at the gas station who invited me to a Baha’i Faith temple, where I immediately joined up. There’s this guy named Paul who started teaching me right away.
“Love one another!” he yelled at me, smacking me across the face. “Humble yourself before your maker!” he screamed, jumping up and down. “Be a joy to the sorrowful, a sea to the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, a gem on the crown of wisdom!”
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