May 29, 2010

Cross Road, R.Riekki

By Ron Riekki

When I got to college
after Desert Storm
I decided to become a Religion major
because the little glimpses I had of war
made me scared as hell
of Hell
so every course I took in my first semester
was in my major
even though they told me to take the core courses first
but I didn’t care about math or English,
I wanted to figure out why the hell
I had to see a seven-year-old
with a caved-in head.

One of the first classes I took
was entitled “Witchcraft, Magic, and the Occult”
and my teacher was Dr. Hough,
a Harvard grad
who hung out with Mary Daly
and is even mentioned in her book Gyn/Ecology:
The Metaethics of Radical Feminism;
I’d go to his office
and he’d tell me stories
like how he cheated on his wife one time
with a witch,
an actual witch,
and I’d be riveted like I’d never even had a life of my own.

He asked why I was studying theology and I said that I wanted to be more like Jesus,
more like the Buddha,
more like Martin Luther King
and he told me everybody wants to be like Jesus except nobody comes close
and the ones he’s met who most wanted to be like Jesus
were the biggest assholes he ever knew
and he told me that instead of Martin Luther King
I should read Malcolm X
and he gave me a copy of the Alex Haley biography
and an old tape of Robert Johnson
and Charles Bukowski’s South of No North
and pulled out a bottle of moonshine as clear as water
and told me that God is all about letting go.