I’m a heathen. Did you not know? In case you were clueless to this fact, there it is, out in the open, for the taking. I’m not sure what you can do with this information. You have a few options, of course.
We could high-five, which is always nice because then you feel like you’re in a clique, and having not been in a clique in high school, it would be great to make up for lost time. You could also agree that I’m a heathen, then shrug your shoulders and take the “live and let live” route, but that’s a tricky one. Some people do not like when others live their lives as they see fit. Or you could be like my aunt and just decide that I no longer have a place in your life — but not before telling my parents and sister so. If you’re going to oust someone, you should probably alert others and give them the reason for said ousting. You don’t want to seem unreasonable or dramatic, and communication can prevent this.
My Auntie P. (who won’t be reading this since I’m a heathen) was always my favorite aunt growing up. She was the most fun, the most glamorous and sort of this lovely mystery who breezed in and out of our lives. She never lived close to us, so on those rare occasions that she did come into town we dressed up and went to tea houses where we dined on biscuits and sweets, but not before getting our nails done — a treat since mom didn’t think six and eight-year-olds should wear polish. Then we wouldn’t see her for months or years, as we imagined her off living some sort of exciting life. She wasn’t, of course, because so few people do. But that’s how we pictured it, my sister and I.
Although as I got older I rarely saw Auntie P., we did keep in touch via email and cards on birthdays. I also maintained a relationship, loosely, with my cousin’s daughter who Auntie P. was raising. (This aforementioned cousin was unable to do so because of drug addiction and similar demons.) All was well; there was regular contact, then my sister received an email one day from Auntie P.
Auntie P. had come across some of my writings online and was not impressed. She found it despicable that I could write so candidly about sex and other topics without regard to just how offensive these things were. She felt “sorry” for me that I thought it necessary to “act out” in such a way to get God’s attention. Auntie P. informed my sister that she should be ashamed of me for what I put out there “for all to see,” and disappointed in me for this behavior.
My sister let the email slide and didn’t give it a second thought. She also chose not to tell me. A few days later my mother informed her that Auntie P. had taken her concerns to my father. Could no one see what I was doing, how I was living, that what I was writing was morally repulsive and wrong? How did I become such a heathen? I was once was so sweet and loving (heathens aren’t capable of love), and now I had traveled down a dark road of doom! If only I had opened my heart to God, then I would not have gone astray. If only I had been raised differently, I would not be writing about blowjobs on the internet. What a vile beast of a woman I am!
My father came to my defense. He told her that while he appreciated her concern, I was doing what I loved. Anyone who loved me, or even loved me once upon a time, should be happy for me. Auntie P. can’t be happy for heathens. We’re just so naughty!
Again, this conversation was kept from me, because there’s no sense in upsetting the “emotional” daughter and having her call up Auntie P. to give her a piece of her mind. It was only after Auntie P. emailed new school photos of my cousin’s daughter (the one she’s raising) to my sister — with explicit instructions to make sure the photos were not forwarded to me — that my family told me Auntie P. would probably not be sending me any more birthday cards. When my sister asked her why I was not allowed to see these photos, Auntie P. explained that she didn’t want them to fall into the “wrong hands.” Since I am a vile, heathen, beastly banshee I am obviously prone to taking photos of 14-year-olds and exploiting them — that’s what heathens do. I was going to post the photos all over the city and pimp out that kid for my own benefit all while laughing evilly at my diabolic plan, and of course, snickering at the demise of others at the same time, too. Heathens are great at multi-tasking and laughing evilly.
It was then that my sister sent Auntie P. packing with an email that explained that she was proud of everything I did (even the incessant missteps) and that she, just like both my parents, would support me always and stand by my side no matter what I wrote. She addressed that perhaps Auntie P. should concern herself with her own life and the imperfections of her own immediate family before passing judgement on me; then my sister told our former-favorite aunt to never email her again. That was almost two years ago; and outside of calling my father once to tell him about the death of a family member, there has been no contact with Auntie P.
When I was initially told that all this had happened — months after the fact, mind you — my response was to call her and verbally rip into her. But as my sister pointed out, there was no point. I could never talk my way out of being a heathen in Auntie P.’s eyes, just as much as she could never talk God into my life. The strange part is that Auntie P. had never been religious until later on; it was only after a lifetime of tragedy that she turned toward God as, what my father says, a means to cope with all the loss she had suffered. I don’t fault my aunt for needing that, but apparently she faults me for not needing that.
So, dear readers, now you know — I am a heathen. I must be kept away from your children (I will eat them), your sacred bits and pieces of cake you don’t want to lose. I will suck the life from you, laugh as you crumble, then I will kick you, call you a really mean thing like “jerk face,” and leave you for dead. Should you see me on the street, either run in the opposite direction or “hiss” at me as if you’re a ferocious cat and I will understand my boundaries. This heathen is deathly allergic to cats, the way vampires are deathly allergic to sunlight. All evil must have some method of being easily destroyed, or else we would have taken over the world by now.